Lessons on Place

Here are a three downloadable lessons on the concept of place for ages 4/5, 6/7 and 8-10 taught in a studio setting.
Place for 8-10s
Place for 6s and 7s

Place for 4s and 5s

The 4/5s lesson is a 45-minute plan.  The others are 60 minute lessons.

THIS IS TYPICALLY A DAY ONE LESSON. That accounts for the “Getting To Know You” activity at the top of the lesson for the two younger groups, before the warm up.

I always start with Place as a Day One lesson, to teach the difference between in-place and traveling movement.  HOWEVER, when I teach in an early childhood site, I do not get to traveling movement on the first day (and often not for several lessons). Under those circumstances, I am interested in cultivating the body control and concentration that is necessary for successful teaching.

In my studio classes, however, we have a BIG ROOM, a SMALL GROUP, and AN ASSISTANT, which makes a huge difference.

Music resources are generally:

  • All my CDs
  • Contrast and Continuum Vol. I – IV by Eric Chappelle (pairs with Anne Green Gilbert’s concept-based approach, that I use) I use the abbreviation C & C, then refer to the Volume and the Track on that Volume (e.g. C & C Vol II #11)
  • Gradual Motion by Peter Jones (good, general warm up music for modern dance)
  • Music by Shenanigans (Dance Music for Children, and others as indicated)
  • Music by the New England Dancing Masters (Jump Jim Joe, and others as indicated)
  • Later lessons will also reference:
  • Music for Dancers by Kerri Lynn Nichols (different rhythms, pulses and patterns)
  • Various folk dances, including some from  Sanna Longden  –  http://www.folkstyle.com

All of these resources are available directly from the artists or from West Music, except Peter Jones.  Google his name and the title to get a link.

Prop resources include:

  • yoga mats cut into square (1/8″ mats; one mat = 10 squares). yogadirect.com has lots of colors and good price.
  • small traffic cones
  • chiffon scarves from Seattle Display and Costume.  Good quality and price.  Bright colors and don’t fray.  Long-lasting. (http://displaycostume.reachlocal.net/store/Chiffon.html)
  • Later lessons will also reference other props including:
  • pool noodles cut into 1 ft. lengths (with any kitchen knife)


  • tambourine and stick.  I like the Remo Economy with 10″ head and a double row of  jingles, I play it with a soft-headed mallet.This is a must for cuing transitions, getting the children’s attention, playing the pulse.
  • pitched percussion – temple blocks.  A pentatonic scale.  Played with two sticks. If you have any good, inexpensive sources….please share.  The blocks run upwards of $175.  The are generally mounted on a stand. My woodblocks came from a sale at a music store and were deeply discounted.
  • soprano recorder.  I use this for transitions (as a clean up time cue after free dance at the beginning of class) and for movement quality contrast.

April 21, 2012. Creative Dance Lesson Plans. 1 comment.