My Favorite Unit

It’s finally here, the unit that I look forward to each and every year.  Drum roll, please….

Dance!

The 6th grade standard for dance is line dance.  Not only is it one of my favorite types of dances, it is one that I think my 6th graders learn to love. And to top it off, it really is a skill that they can use throughout their entire life.  We all can think of at least one social event that we attended where we found ourselves dancing along to the Cha Cha Slide, the Cupid Shuffle, the Macarena, the Electric Slide, or the Wobble.

I am not a good dancer at all but this is by far my favorite unit to teach.  The first day, I always spend the time teaching by modeling and dancing along with the students.  I believe that it helps them loosen up and lets them watch me mess up but also lets them see that I can have fun and not take myself too seriously.  I can quickly figure out who are the dancers and who are timid to get started.  It’s a great opportunity to get involved with my students.  My calves are always incredibly sore after day one, but it’s worth it.

Once I’ve taught them the Cha Cha Slide, the Cupid Shuffle, and the Electric Slide, I put the learning int the hands of my students and do a jigsaw of the Wobble.  I have pre-determined teams, that are broken down further so that one person from each team to learn a step of the Wobble before returning to their original group to teach their steps to the group.  Then each group practices the dance before the entire class dances together.

And this year I have big plans for the Wobble.  I will share that once it happens.

After my students have begun collaborating and communicating, they add creativity and critical thinking by using what they have learned so far to design their own line dance.  After a few days of planning and practicing, they present their dances to the class as their final assessment.

I am always so amazed at the engagement of this unit.  And the best part, is when these 6th graders become 7th graders and the Wobble comes on at lunch or during a school dance, I always see my students get up and dance.  That’s fitness for life!

So even if you are not a dancer, you HAVE to find a way to make sure your students are exposed to the dance standard.  I guarantee that it will be worth it.

 

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