Lesson Overview

Estimated Time:  140 minutes
Subject/Course Code/Title/Curriculum Policy:  Grade 7 - 10 Dance

Connections to Financial Literacy

Grade 7 Dance

A2. Reflecting, Responding, Analysing

  • A2.1: construct personal interpretations of the messages in their own and others’ dance pieces, including messages about issues relevant to their community and/or the world (e.g., dance pieces on topics such as … poverty, … homelessness), and communicate their responses in a variety of ways (e.g., through writing, class discussion, oral reports, song, drama, visual art)

Grade 8 Dance

A1. Creating and Presenting

  • A1.2: use dance as a language to communicate messages about themes of social justice and/or environmental health (e.g., possible solutions to … poverty, … homelessness, …oppression, ...)

A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts

  • A3.1: describe how social, political, and economic factors influenced the emergence and development of a dance form or genre of their choice (e.g., factors: funding to artists, the commercialization of dance, support for dance programs in schools; …)
    • Teacher prompts: “What social factors led to the emergence of this dance (e.g., hip hop, Celtic dance, the waltz)?” “Why do you think swing developed during the Depression in the 1930s (e.g., escapism)?”  

Grade 9 Dance

Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing
B3. Connections Beyond the Classroom

  • B3.1: identify knowledge, skills, and personal qualities/attitudes they have acquired or strengthened through dance studies that can be applied in other settings and to a variety of careers (e.g., personal qualities such as willingness to take risks, discipline, cooperativeness, empathy, willingness to take responsibility)
    • Teacher prompt: “Is the behaviour expected of you in dance class the same as or different from your usual behaviour outside of class? What situations outside dance class might have behavioural expectations similar to those in the class?”

Grade 10 Dance

Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing
B3. Connections Beyond the Classroom

  • B3.1: identify physical, intellectual, and artistic skills that are developed through dance and explain how they can be applied to a variety of careers (e.g., with a partner, research and report on possible summer volunteer or employment opportunities where their learning in dance could be helpful)
    • Teacher prompt: “What skills that you’ve learned in dance class are required for employment in any field?

Curriculum Expectations

This lesson can be linked to various subject curriculum expectations depending on the grade level of the students, and the subject(s) being covered during a “Needs versus Wants” unit. Specific curriculum expectations for other subject areas will need to be identified by the individual teacher in accordance with the grade they are teaching.

Learning Goals

At the end of this lesson, students will know be able to…

  • explore and set etiquette guidelines for the element of dance: relationship
  • establish and explore partnerships using the techniques: canon, flocking and mirroring
  • express, through movement, the relationship people have with money
  • articulate the relationship people have with money using/incorporating key dance terminology

Instructional Components and Context


Students should have some previous experience working in groups to create movement phrases using discussion ideas or word phrases as the stimulus.

Students should have some previous experience with the elements of dance and should be able to use vocabulary associated with the elements of dance.  If students have no previous experience with the elements of dance, consider doing some work on the elements before beginning this unit. See "Take Five" or "Creating a Word Wall" activities from Think Literacy: Drama and Dance, or the “Dance - Elements Review” lesson posted on EduGAINS.
They should also have experience using flocking, mirroring, and canon. If they do not, extra time to teach these movement forms will need to be built into the lesson.

Students should be comfortable working in small groups, presenting in front of the class, and receiving feedback from the teacher and/or peers.


Elements of Dance
Relationship: disconnected/connected; close/far; clump/random; call/response; unison; with a prop
Call and Response


A chair for each student
chart paper
A selection of music for students to choose from
Various musical/percussion instruments (optional)
BLM #3 Elements of Dance Checklist
BLM #4 Sayings about Money
BLM #5 The Money Dance
BLM #6 Elements of Dance Summative Checklist
BLM #7 Exit Card


Lesson Plan

Minds On (15 minutes)

Individual > Building a Relationship with a Prop

Inform students that this lesson will explore the Element of Dance: relationship. In an open space, have students stand beside a chair. Inform the students that this chair is their partner, and before they can engage with their partner they must first show their partner a sign of respect. Set 2 or 3 guidelines for how to show respect for the chairs when they are working with them. (e.g. Bow/curtsy towards the chair before picking it up, placing the chair down gently, etc.)
First, invite students to take a risk to demonstrate their act of respect.

Prompts: You may bow/curtsy to your partner. You can make a gesture with your head, arm, hand, etc.
Now inform students that they will work independently to incorporate the chair into a movement or a pose on your signal.

Prompts: Create a square. Circle. Triangle. Rectangle. Pentagon. Oval. Octagon. Star. Express the feeling sad. Happy. Frustrated. Surprised. Exhausted. Excited. Angry. Joyful. Powerful.
Remind students to take risks, and that movement can be literal or suggestive; there are no wrong answers.

Observe students as they are engaging in the activity. Identify several students who are taking risks and creating innovative poses or movements and privately ask these students if they would be willing to share their work with the class. Have the students stop and stay where they are. Invite the chosen 5 or 6 students to share their work with the class.
Prompt: What do you notice about how these students showed respect for the chair when they engaged with it during the movement activity?


Connections:  Discuss dance etiquette and audience etiquette. Set class guidelines and expectations. Use the Elements of Dance anchor chart (see CODE Lesson: Cyber Bullying.ca BLM #11) as a coaching tool and assessment guide. Post anchor chart in a prominent area of the room for the students to use as reference. Have students generate key vocabulary terms to describe various relationships (e.g. connected, disconnected, …). Post as an anchor chart.

Differentiation:  The Interpersonal Learner can record student responses during the class discussion, and can be asked to take on a leadership role to model respect for fellow dancers. Visual Learners can respond by creating etiquette cue cards with how to show respect for fellow dancers.

Assessment for learning:  Check for knowledge and understanding of respect for partners during dance, as well as the elements of dance.  Offer guiding questions to elicit rationale for dance etiquette and audience etiquette.


Action! (30 minutes)

Post various sayings, provided in BLM #4 Sayings about Money, around the classroom. Feel free to add your own.

Whole Class > Find the Saying

Raise the idea that a relationship between a person and an object, such as a chair, is similar to to relationship a person has with money (i.e. we must take care of our possessions today so we have them for tomorrow). Invite students to share their perception of money, sayings about money they may have heard from their parents, and where their belief about money originates from.

Inform the students that there are several money sayings/quotes posted around the classroom. Ask them to walk around the room, read all the sayings, and stand beside the saying that most resonates with them. Provide students with 1-2 minutes to find their favourite saying. Now, ask students to discuss, in their groups, why that saying is significant to them. Provide groups with 1-2 minutes to discuss their choices.  Request one person from each group summarize the group’s ideas into 2 or 3 sentences and share them with the class.

Small Group > Canon

Ask each group to create a movement phrase using the saying and the ideas expressed about the saying as the stimulus. The phrase should utilize various aspects of the elements of dance, with particular emphasis on relationship. The movement phrase should then be transformed into a canon. Have each group present their canon. (As an option, students could present to music of their choice).

Using two stars and a wish format, ask viewers to comment on how the performers used the Elements of Dance to demonstrate the relationship people have with money.

Small Group > Call and Response

Request students get into groups of 3; assign one person to be A, another to be B, and the third to be C. Inform students that persons A and B are going to have a movement conversation, through call and response, with  each other. Person C will clap a steady beat for the performers and watch the movement piece.

Person A will start the movement conversation and use 8 counts to express their views on why money is so important. Person B will have 8 counts to respond, in agreement or disagreement with person A’s views. Person A will then have a further 8 counts to respond back. The conversation ends on your request or if the conversation naturally comes to an end, the pair can choose to stop. Person C will comment on their observations using the prompts listed below;


I think the conversation went like this...
The movement I liked best was...
What I found surprising is...
I could see the difference between... by/when you did...

Have person C switch places with either person A or B. Repeat activity so all members have the opportunity to participate, view and respond to the movement conversation.

Individual, Pairs > Partner Work: Learning to Respect 1) Someone, 2) Money

Instruct students to get their chairs for this independent activity. Ask students to use their knowledge from the Minds On activity to signal to their chair (as a sign of respect) indicating that they would like to hold onto the back of the chair. Once the gesture has been made, the students can then hold onto the back of the chair. Request students let go of the chair. Now repeat this activity, each time with a different prompt.

Prompt: to hold onto the seat, to hold the chair in the air, to sit on the chair, etc.
Ask students to put the chairs away and to get into partners.
Request pairs assign one person as A and the other as B. Inform students: person A will use movement to ask person B permission to hold their hand. If person B accepts, they should extend their hand. Request students go back to neutral. Inform students: person B will now use movement to ask person A for permission to link arms. If person A accepts, they should allow person B to link elbows. Encourage students to continue this activity, going back and forth, demonstrating respect for others through movement (e.g. holding a dance partner, helping someone off the floor, etc.).

Discuss the difference and similarities between verbal and physical gestures used to show respect towards another person. Explicitly teach students that before partner work can begin, students need to verbally ask their dance partner(s) for permission for contact. Prompt: What is the purpose of showing respect to another human being?

Parallel this with money using the quote and discussion questions:
Money is a trust that we must choose to manage wisely, productively, and honorably for our own good, for our families, and for others. ~Dr. James G. Salmons. (reference)

Key Questions for Discussion:

How is showing respect for another human being similar to showing respect for money? How is it different?
What is the purpose of money in your life?
What is the role and function of money in your life?
How does organizing your social life parallel with the time and effort you will require to organize your financial life? How does this lead to you showing respect for money?
How do you acquire money? If you have to work for it, do you think you respect it more? Why or why not.
You organize time to spend with your family, friends, on your homework, and extra-curriuluar activities. How does this parallel with organize your money for all the responsibilities (i.e. bills, purchases, charitable donations, etc.) you will make in the future?

Large Group > “The Money Story”

Have students work in groups of 6-8, and distribute 2 copies of BLM #5 The Money Dance to each group. Inform students that this sheet will provide their framework for the dance they are to create. Groups can choose to work with recorded music, percussion instruments, or the piece can be performed in silence.


Connections:  Consider having a guest speaker from a financial institution come in and speak with the students about respect and responsibility for money, as well as how to organize/budget money they earn.

Differentiation:  Provide Musical Learners with percussion instruments to incorporate into their work, while providing a rationale for their choices. Ask the Mathematcal/Logical Learner to create a list of 5 strategies (with descriptions) for how to effectively manage money, thereby showing respect for money.

Assessment as/of learning:  Throughout the lesson students will be providing feedback to one another. Ask students to refer to the Elements of Dance when observing, presenting their feedback and accepting constructive criticism in order to improve the emotional and skill qualities of their works. Use sidecoaching and provide individual students with feedback in the form of student-teacher conferencing and BLM #3  Elements of Dance Checklist and/or the BLM #6 Elements of Dance Summative Checklist.

Consolidation (25 minutes)

Whole Class > Observe performances

Have each group present their piece to the class. After each group presents, ask for volunteers to make inferences about the story line and share how the performance group used the Elements of Dance to demonstrate the relationship people have with money.

Individual > Exit Cards

Distribute copies of BLM #7 Exit Card to students. Ask students to complete and submit to the teacher.


Connections:  Present some of the responses from the Exit Cards in an inner/outer circle format. Connect the reflections with the culminating dance piece to create a financial awareness performance piece that can be shared with other classes. Grade 9/10 teachers could consider bringing this piece into grade 7/8 classrooms to share, then engaging all students in a discussion around relationships between people and money.

Differentiation:  Suggest Visual Learners create a social awareness campaign poster(s) using digital media. They may wish to use classmates as subjects within their project--ensure media/photographic permission forms have been signed by parents.

Assessment of learning:  Read Exit Cards to elicit students’ compassionate awareness about relationships and financial expectations.