Math Lesson Plan

School: Scouters Mountain

Grade/Teacher: K-2

Artist- Nicole McCall

Essential Questions and Student Understanding

Essential Question:  

How does using movement as an instructional strategy impact students understanding of Number Sense?

Students will understand that (one statement):

Students will understand the concepts of greater than/less than/number equivalencies by using LEVEL and SIZE with their bodies.

Later addition:  Students will deepen their understanding of Subtraction.


Anchor Standards

Common Core State Standard (choose one):

Greater than, Less Than, Number Equivalencies, Number Lines, Subtraction

National Core Art Standards (choose one):

Anchor Standard #1. Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

Relevant/Anchor Texts (See Common Core Appendix B, for examples)

Nicole to use math workbook pages to create relevant lesson plans, but no anchor texts are needed for the students.

Right Brain Arts-Based Strategy/ies modeled during the residency

Snapshot, ABA


Pre-residency (include introducing students to artform/teaching artist/content)

Residency Day #1

GOAL:  Students will be able to “see” a number based on the levels of each dancer.

Math Concept: Vertical Number Line

Dance Concept: Level

Arts Strategy: Snapshot (with focus on Levels 1-10/20)

Dance Game: “Elevators”

Lesson Plan:

  1. Braindance warmup
  2. Introduce concept of Vertical Number line and LEVEL
  1. Show picture of high-rise building
  2. Link the concept of an elevator
  1. Play SNAPSHOT with a focus on Level.
  1. “Show me a shape on Level 0….Level 5….Level 17”
  2. Be sure to check that students grasp the concept of where “middle” is.  So, for Levels 1-10, Middle would be 5.  It will help students make a “7” or “3” later on...
  1. Elevators--if time allows
  1. Divide the fruit into TRIOS.
  2. Each small group becomes 2 walls of the elevator, and 1 person in the middle is the passenger.  
  3. The teacher or artist calls out what floor they’d like.  For example “Floor 4!” is called out.  All the dancers in the elevator do a SNAPSHOT of level 4 with their bodies (For 2nd grade, you could do addition “2 +2 floor” and 2nd grade you could do addition and subtraction “10-6 floor”. You could also ask each group to do a different floor and see who is near the lobby and who is near the top of the building. No judgement of what is better, just space awareness and number sense. This could be referenced in the next class when you look at greater than/less than.


Teachers, do Snapshot on Levels 1-10/20 or play Elevator for a brain break.

Residency Day #2

GOAL:  Students will be able to “see” if numbers are bigger than/less and will develop teamwork skills

Math Concept: Greater Than/Less Than

Dance Concept: Size

Arts Strategy: ABA, Snapshot: Levels

Dance Game: Stretch and Curl, Shape Museum  

Lesson Plan:

  1. Braindance warmup
  2. Review Snapshot with concept of vertical number line (with Levels 1-10/20)
  1. Try and have the classroom teacher lead Snapshot.  
  2. Encourage the option of “1+3” Level. (Students would think, add, and show Level 4.)
  3. Using simple subtraction is also an option. (“7-4”...Students would go to Level 3.)
  1. Stretch/Curl exercise
  1. Start students on Ground Level 0.  
  2. With the volume increasing (stretch) or decreasing (curl), call out “Stretch for 8 counts!” Then count to 8 as the music gets louder.
  3. Call out “Curl for 6 counts!”  Then fade the music over 6 counts.
  4. Ask:  Which felt longer?  Why?  -OR- Which numbers is greater?  8 or 6?
  1. Night at the Shape Museum (if time allows)-
  1. Half the students are Statues, the others are Dancers.
  2. Statues--think of a number you want to show.  Then, when I say “Dancers, places, take the shape of a low Level 1, or a high Level 17.  Hold your shape like a statue.
  3. Visitors, use your Locomotor movement to go all around the museum.  
  4. When the music stops, fine ONE sculpture to copy.
  5. Then GUESS what level that dancer was on.
  7. Ask the Visitors: Do you mean, How many of you were able to figure out your statue’s level based on your level number?


Play stretch/curl for a brain break.

Residency Day #3

GOAL:  Students will understand that they can get the same sum in different ways by using their bodies.

Math Concept: Equivalencies or Part/Part/Whole

Dance Concept: Locomotor/Non Locomotor Skills

Arts Strategy: Creative Movement

Dance Game: Guided Across the Floor

Lesson Plan:

  1. Braindance warmup
  2. Review
  1. Snapshot: Level--teacher leads
  1. Addition option-”Go to 10+2 Level…”
  1. Stretch/Curl
  1. Introduce LOCOMOTOR and NON-LOCOMOTOR concept--say, see, do the words
  1. Write a list of different locomotor skills
  2. Write a list of nonlocomotor skills--this is a handy option if you want to total 20 moves later.
  1. For 1st/2nd:  Part/Part/Whole
  1. Have the Teacher write an example of Part/Part/Whole she/he would like the children to practice.
  2. Combine the number with Locomotor moves.  For example, 4+6=10.  So, cue the children to do 4 stomps AND 6 hops.
  3. Have the children call out, “1, 2, 3, 4,  AND/PLUS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, IS/EQUALS 10!” On the 10, they can reach up high in a finishing pose.  
  4. NOTE:  give students single count movements, so each move equal 1 beat.
  1. For Kindergarten:  Across the Floor/General Space: Level
  1. Have students move across the floor imagining their head on a given level.  
  1. “Glide at level 4”
  2. Hop with your heads at 6,7,6,7,6…”
  3. Exploding jumps from Level 1-10!”
  1. Try Moving Their Shape Across the Floor
  1. This is harder- “Take a shape at Level ___...Now freeze your shape...Now try and move your shape across the floor/around general space.”
  1. NOTE:  Don’t just be supportive.  Use the Growth Mindset for your cuing: “Wow!  I see you listening and trying to follow directions….Well, some of you followed directions, but I think if you try a little harder, all of you can do it...Wow! You worked your legs….Tilt if you really tried to do it that time. Tilt the other way if you think you can do it even Better…”


Play Stretch/Curl as a classroom brain break or Use Nonlocomotor Movement combinations for Addition Problems

Residency Day #4

GOAL:  Students will have a kinesthetic understanding of subtraction.

Math Concept: Horozontal Number Line (gr. 2) and Subtraction (K/1) 

Dance Concept: Cannon (for 2nd grade), Pathways (K/1)

Arts Strategy: Creative Movement

Dance Game: Cannon Dance (2nd grade), Subtraction Train (K/1)

Lesson Plan:

  1. Braindance warmup
  2. Review
  1. Elevator Game with Levels--focus on Subtraction with the cueing.
  1. For example: “Level 17.  Take away 5.  (Be sure to call out) 16, 15, 14, 13, 12….
  2. Then start where you left off.  “12 take away 4...11, 10, 9, 8…”
  3. As you call out the levels, you will accurately see they students “Subtract” with their bodies.  
  4. NOTE:  Calling out the numbers backwards is the key to making this work.  
  1. Stretch/Curl (Greater Than/Less Than)
  1. For K/1:  Introduce/Play Subtraction Train song
  1. Practice lyrics only sitting on the floor with the students.
  2. Divide the group into 2--apples/oranges.  Half the group will be the audience/chorus.
  3. Have the dancers make shapes on Levels scattered “on stage.”  
  4. As the leader, I go around and collect them-kind of like and we make a train.
  5. When the group is following me in a line (Pathways), start the song--everyone sings.
  6. “Take away” students, count how many are left.  
  7. Do the song 2x, then switch groups


Teachers, choose 3 Nonlocomotor movements they can combine in any order to get the sum you choose.  

For example, have them stand by their desks and combine twists, punches, or stomps in any combination to equal 15.

(Keep the movement choices basic so each move can be done on a single count.)

Count to 15 aloud as they move, and see all the different ways they can dance “15 counts.”

They can even “perform” their 15 movements for each other.

Residency Day #5- “INFORMANCE DAY” also known as “BEST OF BODYVOX DAY”

GOAL:  Review all we’ve done so far to really make sure that the children understand all the concepts that were the teachers’ goals for the residency. Have the teachers comfortable with Snapshot, so that they might lead it themselves in the classroom.

Lesson Plan:

  1. Braindance warmup
  2. Review:
  1. Snapshot--led by teacher, incorporating addition and subtraction into Levels 1-10/20
  2. Stretch/Curl
  3. Subtraction Train
  1. Vote for your Favorite!
  1. Night at the Shape Museum-or-
  2. Locomotor Moves across the floor-or-
  3. Elevator Game
  1. Reflection
  1. Draw a mindmap on the white board of all the games/topics they covered:
  1. Levels--vertical number line
  2. Addition
  3. Subtraction
  4. Horozontal Number line: K/1--the Subtraction Train, 2nd--Cannon Dance
  5. Greater Than/Less Than
  6. 2nd--Part/Part/Whole

Extensions of Residency

What will classroom teacher do after the residency to continue utilizing the arts-based strategy?

It’s my hope that the classroom teachers could continue these ideas as a regular part of their math lessons:

  • Elevator Game to use Snapshot with Levels 1-10/20 to practice number value
  • Stretch/Curl to deepen understanding of greater than/less than
  • Nonlocomotor skill combinations as a way to explore different ways to get to 10/20.
  • Try the Subtraction Train as a way to deepen understanding of “taking away” in subtraction word problems.