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Learning Activities


Circle Dance

Art Form
Science, Art, Language Arts
Grade levels
You will need
paper & pen
Time One to Two Hours



Writers are asked to explore their sense of connections among all things by realizing how many things dance in circles.

The idea is to celebrate our connectedness in a poem, and discover its power.

Writers work from the stimulus of several facts of science.

The Activity

Warmup Discussion: Mention that you are aware that several of the people in this room are secret dancers—who will admit they dance around the house when they’re alone?


Everything dances. Not just people but everything in the whole universe dances.

The science of physics teaches us that:

• Everything in the universe is in a state of constant motion.
• This motion is regular, repetitive and often circular.
• Regular repetitive motion is rhythmic.
• Rhythmic body motion is called dance.
• Everything is constantly moving rhythmically.

Therefore, everything in the universe is dancing.

Elicit and List:
dance action words: hop, skip, prance, swing, waltz, jump, leap, bound, bounce, spring, vault, move, vibrate, flutter, shiver, shake, spin, whirl, twirl, etc.
Students will have more.

Ask students to name some of the constant circular movements that are going on:

• In their bodies
• on Earth (planet rotation, spinning across a field of stars)
• in the Solar System
• in galaxies
• in every atom of every thing. (electrons whirling)
• in every living cell of every living organism

In a single gram of earth there is an astounding number of small organisms:

30,000 protozoa,
50,000 algae,
400,000 fungal hyphae
2.5 million bacteria.

And they are all moving in the dance of life: they whirl and twirl, they frisk and frolic, flicker and leap, prance and cavort,they jump and hop and bounce, while the quiet dancers twinkle and shimmer.

Ask Students to stretch their imaginations—no wrong answers—

Where do:

words dance? (on paper, on tongues, in minds, in books…
toes dance? (on feet, in mud, in skates, in dog dreams…
dreams dance?
leaves dance?
basketballs dance? (in swishes, in dreams, in hands, on wooden floors, in parks)

Assignment: Accept that Everything is dancing, including you.
Write a poem about yourself as a dancer in this great universal dance.
Read aloud some or all of the student poems below. Or as possible, print the Source Sheet and distribute it.

Student Source Sheets Circle Dance

Dancing, dancing,
everything dances —
The wildflowers dance
for the beauty,
Beauty dances
for the wild living animals,
All the animals dance
for the wilderness green,
The wilderness green dances
for all the living people —

But the living people don’t dance
for the wilderness green,
So the wilderness green may not
dance for long

— Andy Bipes, gr 5


Plants dance to the sun,
Flowers dance to the sun,
Trees dance to the sun,
We dance to the sun!
I will dance with them.

But the sun does not see me.
I shall no longer dance.

But the world will still dance to the sun —
Plants will still dance,
Flowers still dance,
Trees will still dance.

So now, since the world dances,
So will I —
Even if the sun will not see me,
I will dance still to the sun.

— Gretchen Walker, gr 5


Words dance
in my mouth

My mouth
Dances in my head

The leaves
Dance in the wind

Earth dances
Around the sun

The sun
Dances through the galaxy

These words
Dance on my enormous

— Jon Snyder, gr 4



A seed dances into a trunk,
A trunk dances into a branch,
A branch dances into a twig,
A twig dances into a leaf,
A leaf dances into light,
The light dances all over Me!
Can’t you see?
The tree is growing
Just like Me!

— Trameisha Greer, gr 5


Flowers And showers dance
together for hours and hours,
Together they sing forever and ever
Till the weather has changed to a white feather.

They will miss each other until winter is over
and Spring is coming closer and closer
until Flowers And Showers dance again in red colors

"And next winter," say Flowers And Showers,
"We will miss each other until next winter is over,
it will be awhile before we see each other again,
Till weather changes back from a feather."

— Dustin , gr 2


4 dances on 3
3 dances on 2
2 dances on 1
1 dances on 0
Earth dances in flowers
Flower dances in showers
Heart dances in valentines
Valentine dances in hands
Hands dance on clocks
4 dances on 3
3 dances on 2
2 dances on 1
1 dances on 0

—Jessie Richards, gr 2


Toes dance in baseball shoes,
Frogs dance on lily pads,
Perms dance on girl’s heads,
Pans dance in the oven,
Spiders dance between stems of grass,
Freckles dance on noses,
These fingers dance on the pencil I hold.

— Ryan S. , gr 2


Winter Dances on Spring Dances on Summer Dances on Fall

Winter Dances on Snow,
Spring Dances on Green,
Summer Dances on Water,
Fall Dances on Dry Leaves.

Winter Dances on Spring Dances on Summer Dances on Fall.

— Korey Doering, gr 2


Sun dances on stars
Stars dance on the moon
Moon dances on clouds
Clouds dance on my window
Where my brain dances in my head
Where I lay still

—Amy Davis, gr 6


As the rain dances on top of itself
As it falls so light outside your window
As you read a book at night,

As the words dance off the page of the book
As the words dance through your head,
As you think about them dancing all night
As the rain dances on top of itself,
You dance into your dreams.

— Kelly Bloomquist, gr 5


We are like earth
that circles the sun

Around we go
We go around

We are like clocks
That circle the day.
First it is day,
Then it is night.

Around we go
We go around

We are like circles in raindrops
That splash circles on the pond
That grow bigger and bigger.

Around we go
We go around

The earth is round
It twirls around
It spins around
It whirls around
It never stops!

Around we go
We go around
We never stop!

— Stephanie Vittorio, gr. 2