After the Dance

After the Dance lesson plan

Capture the exhilaration and the exhaustion of exercise in a watercolor resist.

  • 1.

    Play music and have students exercise, move, or dance to it vigorously for about 10 minutes. When finished, let students rest. Ask how they feel? If movement is impossible, have students watch an exercise or dance video.

  • 2.

    Using Crayola crayons and white paper, have students draw themselves as they would feel after exercising or dancing. Would they be relaxed or energized? How would their face look?

  • 3.

    Have students cover their work area with recycled newspaper. Use Crayola Watercolors and Brushes to paint colorful areas of their drawing, using a crayon resist technique. Dry flat.

  • 4.

    Lead a discussion of students' experiences. Make a bar graph with crayons that shows students' different responses.


  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
  • LA: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation.
  • LA: Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • MATH: Represent measurement quantities using diagrams such that feature a measurement scale.
  • SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • VA: Use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.
  • VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.


  • Student artwork can be compiled into a quilt format for display and viewing. Students can be asked to write a summary paragraph describing their movements and feelings after exercising. Primary students may need the assistance of an adult to articulate their responses.
  • Students may have themselves videotaped while moving. Student groups can analyze the different poses they view on the tape and use this new knowledge to revise their original artwork. The student video can also be uploaded to a class website and shared with parents. Students can be challenged to talk with their parents about their feelings after exercising and how this type of exercise is important for continued good health.
  • After viewing videotapes of classmates, students can trace life-size poses of each other in a pose captured in the video. These can be displayed in the classroom for viewing and discussion.
  • Upper elementary students can with this activity when it is presented to primary students. Upper elementary students can do the videotaping, discuss with primary students the different types of emotions and assist with the writing component.