Dance – Lesson 4


For the children to explore a range of movements associated with the butterfly.


For the children to explore curving, weaving, and making lines in space to exemplify the journey of the Wanderer Butterfly.


This lesson is designed to extend on the previous week's lesson content and to expand the children's knowledge of and interest in butterflies and their movement qualities.


  • Heavy material mat
  • Downloaded images of Wanderer Butterfly.
  • The word 'Wanderer' written on a flash card
  • An easel with a large sheet of paper and coloured markers.
  • Bells
  • Hum drum
  • Glockenspiel
  • CD player
  • Recorded music: Hinoki-ya Travelling Band Track 1
  • Drawing boards, A4 white paper, and black fine liner pens
  • Strips of ribbons of different colours

Welcome/ Introduction

The children are invited to take their shoes and socks off and leave them in a designated area of the room.
(Teacher’s script in italics)

Come and join me on the mat but before you do you can leave your shoes and socks in the shoe shop.

The children are asked to gather on the mat and the teacher provides a number of 'advance organisers' to prepare them for the content of the lesson.

Remember that in our dance class we begin with a welcome on this mat and talk about what we will learn in our class. We listen carefully to the teacher and find a space in the room when we are invited, then we warm up our bodies. Today we will be exploring the movements of the butterfly.

As an introduction to the lesson the teacher introduces the Wanderer Butterfly.

The word 'Wanderer' is written on a flash card.

The teacher asks the children to explain in their own words what the word 'Wanderer' means to them.

Children are given an opportunity to contribute to teacher-led drawings on the easel that see children explore 'wandering' lines on a large piece of paper. This sets the scene for a dance class that is focused on wandering lines in space.

Let’s think about the word wandering?

Can you tell me what the word means?

Can a butterfly wander? How?

Have you ever wandered? What did it feel like?

Entering the space

Using the tambour, the teacher names children one by one to enter the space and to make a body shape.

When you hear your name called you can move into the space to make a body shape.

When all children are in the space, the teacher joins the children to lead the warm up.

Warm up

With the children remaining in their spaces, the teacher leads a warm up that focuses on a number of actions such as flicking, floating, dabbing and gliding.

Imagine that you have something stuck on the ends of your fingers, like chewing gum. See it you can move your fingers to try and flick it off. It’s very stuck. See if you can use all the strength that you have in both your hands and arms to flick it off. Now both arms together. Flick above your head, over your shoulder, behind you. We can use the word 'flick”'every time we try to get rid of our gum that is stuck to the end of our fingers.

Now if we kneel on the floor, can we see if we can use our arms to make gliding and floating movements around our bodies? Stand up and see if you can glide and float through the space moving slowly and smoothly.

The teacher distributes the ribbons and the children are encouraged to glide and float through the space trailing their ribbons.

The teacher can ask the children to follow her in a line, gliding and floating.

Whole group movement exploration and practice of skills

Today we are going to feel what it is like to try out some of the movements of the Wanderer Butterfly.

Can you remember how we drew the wandering lines? Let’s see if you can gather in a line behind me and we will wander through the space, floating and gliding as we go.

Using the recorded music, the teacher leads the children in a wandering dance through the space.

The children are encouraged to feel the dynamic of the music and to curve and weave through the space. Individual children are invited to lead the wandering dance with the teacher guiding the dance with suggestions such as:

Change direction

Try curving

Try weaving.

If the children’s focus and interest are still present, the teacher introduces the idea of a free dance of wandering butterflies.

Solo and small group 'free dance'

The whole group is invited to return to the mat. The teacher selects small groups, individuals or pairs to perform any dance they like to the sound of the hum drum (or taped music). The children are asked to make starting shapes in the space and to begin to dance when the music begins.  Respectful audience behaviours are encouraged by the teacher. The teacher affirms children’s contributions in a positive way.

I like that leap.
I can see some interesting floor movements.

I like the way you are running.

The teacher helps the children to vary their movement explorations.

If you have been running, try moving on the floor.

After several minutes, the teacher helps the children to conclude their dance in stillness and in an interesting body shape.

Find an ending. Make your body into an interesting shape.

Performers are invited to talk about their dances with the 'I see, I think, I wonder' thinking routine structuring the oral feedback. Audience members are encouraged to describe what they have observed.

All children are given an opportunity to enjoy 'free dance'.


The children are asked to find a space in the room in which to lie down and listen to quiet, relaxing music. The teacher moves about the room using long, light, sustained stroking movements from top of head through to feet, making contact with each child.

Reflective drawing/telling  

The children are provided with drawing boards, A4 white paper and black fine liner pens.

Can you draw something that you remember from the class today?

When the drawings are complete, the children present their work to the teacher.

The teacher asks each child to tell me about your drawing.

The children’s words are then transcribed onto their individual drawings to be included in the dance portfolio.

When the children have completed their drawing they are asked to put on their shoes and socks. When all children are ready, a farewell gesture is initiated by the teacher to conclude the lesson. This farewell gesture is modelled by the children.

This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.