Make a wave

Goal: To strengthen social/emotional skills in the classroom by celebrating individual and shared experiences throw dance

Make a wave
  • Intro

Make a wave

Contributed by Ana Cantorán


To strengthen social/emotional skills in the classroom by celebrating individual

and shared experiences throw dance


  1. Opening (5minutes):

Teaching artists introduce themselves and tell students that they would like to play a game called “make a Wave”. This game will help us know each other better in the classroom and perhaps to learn new and interesting things about our classmates and teachers while creating a dance! But first what is a wave?

  • Teaching artists ask students and classroom teachers to close their eyes and think of the word “wave” . What images or ideas come to mind when we think “wave”? The class can share their thoughts, popcorn style or one mic style if more structure is needed. Some examples of wavy images are: the ocean, sound waves, curly fries, wavy hair, a worm…
  • One of the adults in the room scribes a list of the ideas shared and if comfortable with drawing this list can include drawings as well.

     2. Wave in the body or body wave (10 minutes):

Teaching artist tells the class that now we’re going to make waves with our bodies quietly first and we can add a layer of sound later on. If you need help remembering all kinds of waves you can always look back at the list we created, new waves are also welcome. If we made drawings these can inform the quality of our movements.

  • Write the word “wave” in the air. Choose one part of your body, it can be your finger, your head, your eyes, nose, elbow, any part that is safe for you and allows you to keep your balance. try different parts of the body, different tempos, levels and movement qualities.
  • Now that we feel more comfortable exploring waves in silence we can add a layer of sound to our exploration. Our bodies can make sound by using our voice or making percussive sounds with hands and feet. Be aware of volume this time.

Reflection – these ideas are very clever. Were you surprised by anything on this list? Were you expecting a larger or a shorter list?

Transition into Activity

  • From proscenium style to small groups we can transition making sounds of ocean waves

Transition out of Activity

  • From small group to full group circle we can transition using slow tempo and one movement quality from the list.

Classroom Arrangement

 We will begin the class sitting in proscenium style, transition to small small groups and end in a full group circle.

Supports/Adaptive Materials/Tools

  • Smart board to scribe list of waves and drawings of waves can support choice making when exploring movement qualities 
  • TA can bring a poster board featuring the key words: tempo, movement quality, levels, volume. To support choice making.
  • Students who are less verbal or non Verbal can share their truth using movement qualities inspired in the previous exploration.
  • Students can explore this activity by movement and/or soundscape.

Role of the Teachers and Paraprofessionals

  • Scribers of wave list
  • Taking pictures for documentation 
  • Floating and supporting students as needed 
  • Leading small groups in the moving exploration.

Art forms


25 mins