Dances for an Expanding Universe Workshops for Students
The sun is in me,
pale morning flames
setting my still-sleeping
heart alight.

The moon is in me,
sad silver beams
painting my dreams
with shadows.

From The Sun in Me
by Moira Andrew

Learning Activities: Grades 5 – 8

Newton’s Laws of Motion / The Gravity Dance Improvisation - Activity #2

Description of Learning Activity
Students will:
  • Create a simple Gravity Dance Structured Improvisation based on Newton’s Laws of Inertia, and Universal Gravitation.
  • Use their bodies to kinesthetically communicate concepts related to Newton’s First Law of Motion and Universal Gravitation.
  • Make a connection between the dance concepts of kinesphere, spatial awareness, and pathway to communicate information about gravity and orbiting masses.

Next Generation Science Standards
  • MS-PS2-1. Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
  • MS-PS2-2. Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object. 
  • MS-ESS1-2. Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system.

​National Core Dance Standards
  • Anchor Standard 10: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art. Investigate two contrasting topics using a variety of research methods. Identify and organize ideas to create representative movement phrases. Create a dance study exploring the contrasting ideas. Discuss how the research informed the choreographic process and deepens understanding of the topics.

​Common Core State Standards
  • ELA/Literacy –RST.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions 
  • WHST.6-8.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related,
  • focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
  • Mathematics –MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively. 

Go to The Stop & Go Structured  Improvisation - Activity #1

Go to Our Solar System / Theme and Variation - Activity #3

Copyright S. Harlan Brownlee: No copying or other reproduction of this work allowed without the express written permission of the author, ©2014.