Great K-2 Dances!
VTAHPERD November 2015
Susan Barnard (retired) K-2 Physical Education, Barre Town Middle and Elementary School, Barre, Vermont: E mail:
[email protected] Home phone: 802 485 4691
Laura Thygesen K-2 Physical Education, Barre Town Middle and Elementary School, Barre, Vermont E mail:
[email protected] School phone: 476 6617 ext:6247
1. Scarf Dance/Car Wash-scarf
2. Celebration – paper plates, zoo pals, portraits
3. Mexican Hat Dance (La Raspa) with assessment
4. Chicken Dance with a chicken coop
5. Jimmy Crack Corn-circle
6. Highland Gates-circle
7. Apples, Apples, Apples
8. Oh! Suzanna-circle
9. Bingo-circle grand right and left
10. Kindergarten Reel-contra
11. Virginia Reel-contra
12. Basketball dance
13. Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight
National Standards
Standard #1 The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.
Standard #2 The physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement
and performance.
Standard #4 The physically literate individual exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others.
Teaching Tips that will make your dance unit successful:
Have right and left signs posted on your gym walls, use hair ties for right wrists to quickly identify right and left, have tape
marks on the floor, blue for boy and green for girl, have lines and circles on the floor, remote control music, Ipods or Ipads all
downloaded so you can find the music fast, access to portable microphone.
Other suggestions:
Dance is a great way to “show off” what the students have been learning in physical education class. It is fun to have a day
that parents, grandparents and special friends are invited to come to school to dance with the children or watch their child
perform during their physical education class. The children will design the lesson and can be the “teachers” with the parents.
Invite a “professional” square/folk dance caller and/or band in as a guest. Do a daytime special event.
Take your class to a nursing home on Valentine’s Day and dance for the residences. Have students make Valentines for the
residences and have a “true visit” with the folks that live there. Your classroom teacher or music teacher can also join in and
have a special song and poems.
Turn your dance unit into a circus show for young children. Children can dance and do other creative problem solving and
cooperative activities. Also use props such as scarves, paper plates or wands when the children dance. They love to dance with
a manipulative.
1. Scarf dance. Grade level K-1. (The World is a Rainbow music). Parade into gym in a line, a scarf between each
child’s hands. End in a line, the teacher on the end. Everyone continues to hold the scarves and lifts arms up. Teacher begins
to weave under the arms, each student follows until all have weaved. Continue to walk into a circle. Once in a circle, 2
students next to each other let go scarves and these 2 leaders walk forward inside the circle while the rest of the students, who
are all connected follow. The leaders walk to the outside of the circle to rejoin with the other leader (one goes right, one goes
Car Wash (with music): Transition to 2 parallel lines, each child with 2 scarves (or ribbons, pom/poms, etc)-one in each
hand. Wave scarves up and down. 2 students at the end of the line then “drive” (dance) through the car wash to the opposite
end. The line moves down and then the next set of leaders on the end go through. Ring a triangle when you want the next
leaders to go.
2. Celebration. Dance with paper plates, Zoo Pals on a paint stick, and/or art project like a self portrait. Students
create their own routines.
3. La Raspa. (Mexican Hat dance) Grade level 1-5, Grade 2 Assessment.
Music Source: Folk Dance Fun (slower speed Mexican Hat Dance used for assessment), Kimbo Educational P.O. Box 477,
Long Branch, NJ 07740, Phone: 1-800-631-2187
Music source: Faster music of La Raspa: “ Parachute Activities with Folk Dance Music” Kimbo Educational
One can use the dance in a self-space or with a parachute. We introduce this at grade one with the slower version and by grade
two they start the faster music. Parachute is used only with the faster music, but not for testing purposes.
Prerequisite skills:
Bleking steps with alternating heel taps
Exploring various rhythms, be familiar with the La Raspa Dance.
Assessment Task:
In self-space students will be able to perform the dance steps to the music without teacher cues to the
Assessment Criteria:
Alternative heel taps to the beat (right, left, right)
Clap to the beat
Move in the general space under control during the chorus
Can transition smoothly during all parts of the dance.
Performance Scores:
4 = Exceeds the Standard: Meets all of the criteria consistently without teacher cues
3 = Meets the Standard: Meets 3-4 of the above criteria (with or without teacher cues)
2 = Progressing Toward Standard: Meets 2 of the criteria (with or without teacher cues)
1 = Needs support: 1 or less of criteria met
Mexican Hat Dance (La Raspa) with and without the Parachute:
Part 1: (Bleking step) Hop on left foot, point the right heel forward, hop on right foot point the left heel forward, hop on the left foot,
point the right heel forward, (or right-left-right-hold)
This is done a total of 8 times, without the parachute clap twice with the “hold”. With the parachute shake two times.
Part 2: (chorus) Without the parachute, skip in curved pathways, grapevine right and left, right/left elbow swing, and/or promenade.
Part 2 with the parachute: Merry-go-round with skipping right and left hands. Umbrella (2 Times), Mushroom, Inside the mountain at
the end.
4. Chicken Dance. Music source: Chicken Dance on I-Tunes, Grade K-2
Set up: two hoops in the front of the gym, one with a green X for the girl chicken and blue X for the boy chicken. This is the chicken
coop. Each time the teacher chooses two new chickens to be in the coop to lead the dance.
During the verse, introducing various square dancing terminology with partner (i.e. honor, right and left elbow swing, promenade, dosi-do, slide with a partner, both hands around, train). This is all done in the general space with the partner.
5. Jimmy Crack Corn (K-1). Music Source: “Kidding Around with Greg and Steve” Kimbo Educational P.O. Box 477,
Long Branch, NJ 07740, Phone: 1-800-631-2187
Also Amazon Prime has a lot of these on their web site! Free shipping if you have prime!!
This is a very simple singing circle dance that helps the children with right and left and holding hands making a circle. The following
skills will be learned; right and left hands, both hands, circle right and circle left. I have blue tape marks for boys and green for girls to
get the circle organized quickly. Just listen to the music and sing along with the children and it will tell you what to do. Children
will need to learn how you respectfully hold another student's hand and how to circle as a group. Very easy.
6. Highland Gates. Amidon music, K-5
-choose one student to start in the middle, “go all around the circle” means that student skips around the inside of
the circle (the outside circle claps hands).
-hands joined “go up and down the ladder” means take 4 small steps in, 4 small steps back (repeat) (leader just
stands in the middle
-”go in and out the windows” everyone puts their arms up while still holding hands. The two people in the middle
then go in and out of the windows (weave around circle) until the song says "til the highland gates are closed"
-when it says "kneel down and face a partner" everyone claps and the one person in the middle kneels down and
faces a partner of their choice with one hand out (asking with a gesture).
-“swing round and round your partner” only the middle people (now 2 people)do a right elbow swing around with
their partner
-then it starts over, but with 2 in the middle skipping around.
7. Apples, Apples, Apples Mixer-Circle dance, Grade 1-5
Music Source: All of the Seasons by: Ken Whiteley “Apples, Apples, Apples”
Distributed by Alcazar Productions P.O. Box 429, Waterbury, Vt. 05676
Couples, in circle formation
Promenade position- boys on inside of circle
Promenadeand walk around the circle
Stop and face partner- boys have back to center of circle. Girls will now stay in this spot for rest of dance; boys will move to new
partner every time
Right finger pads
Stretch& bow or curtsy
Elbow to elbow
Boy walks around the girl
Girl puts left hand on boy’s back, gently pushes him forward to next partner
Clap and sing- 2 thigh slaps, 2 hand claps, 2 partner claps, 1 hand clap (Apples, apples, I like picking apples), repeat: Key idea for
kids to remember how to clap, tell the children the phone number is 2,2,2, 1
Repeat, stretch-elbow-stretch…
8. Oh! Suzanna Grades 1-4
Music Source: Square Dances Made Easy. Musicians: Buzz Glass, Jack Capon, Rosemary Hallum, Kimbo Educational,
Formation: One big circle with partner’s identified, teacher calls dance
In, 2, 3, stomp, back 2, 3 stomp, do-si-do your partner, Do-si-do your corner, right elbow swing your partner, promenade with your
partner singing song, strum banjo during the musical part, repeat.
Music source: Album “Around the World In Dance” by Henry “Buzz” and Rosemary Hallum
Perfect for teaching the grand right and left for grade 2, and up.
Promenade: singing: “A big black dog sat on the porch and Bingo was his name” (repeat) (or some sing it like: there was a farmer
who had a dog and Bingo was his name) Circle to the right, singing, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O and Bingo was his name,
Grand right and left, Promenade, back to the beginning. Note: If you end up “lost” go to the center and you will find a new partner.
10. Kindergarten Reel, Grades K-1, by Peter Amidon from NEDM’s Listen to the Mockingbird Music: Part of
Yankee Doodle, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and the A music of any favorite jig. OR Use NEDM's "Kindergarten
Reel" music.
Formation: Longways set for 6-8 couples
Actions: Three steps (more or less) forward and stop. Three steps back to place and stop. Two hand turn, once or twice
around. When the music stops go back to place. First couple sashay down the middle, back to the top, cast off alone and
walk to the bottom of the set. The rest of the dancers clap to the music. Now each dancer steps up to the head of the set,
moved up one place. Repeat dance with the new top couple. By the second or third time through the dance the children
will need no verbal prompting.
11. Virginia Reel, Grade 2 and up
Words and YouTube found here: Virginia Reel internet directions:
Also found on the following U tube:
12. Basketball Dance
Basketball: CD “Square Dance Made Easy”, Formation: Square Dance Set
Basketball words: Words are on the song, so easy to teach, but review the following terms before you begin.
High 5 your partners, High 5 your corners, head couples (1 and 3) dribble in to the center, side couples, (2 and 4) dribble in to the
center, allemande L your corner, do-si-do your partner, slap, clap and shoot, (teach a real set-shot in self-space, proper holding of the
ball) “ready” have your toes moving and wave your arms in the air, slap, clap and chest pass, (from the chest, thumbs down as you
release), Ending, slap, clap and bounce pass, (really teach the motions of how you do a bounce pass, thumbs down as you release the
ball, starting at the chest and step). This song repeats itself three times. The students really enjoy doing the basketball dance. Do not
do with balls, as you cannot hear the calls. Sometimes you have to repeat what the caller is saying also. Your microphone will come
in handy.
13. Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight
Music Source: (CD) “Square Dancing Made Easy” (Order at Kimbo 1 800 631 2187)
Kimbo Educational, P.O. Box 477, Long Branch, NJ 07740
This CD is great for starting up your dance unit.
Square-Dance: Grade 2 and up, (teach BINGO first for grand right and left concept)
4 couples, in square dance set
Go to the web site and you can hear samples of the music. Words are included within the material that you order.
Skills/Concepts: home, partner, corner, honor, swing, promenade, circle left, allemande left, star right, grand right and left, do-si-do

Great K-2 Dances Music files - Susan Barnard