Physical Education—Colonial Dance Lesson

Students will learn a colonial dance from 1814 when The Star-Spangled Banner was written.  Students will first watch several videos of children performing colonial dances and then learn the dances.  Students can perform the dances in their Physical Education classes or as a part of the school assembly.
1. Discuss with students that they will be learning a dance from 1814 (when The Star-Spangled Banner was written) and that learning about and performing a dance will help them to better the culture in the United States at this time.
2. Watch two videos of students performing colonial dances.  Have students listen carefully to the music and songs and notice the clothing worn by the performers.
3. Students will learn a dance to Yankee Doodle.  Start by teaching the steps in small sections, at a slow speed, and with the teacher clapping the pulse.  Repeat each section and then add on the next section.  Gradually speed up the tempo (speed) as the students become comfortable with the steps.  Once they are up to speed and know the steps, they can dance to the actual music.
4. Students will learn the terms for the dance steps, focus on keeping a steady beat with the music, and working with their partners.  The final performance can be for their teacher, as an invitation to the principal or available faculty, or performed at the school’s assembly.
5th grade colonial dance
Colonial dance camp
How to dance a country dance/tune Yankee Doodle
Resources: Spotify-Yankee Doodle, Alabama Gal
Amazon-Chimes of Dunkirk book and cd
National Physical Education Standards
1. Physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.
2. Physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.
3. Physically literate individual demonstrates the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain health-enhancing level of physical activities and fitness.
4. Physically literate individual exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others.
5. Physically literate individual recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, and/or social interaction.