How can we add enthusiasm to a mini-lesson on states of matter? Dance moves!!

I learned a fun trick at MSI to add some spice to a mini-lesson on states of matter/phases of matter. In addition to illustrating or creating models representing the particles in each state of matter, this week my middle schoolers and I added dance moves in efforts to take a whole brain approach to learning.

Dancing is an engaging approach to teaching science, which allows my kinesthetic learners to thrive by incorporating movement to make physical associations with each state. This week, it is OK to have ants in our pants when channeling our inner Beyonce, Jay and Silent Bob, and even Tyra Banks when playing states of matter freeze dance. I often use pop culture to my advantage! Rather than associating celebrities you can associate popular dance moves to help students make connections like the Harlem Shake for a gas and the Dougie for a liquid…Anything to build on background knowledge and to make connections. You know your students best.


When dancing like the particles of a gas, we think of Beyonce performing single ladies- lots of motion! Those particles are full of energy, bouncing around, spreading to take the shape of their container.


When dancing like the particles of a liquid, my students and I slow it down like Jay and Silent Bob. Particles in a liquid can slide past one another.

jay and silent bob

Gifs from: http://www.funnyordie.com

Last, but not least, we froze or struck a pose like as solid! Make sure to emphasize that the particles are not completely frozen. There is slight motion, but we stood in place like the particles in a solid to keep a definite shape.


Learn about whole brain teaching here…http://www.wholebrainteaching.com/

I’ve also attached a link to a great BrainPop video to support our visual and audio  learners! BrainPop has great interactive quizzes that can be played whole group as trivia or completed individual to assess comprehension. http://glencoe.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/dl/free/0078741858/164155/00044682.html

-Ms. G


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