This structured inquiry math lesson focuses on patterns and graphing. It can be used either in math or in a
Science unit on the processes of science, including observation, questioning, classifying, timing, making predictions, formulating explanations, and communicating results.
In this investigation, students observe dance clips and identify that a dance routine is a repeating pattern of movements. Teams of students then create their own routine of dance moves. They translate their dance moves to a numerical series by assigning a number to each move, there by connecting the number of dance steps in their number series to the period of a repeating pattern. The number of movements in the designed dance routine is considered the period. Teams will repeat the dance moves in their routine (the period) in order to create a pattern that will end with a song they have chosen. Students will be able to determine mathematically how many periods (repeats) will be required to fill the song.
Students investigate the question, “How do changes in the period affect the pattern?” Students are given parameters for the dance moves. By exploring different combinations of moves and the time it takes to perform a single routine (the repetition of the pattern, aka the period) , students determine how many times the period must be repeated within the duration of their chosen song to generate the overall dance pattern for the song. The exploration engages students in discussion of multiples, division, and remainders. The students analyze data generated from the actual dance presentation to answer the inquiry question. Using a line graph and an analysis of continued repetitions of the period, they learn to predict a given element of the pattern that occurs beyond the visible graphed data.
Download the Dance Lesson Plan.