EL Support Lesson

Dancing Directions

In this fun lesson plan, your students will love learning all about describing location using games, stories, and dancing! This can be used as a stand alone or pre-lesson for the **Where is It?** lesson plan.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Where Is It? lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Where Is It? lesson plan.

Students will be able to describe objects using the names of shapes and describe the relative position of objects.


Students will be to explain position to a peer using the terms: above, below, beside, in front of, next to, and behind.

(3 minutes)
  • Gather students together for the lesson.
  • Introduce the book, Bug Dance by going on a brief picture walk with the class.
  • Explain that today you are going to learn about position words. Positional words are words like "behind," "next to," or "in front of," and they help explain to others where something might be or where to move.
(10 minutes)
  • Read aloud the story.
  • Pause throughout the story to emphasize the position words and review their definitions using the Vocabulary Cards and Glossary as needed.
  • Invite students to point or gesture to practice identifying the direction being referenced.
  • Ask students to stand up and to try the bug dance together. Read the directions and encourage the class to try all of the moves (providing guidance regarding vocabulary words as needed).
(5 minutes)
  • Draw or display several 2D shapes on the board.
  • Ask students to turn and talk to share with a partner the names of different shapes.
  • Using the shapes on the board, briefly review shape names and attributes.
  • Explain to students that you are going to play a game called Simon Says. Then, introduce the rules to the game (e.g., if the direction begins with "Simon says" then students should follow, if not they should stay still, if they move by mistake they should sit down then start again at the next set of directions).
  • Model how to play using the shape cards (e.g., if the direction says to stand behind a square, place the square on the ground and stand behind it).
  • Pass out one set of shape cards to each student, then ask them to stand up.
  • Play 1-2 rounds of Simon Says using the target vocabulary words from this lesson and the 2D shape cards. For example, "Simon says to step in front of your triangle."
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that students will now get to play Simon Says with a partner using their shape cards and direction words, taking turns being Simon.
  • Post the vocabulary cards as a visual cue for students to reference as needed.
  • Pair students together and send off to play indpendently.


  • Work with students in a small teacher-led group to practice describing location using additional games or dances.


  • Instruct students to create their own dance, then teach the dance to a partner using the direction words to describe the position of their body throughout the dance.
(5 minutes)
  • Take anecdotal notes and photographs throughout the lesson to capture student thinking. When the class has ended, post student quotes and images to a process board. Ask students to share what they learned and what they see their classmates doing in the images.
  • Assess student learning by asking guiding questions throughout the lesson. For example, "What does above mean? How do you know? Can you show me?"
(2 minutes)
  • Gather the class back together and ask, "Which position word was your favorite to use in the game?"
  • Play one last round of Simon Says or review the bug dance as a group to close out the lesson.

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