If you are looking for a book that is sure to put a smile on your face and a jiggle in your soul, you’ve got to read How Do You Dance? by Thyra Heder. Every page shows people of all ages tapping, jumping, dabbing and shimmying around in their own style. Their fluid movements are so lively, you could almost imagine them dancing off the pages.
The fun begins on the front endpapers, where readers will enjoy checking out the dance moves of a diverse group of people. They’ll find more people striking dance poses on the back endpapers. Some double-page spreads are dedicated to showing a dance move that begins on the left side of the book and progresses to the right side. These images have a flip book feel to them where we see a series of static images move across the page.
Readers will recognize some of the moves in this book. They’ll want to try some of the new dances. Which one makes you want to move?
AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Explore/Think V.B.2 Learners construct new knowledge by persisting through self-directed pursuits by tinkering and making.
Thyra Heder watched a lot of videos of people dancing in order to illustrate her book. Invite learners to take several pictures of someone dancing. Ask them to practice drawing stick figures that move like the person in their photos. They can transfer their new skills in stick figure drawing to create a flip book. Click here to see an example by Pip Francis in the YouTube movie Stick figure flip book.
If you like these lesson ideas, please take a look at our book, Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades. This resource includes ready-to-go lesson plans that meet the standards. Worksheets, assessments and rubrics are included.