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Goin’ On a Dino Hunt Lesson Plan

Author: Machaela Burt

Year: 2015-2016

Artform: Music

Subjects: Language Arts

Grade: Kindergarten

Duration: 30 minutes

Overview: Music/movement session that asks students to act out (define) common verbs and then practice playing different verbs (walking, running, etc.) on simple percussion instruments.

Standards and Objectives

Students will develop a sense of self;

Develop and use skills to communicate ideas, information and feelings; (A). Identify and express ideas, information, and feelings in a variety of ways (e.g., draw, paint, tell stories, play, make believe, dance, sing).
With guidance and support from adults, explore word relationships and nuances in word meanings; (D). Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs describing the same general action (e.g., walk, march, strut, prance) by acting out the meanings.
  • Students will understand that the meaning of a word (particularly verbs) can be shown through body movement and actions.
  • Students will understand that they can communicate thoughts and ideas through movement.



(Stand up time)

Explain to students that they are going on an adventure in a jungle today. Ask students: “What are some sounds/sights you would find in a jungle?” Have students stand (I do this with singing “It’s time to stand up” to the tune of Happy Birthday, and the students know they have to be ready by the time I’m done singing).


Chant the following, as students learn it, ask them to join in with you:

“We’re going on a dino (or whatever you want to hunt in your jungle) hunt! Going to find a big one! Are you afraid? NO! Uh-oh...What’s up ahead?”

At this point ask students what could be in our way, make sure their responses are something that you would find in a jungle.

Ask students how we could possibly get past this obstacle (and be ready for some REALLY creative answers).

Once students have determined how they’re going to get around it (jump, climb, chop, etc.) have them demonstrate the movement and then repeat it as a class. Here are a few examples:

  • Mud - Gotta squish through it.
  • Sticks - Gotta crunch over them.
  • Trees - Gotta climb over them.
  • Grass - Gotta swish through it.
  • Cave - Gotta feel through it.

At the end, find you dinosaur (or whatever you were hunting) and run back through the jungle! (This is my students favorite part) Open the door to your house, run up the stairs, hide under the bed and wait for mom and dad to get home to take care of the dino.


(Sit down time)

Distribute small instruments (or use body percussion). I lead the students in a few rounds of “Listen, listen, listen to my rhythm” where I play a simple pattern and they have to repeat it back (my turn - your turn).

  • Ask students how this pattern would change if we were trying to sneak (play softer and slower)
  • How would it change if we were trying to wake up our sister (loud)
  • How would it change if we were sad? Happy? Mad? Frustrated, etc.

Go through a variety of emotions with students to see how they would change the way they play their rhythms.


Have students put away their instruments (if using and guide them through the following questions:

  • Can we use our bodies to show what we want to do?
  • Can we use our bodies to help other people know what to do?
  • How?
  • How can we change the way we play our instruments to show what we’re feeling?

This lesson provides reinforcement with understanding verbs and their meanings through movement and acting (theatre) and reinforces listening skills as well as provides a foundation for rhythmic accuracy (music).
  • How can we use our bodies to communicate?
  • How can we use music to show how we are feeling?
  • Have students repeat rhythms back in small groups.
  • Bring in visual aides of the jungle (I posted dinosaurs and pictures around the room and we called it our “museum”)
  • Vary the length of rhythms and the depth of feelings.
  • Communicate
  • Rhythm
  • Verb
  • Students will be formatively assessed: Students will demonstrate their understanding of common verbs (walk, stomp, run, squish, feel,etc.) by creating movements that showcase the definition of the verb as the whole class participates in a movement exercise.
  • Students will be formatively assessed: Students will demonstrate active listening skills by repeating simple, teacher-created rhythm patterns in a whole class echo activity.


  • Small percussion instruments (if you don’t have these, you can just use body percussion).