Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


The arts are a defining part of our personal culture and history as well as a means to understand and experience global culture and history. According to the New York State Social Studies Curriculum, kindergarteners should be developing self-awareness and growing as individuals; teaching these concepts, through the arts, helps students answer basic questions about themselves and others. In order to address the scarcity of accessible resources, this thesis project creates and explores how to incorporate both creative dance and cultural dance into kindergarten social studies curriculum while addressing the kindergarten NYS Social Studies standards. The creative lesson plans (included in the Appendices) provide educators, with or without a background in dance, an accessible way to use dance to help students explore their own unique qualities as well as similarities and commonalities to others. The objective of the unit was twofold. First, the students received instruction in creative dance and second, they viewed and learned a dance from another culture. The active research was conducted in a rural district in Western New York, in a general education kindergarten classroom with ten participants. The unit plans include six, 30 minute lessons. Pre and post questionnaires and field notes were analyzed and study conclusions include the observation that while the unit of instruction was effective, more time is required, developmentally and experientially, for students at this level to realize the full benefit of dance as part of the social studies curriculum.


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