Performing Arts

In this lesson, students will learn about different forms of art, and they will create and role-play a show.

0-30 min.


  • Review: this lesson plan and choose what you need from the Teacher Support box.

  • If necessary, pre-teach these related vocabulary words: traditional, show, performance, recital, concert, play, gymnastic, attract, talent, theater art, variety show, act.

  • Consider the abilities and backgrounds of all your students and decide when and how to introduce and differentiate lesson content, activities, or concepts.


  • Ask the students if they have seen a performance, such as a puppet show, concert, or gymnastic show, then ask if they have ever performed in a dance recital, play, or concert.

  • Discuss where these types of performances take place and ask the students to describe what they know about these places.

  • Talk about different kinds of music and dance that come from different parts of the world (e.g., the Dragon Dance is a traditional Chinese dance that is often performed during Chinese New Year celebrations).

  • Tell the students that you are going to read the beginning of a story about a group of people who are preparing STEAM Park for its daily visitors. You can show them the inspiration photos or use the figures to act out the scene.

  • Read the following story aloud:

Parker, the park manager, wants to create a new show for visitors to enjoy. He asks his neighbor, Ms. Engels and her grandson Arty and Arty’s friends – Sienna, Matt, and Teresa to help.

“Hello everyone, I need your help. Not very many people come to watch the show anymore. I want to create something very entertaining that’ll attract a lot of visitors,” Parker said.

“We could each use our special talents to create a variety show that would interest all of the visitors,” Arty said.

“What’s a variety show?” Matt asked.

“A variety show is a show that has a lot of different acts. For example, one act could include a song and dance, and another act could include some magic tricks,” Arty explained.

“I want to perform an animal trainer act! My cat can do a lot of tricks!” Sienna said.

“I’ll balance on a tightrope!” Teresa said.

“My uncle from Mexico showed me a video of a traditional mariachi song, and I’ll perform it in the show,” Matt said.

“This will be the best show ever!” Parker said.


  • Ask the students to build a stage or a set for a performance.

  • Consider asking questions like:

    • What do your performers need in order to do their acts?
    • What does your audience need in order to watch the show?


  • Ask the students to use the figures to act out a performance and have them take turns watching each other’s shows.

  • Tell the students there are different ways to respond to a performance and discuss the appropriate ways to respond.


  • Inspire the students with examples of different types of costumes, props, dance, music, and visual art from around the world. Explain that these were created by people belonging to different cultures in other parts of the world.

  • Give the students craft materials and have them create backgrounds for the show and costumes for the characters (e.g., masks with feathers and glitter). Add music and lights and ask students to perform the shows again.

  • You can also have the students draw pictures or discuss the different shows they have watched during this lesson or outside of the classroom.

Did you notice?

  • Ask guiding questions to elicit students’ thinking and their decisions while ideating and building.

Observation Checklist

  • Review the learning objectives and success criteria addressed in this lesson (Teacher Support box).

  • Use the following checklist to observe students’ progress:

    • Students speak loudly enough to be heard by their peers.
    • Students use the figures to clearly express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas during their performance.
    • Students can dictate or draw their interpretation of another student’s performance and describe how they felt about it.

Teacher Support

Students will:

  • Learn about different kinds of performances
  • Create their own act for a show
  • Present or role-play their act

STEAM Park set

Craft materials (e.g., construction paper, feathers, glitter, glue)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.6 Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.3 Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.