Maths in Motion Workbook is the 1st intellectual output of Maths in Motion project and collects all the existed activities and research on specific mathematical areas in connection with movement. The 3 mathematical areas are: Sense of Space; from 2D to 3D, Mathematical Operations and Patterns. The materials are free to be used and shared.

Creative team: Lena Nasiakou (lenasiakou@gmail.com), Svetlana Goranova (sveta@zabavnamatematika.com), Kristofer Fenyvesi (fenyvesi.kristof@gmail.com), Despoina Rafailidou (despoina.raf@gmail.com)

ACTIVITIES | Patterns

Clap your name

Source: Math dance - Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern


The goal of the activity “Clap your name” is to introduce the idea of rhythmic patterns while spelling our own names. During the whole session students have to figure out in pairs when will their first name letters will be pronounced at the same time again when spelled simultaneously. For children 4-5 grade the perception of least common multiple can be taught. The session consists of group exercise and pair exercise.

Libera Rhythm cards

Source: Libera Insitute


The goal of the activity “Libera Rhythm cards” is to introduce the idea of rhythmic patterns while using our body and voice. During the whole session students have to play a certain rhythm given by single and double strokes of certain colours, which correspond to specific moves and sounds. The session consists of group exercise.

Patterns attributes

Source: Malke Rosenfeld


In this video Malke Rosenfeld is showing how she is teaching maths and percussive dance at the same time. The students in her class are creating their own patterns and the maths itself is describing their patterns. While going through a creative process of percussive dancing the students build spatial vocabulary which is useful both for maths and dance. In the last part of the class the students transform their original work by using reflection symmetry. Like this they represent their understanding of reflection symmetry in the context of percussive dance.

The Penguin dance

Source: Center for Fun Maths - resources


The activity is part of the etno-mathematics area of research. The goal of the activity is to introduce the idea of patterns using international song. The dance consists of a certain pattern, which involves movement of legs while everyone involved is part of “train”. The session involves group exercise.

Patterns in Bulgarian national folk dances

Source: Bulgarian ethno dances collection


The activity is part of the etno-mathematics area of research. The goal of the activity is to introduce the idea of patterns using national Bulgarian dances. The dance consists of a certain pattern, which involves movement of legs while everyone involved is part of a circle. The session involves group exercise.

Tick tack clock pattern

Source: Center for Fun Maths - resources


The goal of the activity is to introduce the idea of patterns in the clock mechanismus. This is achieved by a simulation of the second hand movement around the ciferblat, where students play roles of seconds. Later on in the same way the minute hand is introduces. The session involves group exercise.

RESEARCH | Patterns

Bharatanatyam and mathematics: Teaching geometry through dance

Source: Kalpana, I. M. (2015). Bharatanatyam and mathematics: Teaching geometry through dance. Journal of Fine and Studio Art, 5(2), 6.


Bharatanatyam is a highly codified and schematized Asian Indian style of classical dance that accommodates the different kinds of learners. This dance is culturally relevant to Asian Indian American students, but the findings are applicable to students from other demographics that are interested in learning math through dance. Many Asian Indian students learn Bharatanatyam for cultural maintenance and preservation. Dance is also a beneficial medium to teach basic geometric shapes to young children because dance is an engaging art curriculum that can be used in schools. This mixed methods study informed by categorical content analysis is designed to recommend a framework for exploring how Asian Indian students can learn basic geometric shapes through Bharatanatyam. The study investigates dance movements called adavus, cultural relevance, and integration of elements from dance and geometry and the implementation of alternate strategies such as dance instruction to teach and learn basic geometric shapes. The data analysis revealed the benefits of dance and math integration.

Discovering the Art of Mathematics: Dance

Source: Discovering the Art of Mathematics: Dance by Christine von Renesse with Volker Ecke, Julian F. Fleron, and Philip K. Hotchkiss


The learning guide “Discovering the Art of Mathematics: Dance” lets you, the explorer, investigate connections between mathematical ideas and concepts and dance related ideas and patterns. Moving in symmetry will lead to classifying types of symmetry and Frieze patterns. Dancing Salsa Rueda allows you to explore combinatorial ideas, while Contra Dancing will link with group theory and permutations. You will discover topological ideas while playing with different positions in Partner Salsa Dancing and use Maypole dancing to investigate fundamental domains and create beautiful geometric patterns.

Body Motion and Graphing

Source: Nemirovsky, R., Tierney, C., & Wright, T. (1998). Body Motion and Graphing. Cognition and Instruction, 16(2), 119–172.


The article introduces the analysis of how 2 students used a computer-based motion detector in the context of individual interviews. Although 1 student's work is exemplified through transcript and commentary, the themes and discussions have evolved from the study of both students' work with the motion detector as they interacted with the interviewer. The analysis reveals 3 themes: tool perspectives, fusion, and graphical spaces. Both students developed tool perspectives that enabled them to plan how to move so that they could create and interpret graphs by kinesthetic actions. The theme of fusion explores their emergent ways of talking, acting, and gesturing that do not distinguish between symbols and referents. Graphical spaces reflect our account of episodes in which a change in how they used the motion detector prompted them to investigate the tool anew. Our conclusions contribute to a reconceptualization of the nature of symbolizing, the learning of graphing, and the links between children's and scientists' graphing.

Every body move: learning mathematics through embodied actions

Source: Petrick, C. J. (2012). Every body move: learning mathematics through embodied actions. Dissertation. The University of Texas at Austin.


Giving students opportunities to ground mathematical concepts in physical activity has potential to develop conceptual understanding. This study examines the role direct embodiment, an instructional strategy in which students act out concepts, plays in learning mathematics. The author compares two conditions of high school geometry students learning about similarity. The embodied condition participated in eight direct embodiment activities in which the students represented mathematical concepts and explored them through their movements.

Multi-Sensory Informatics Education

Source: Katai, Z., Toth, L., S.C. Neogen S.A., & Adorjani, A. K. (2014). Multi-Sensory Informatics Education. Informatics in Education, 13(2), 225–240.


A recent report by the joint Informatics Europe & ACM Europe Working Group on Informatics Education emphasizes that: (1) computational thinking is an important ability that all people should possess; (2) informatics-based concepts, abilities and skills are teachable, and must be included in the primary and particularly in the secondary school curriculum. Accordingly, the “2013 Best Practices in Education Award” (organized by Informatics Europe) was devoted to initiatives promoting Informatics Education in Primary and Secondary Schools. This paper presents one of the winning projects: “Multi-Sensory Informatics Education”. The authors have developed effective multi-sensory methods and software-tools to improve the teaching-learning process of elementary, sorting and recursive algorithms. The technologically and artistically enhanced learning environment presented has also the potential to promote intercultural computer science education and the algorithmic thinking of both science- and humanities-oriented learners.

Teaching the Perpendicular Bisector: A Kinesthetic Approachn

Source: Touval, A. (2011). Teaching the Perpendicular Bisector: A Kinesthetic Approach. The Mathematics Teacher, 105(4), 269–273.


Through movement—a welcome change of pace—students explore the properties of the perpendicular bisector.

Math in motion: Wiggle, gallop, and leap with numbers

Source: Franco, B., & Dauler, D. (2000). Math in Motion: Wiggle, Gallop, and Leap With Numbers. Creative Teaching Press, Incorporated.


Children jump, gallop, wiggle, and leap as they count, measure, estimate, create patterns, skip-count, add, subtract, name shapes, tell time, and work with money. This resource includes over 40 math-and-movement activities, a variety of reproducibles, an assessment checklist, playful chants, and a list of recommended music and literature links.

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