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 | Sense of space; from 2D to 3D

Triangles with bodies

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


The activity explores the basic shape triangle through different elements of our bodies (legs, hands,fingers, whole body). The session involves individual exercise, as well as group exercise. During the session students learn different types of triangles, explore their qualities and learn to move from one triangle to another another in an engaging activity with his team members. In the end a performance part is included.

Translation/Sliding symmetry. Follow the leader.

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


The activity explores one of the 4 main symmetries - the translation or sliding symmetry through different elements of our bodies (legs, hands, direction of movement). The session involves group exercise, where one is the leader and the others are the followers. In the end of the session every group presents a dance made up of certain movements of this symmetry. In the end a reflection part is included.

Rotational symmetry. Follow the leader.

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


The activity explores one of the 4 main symmetries - the rotation symmetry through different elements of our bodies (legs, hands, direction of movement). The session involves group exercise, where one is the leader and the others are the followers. In the end of the session every group presents a dance made up of certain movements of this symmetry. In the end a reflection part is included.

Mirror symmetry. Follow the leader.

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


The activity explores one of the 4 main symmetries - the mirror symmetry through different elements of our bodies (legs, hands, direction of movement). The session involves group exercise, where one is the leader and the others are the followers. In the end of the session every group presents a dance made up of certain movements of this symmetry. In the end a reflection part is included.

Move a shape in space

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


The activity serves as a warm up or energizing activity in between another activity. During the activity students show physically using hands imaginary shapes and hand them in a circle to their classmates.

Symmetrical or not

Source: Maths & Moves training course


The activity explores the 4 main symmetries - rotation, mirror, glide and translation symmetry through different elements of our bodies (legs, hands, direction of movement). The session involves group exercise, where one is the leader and the others are the followers. Every leader is associated with a certain symmetry. During the activity, everyone from the group becomes a leader and leads the others following a different symmetry. In the end of the session every group presents a dance made up of certain movements of their symmetries. In the end a reflection part is included.

Exploring pyramids

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


The activity explores the pyramid through different elements of our bodies (legs, hands,fingers, whole body) in pairs and groups of 6. During the session students learn about the triangular and quadratic pyramid, explore their qualities in an engaging activity with his team members. In the end a performance part is included.

Glide symmetry. Follow the leader.

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


The activity explores one of the 4 main symmetries - the glide symmetry through different elements of our bodies (legs, hands, direction of movement). The session involves group exercise, where one is the leader and the others are the followers. In the end of the session every group presents a dance made up of certain movements of this symmetry. In the end a reflection part is included.

Figures with strings

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


The activity aims to get a tangible perception of two-dimensional basic shapes in space. During the activity students play with a rope and learn about different geometrical aspects, which differ according to students age. Once students are ready with shapes, they learn how to move from one shape to another while staying together with the rope. The activity consists of group activities, followed by a reflection part.

Figures with string (Graph theory, Euler circuits)

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


The activity aims to get a tangible perception of two-dimensional basic shapes in space with a focus on Euler circuits. I.e circuits that use every edge of a graph exactly once. During the activity students play with a rope to figure out which shapes are Euler Circuits and which not. Once students are ready with the shapes, they learn how to move from one shape to another while staying together with the rope. The activity consists of group activities, followed by a reflection part.

Exploring Symmetry Through Dance

Source: Shereese Halley Caspersz, Teacher


The goal of this activity is to have students explore and demonstrate symmetry through the movement of their body. During the whole session they are introduced on theory and they get to experience specific elements (body, energy, space, relationships). The session consists of a warm up (2 activities), main part (4 activites) and a reflection part.

Graph of functions

Source: Maths & Moves training course


The activity explores in a funny dance form the physical appearance of graphs of some basic functions. The session involves individual exercise, as well as group exercise. During the session students learn a series of graphs. In the end a performance part is included.

RESEARCH | Sense of space; from 2D to 3D

Everybody move: learning mathematics through embodied actions.

Source: Petrick, C. J. (2012). Everybody 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.

Dance and Mathematics: Engaging Senses in Learning

Source: Watson, A. (2005). Dance and Mathematics: Engaging Senses in Learning. Australian Senior Mathematics Journal, 19(1), 16–23.


In this paper it is illustrated how kinaesthetic experiences associated with dance might be used in teaching to promote engagement and learning in spatial, rhythmic, structural and symbolic aspects of mathematics.

Angles as tool for grasping space: Teaching of angles based on students’ experiences with physical activities and body movement.

Source: Fyhn, A. B. (2007). Angles as a tool for grasping space. Teaching of angles based on students’ experiences with physical activities and body movement. PhD thesis. University of Tromsø.


The thesis enlightens how the choice of context as well as the approach to mathematics is important in introducing the concepts of angles. The analyses indicate that students should not be introduced to measuring angles before they are able to sort out angles according to their sizes. Angles can be introduced by use of the students’ bodies in a climbing context, where the word angle refers to bent shape.

Stimulating the Brain with Creative Movement in the Classroom.

Source: Lytwyn, T. (2014). Stimulating the Brain with Creative Movement in the Classroom. Thesis. Western Michigan University.


This paper explores and discusses the use of creative movement in the normal classroom setting as a means of stimulating the brain to be active in learning and eliciting emotional responses in children. Creative methods of pedagogy are explored through research about the involvement of the Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner, right and left brain functions while learning, 21 st Century skills, and movement as a mode of learning.

Math on the Move: Engaging Students in Whole Body Learning.

Source: Rosenfeld, M. (2016). Math on the Move: Engaging Students in Whole Body Learning. Heinemann.


”We want math to make sense to our students, and the moving body is a wonderful partner toward that goal."  -Malke Rosenfeld
Kids love to move. But how do we harness all that kinetic energy effectively for math learning? In Math on the Move, Malke Rosenfeld shows how pairing math concepts and whole body movement creates opportunities for students to make sense of math in entirely new ways. Malke shares her experience creating dynamic learning environments by:
 exploring the use of the body as a thinking tool
 highlighting mathematical ideas that are usefully explored with a moving body
 providing a range of entry points for learning to facilitate a moving math classroom.

Dance Integration: 36 Dance Lesson Plans for Science and Mathematics

Source: Karen, K., & Jordan, D. (2014). Dance Integration: 36 Dance Lesson Plans for Science and Mathematics. Human Kinetics.


Dance Integration offers 36 K-5 lesson plans that use dance learning to bring mathematics and science curriculums to life. These plans have proven to improve literacy in dance, mathematics, and science.

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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