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Assessment Resource Centre (ARC)

  1. Stage 3
  2. Creative Arts
  3. Activities
  4. Dance: Rainbow Serpent
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Dance: Rainbow Serpent

Grade Work Samples
End of Stage 3 (end of Year 6)
Grade A Kendall  
Grade B Nicky   Ariel  

Foundation Statement strands

The following strands are covered in this activity:


Description of activity

Students work in pairs or groups of 3 or 4 to compose a dance sequence of between 32 and 96 counts. They use abstracted forms of traditional Indigenous Australian movements. Students incorporate the elements of dynamics, space and relationships in their composition.


  1. Students read and discuss Dreamtime stories about the Rainbow Serpent and the creation of life forms.
  2. The class is divided into male and female students. Members of the local Aboriginal community teach traditional movements to students as culturally appropriate.
  3. Students work individually to manipulate the traditional movements they have learnt to create abstracted forms.
  4. They form groups and share the movements they have devised.
  5. Students work in groups to select movements to use in their composition, ensuring variety in the use of levels.
  6. They develop a dance sequence by incorporating traditional movements and the abstracted movements they have devised.
  7. Students organise the dancers in their group into various formations, establishing directions and the focus of the dancer’s eye.
  8. They rehearse and refine their sequence.
  9. Students perform their sequence for the class.

The suggested time for this activity is 4 lessons.

Suggested materials

Recorded music

Prior learning

Students at this school have regular interaction with members of the local Aboriginal community and a learning partnership has been established. Consultation with the local community was undertaken before the commencement of this activity to ensure that contextually appropriate resources were used. Students have learnt about safe dance practice and the importance of warming up and cooling down. With the assistance of members of the local Aboriginal community, they have learnt traditional Indigenous dance movements representing emus, kangaroos, brolgas, berry picking etc. Students have learnt about the cultural context of the movements and the traditions and sensitivity associated with performing them. They are familiar with the Dreamtime story of the Rainbow Serpent. Students have worked in groups to compose dance sequences using the elements of action, dynamics, timing, space and relationships. They have selected and refined movements, and are able to devise movement sequences and transitions.

Board of Studies, Creative Arts Units of Work, pp 177–180


Performing (DAS 3.1)
Performs and interprets dances from particular contexts, using a wide range of movement skills and appropriate expressive qualities.
Composing (DAS 3.2)
Explores, selects, organises and refines movement, using the elements of dance to communicate intent.

Criteria for assessing learning

Students will be assessed on their:

  • understanding of the process of composition
  • use of expressive and movement skills
  • manipulation of action, dynamics, space and relationships to create and perform a movement sequence.
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