History of Dance Teacher Resources
Find History of Dance educational ideas and activities
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Tenth graders examine various dances focused on issues faced by society. While viewing, they identify and analyze the movements and how they relate to the sociocultural issues. To complete the instructional activity, they develop their own dance with costumes describing their own feelings about one issue.
Tenth graders recognize that many groups contributed to the richness of culture in the United States. This lesson plan provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the groups of people who built their way of life in the United States.
Young scholars learn about the a dance company with disabled dancers as well as the field of integrated dance. For this integrated dance lesson, students read passages about the AXIS Dance Company, an integrated dance company of able and disabled dancers. Young scholars complete research about the history of integrated dance and theatre, give a presentation of their research, and complete exercises using the approach of integrated dance.
Students identify how they themselves use movement and dance and the many ways that people move and dance in various contexts. They observe and imitate folk movement and dance while decoding their skills and kinesthetic abilities. Students also identify the importance of folk dance to cultural groups and that they understand the folk group is the folk dance.
Twelfth graders investigate Ekon kon or Djola or Jola (dance), a noncompetitive, communal dance performed by the Djola people from the Sene-Gambia region of West Africa. They listen to a lecture by the teacher about the West African cultures that include this dance. The lesson includes many resources for the teacher as well as explicit directions for performing the dance.
Students develop an oral history of a memorable event in their family. Working with a partner, they create interview questions based on a family story or event. After interviewing their family member, they edit their interview piece and present it to the class.
Students explore traditional dances. In this multicultural humanities lesson, students investigate a specific country, examining its history, geography, climate, government, economics and arts. Students draw inferences about the vital role that dance played in their identified country and compare and contrast their findings with other countries researched.
Twelfth graders explore West African Ku Ku dance. As a class, learners discuss the influence African dances have on the United Sates of today, as well as the history of the dance. Students observe and participate in a dance demonstration. They practice movement patterns and write movement vocabulary in their journals.
Twelfth graders investigate how West-African dance makes known a common past and stimulates a shared sense of values and beliefs. The cultural purpose of West-African dance is to tell history and relay stories to intensify social and religious rituals.
Students study the art of Bharata Natyam Indian dance. For this Indian dance lesson, students read text about Indian dance Bharata Natyam dance. Students may create their own dance and a television story about the topic.
Sixth graders practice four different cultural or traditional (folk) dances and participate in whole-class and small-group discussions that invite critical thinking to draw inferences. Students choose specific countries or regions to research, examining their histories, geographies, climates, governments, economics, cultures and arts.
Tenth graders participate in a lesson guided by an essential question: in what ways does choreographer, Mark Morris' work, "The Office," reflect Eastern-European traditional folk dance? During the lesson's first sessions, students physically learn two to three traditional folk dances from selected regions in Eastern Europe.
Students create a History Fair. They examine the National History Day Competition and are encouraged to participate.
Students explore Balinese culture. In this Balinese integrated fine arts instructional activity, students listen to a podcast of "The Monkey Dance," taking notes about important features of the dance. Students participate in a jigsaw cooperative learning experience in which they research various aspects of Balinese dance and share what they learned. Students choreograph an original dance.
Bring social studies to life! This interdisciplinary lesson has young writers tell the story of the migration of diverse groups of people to the United States. Pupils view the work of selected choreographers and discuss how dance often tells a story. A research component allows them to collect data on select populations to inspire written stories and creative dances.
This was written for ESOL students, but could work for any elementary class. Learners read about the American dance style known as Square Dancing. They explore its use in literature, write a friendly letter about it, and then use their listening skills as they do the dance. They'll promenade, do-si-do, and sachet to upbeat American folk music.
Fourth graders physically learn kolos or circle dances, discuss what they are learning with their peers and write in their daily journals. They apply critical thinking skills to draw inferences about Eastern European immigrant groups in Ohio.
Fifth graders view the work of selected choreographers and discuss how dance tells a story. A research component allows the students to collect specific information about selected populations, their experiences after they arrived.
Pupils explore how dance can invoke the significance of experiences in their everyday lives. They work in small dance troupes to create their own dance pieces reflecting themes and experiences relevant to their lives.
What is oral tradition, and what unique tool did the Native Americans of the Northern Great Plains use to help them remember their complex histories? Through pictograph analysis, discussion, research, and an engaging hands-on activity, young historians discover the process the Nakota people used to design their winter counts to chronicle their history. Learners then document a year of their own personal histories by designing a monthly pictograph calendar.