History of Dance Teacher Resources
Find History of Dance educational ideas and activities
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An Introduction to Sega: The Music and Dance of Mauritius
Young scholars study the folk music and dance of the island of Mauritius. In this music and dance lesson, students study the style of music and dance that is called sega. They learn about how the traditional music comes from the islands off the coast of Africa.
Moving to Music
Young scholars 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.
Popular Dance: The Impact of Cultural Exchange
Tenth graders recognize that many groups contributed to the richness of culture in the United States. This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the groups of people who built their way of life in the United States.
The Frontiers of Dance
Learners learn about the a dance company with disabled dancers as well as the field of integrated dance. In this integrated dance activity, students read passages about the AXIS Dance Company, an integrated dance company of able and disabled dancers. Learners 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.
Love a Culture:Dance to Its Music!
Students explore traditional dances. In this multicultural humanities lesson plan, 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.
Students create a History Fair. They examine the National History Day Competition and are encouraged to participate.
Migrations: Dance Stories about the Journeys of People
Bring social studies to life! This interdisciplinary instructional activity 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.
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.
Migrations: Dance Stories about the Journeys of People
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.
The Mexican Muralist Movement
Students study the Mexican Muralist Movement. They view a video and discuss the key names and dates from the Aztec times to the Mexican Revolution. They research art forms in the Mexican Muralist Movement and complete a chart. They write essays about public art and what it should include.
West African Dance: Ekon kon
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.
Hispanic Arts: Visual Arts, Dance and Music
Students observe global cultures by listening to music and watching videos. In this Latin American dance lesson, students define merengue, salsa and other dances from the Hispanic culture while listening to Latin rhythm music. Students view educational DVD's which discuss reggae as well as the tango.
A Guide Through the Culture of the Blues
High schoolers examine the history of blues music and discover how it relates to the music of today. As a class, they listen to the drum songs of Africa and compare it to the use of drums in pop music today. Using the internet, they research the history of the blues and its early artists. To end the lesson, they write in their journals to reflect on the music.
Acceptance Through Patchwork
Students are asked to look at differences in people and accept those differences but to examine that people are more alike than different. The lesson has the central focus of investigating diversity.
Living History - Dance
Seventh graders explore the traditional dances of various immigrants into the United States. While attending a cultural event from a specific immigrant group, 7th graders observe cultural dances. They interview members of the ethnic group and learn the dance. Pupils create a formal presentation to be given in class.
Students examine the various types of dancing present in Korea. In groups, they discover the history and cultural purposes of the dances and how society influenced the role of dance in its culture. They answer discussion questions and share their answers with the class.
Love a Culture: Dance to Its Music!
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.
Dancing with Action and Stillness
Second graders physically learn how to perform a wide range of locomotor and non-locomotor movements and perceive stillness as a contrasting element in dance making. Students observe and perform dances to increase their abilities to perceive the presence and absence of movement.
Folk Dance Explorations in the Choreographic Work of Modern Dance
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.
West African Dance: Ku Ku
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.