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 lesson plan, 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 provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the groups of people who built their way of life in the United States.
Students 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.
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 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 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.
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 instructional activity guided by an essential question: in what ways does choreographer, Mark Morris' work, "The Office," reflect Eastern-European traditional folk dance? During the instructional activity's first sessions, students physically learn two to three traditional folk dances from selected regions in Eastern Europe.
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.
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.
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.
Learners study the art of Bharata Natyam Indian dance. In this Indian dance lesson, students read text about Indian dance Bharata Natyam dance. Learners may create their own dance and a television story about the topic.
Contra dance was brought to America by French Soldiers after the Revolutionary War. Contra dancing is done in lines, but with partners facing each other. Some moves one partner is moving forward while the other moves backwards. Some moves are mirrored. Sometimes the partners move towards each other. There's nothing really complicated in this dance so take a look and teach your PE class to do some Contra dancing.
Students create a History Fair. They examine the National History Day Competition and are encouraged to participate.
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 plan has the central focus of investigating diversity.
Students read many pages about The Opera by Charles Garnier. In this opera lesson plan, students read 8 pages on the background, artwork, music, dancing, and technicalities of this opera.
High schoolers examine Canadian assimilation policies of the First Nations. In this Canadian history lesson, students participate in talking circles, listen to guest speakers,and  take field trips to local museums and sites of interests to discover more about First Nations culture. 
Students perform square dancing steps. In this square dancing instructional activity, students view a video to learn the basic steps.  Students discuss the history of the dance and perform with partners.