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5 Ways to Add Dance and Theater to the Classroom

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Title:

5 Ways to Add Dance and Theater to the Classroom

URL:

https://artsintegration.com/2022/02/01/5-ways-to-add-dance-and-theater-to-the-classroom/

Content Source:

Other
The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM
Type: Informational Material

Overview:

This article includes five different activities to incorporate theater and dance into the classroom.  The activities included are "Mystery Mover," "Stage Corners," "Carnival Walk," "Reader's Theater," and "When I Move, You Move." 

Content Standard(s):
Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: K
Dance
1) Differentiate between basic locomotor and non-locomotor movements.

Examples: Running, twisting, skipping, falling.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Creating
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Process Components: Explore
Essential Questions:
EU: Choreographers use a variety of sources as inspiration and transform concepts and ideas into movement for artistic expression.
EQ: Where do choreographers get ideas for dances?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • locomotor
  • non-locomotor
  • non-locomotor vs locomo"tor movements
  • elements of dance
  • choreography
  • improvisation
  • structure
  • concepts and inspiration for choreography
  • feedback and revision
  • notation
Skill Examples:
  • Demonstrate locomotor and non-locomotor movements (i.e., running, skipping, twisting, falling).
  • Identify elements of movement that are personally difficult to perform and discuss how this impacts movement choice in choreography.
  • Identify how it feels to perform the same movement fast and slow.
  • Create a connected shape, improvise while disconnected, and finish back in original connected shape.
  • Perform improvised movement based on a famous painting.
  • Identify how the movement changes if an element is performed differently, such as taking the movement from a high level to a low level.
  • Create three movements and develop a symbol to go with each (such as ⟲ for turn).
Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: K
Dance
7) Demonstrate movement and stillness using the basic elements of space, including line, shape, levels, and size.

Examples: Join with others to make a circle, then work with others to change it to a square.

Create a curved shape on a low level.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Performing
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 4: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.
Process Components: Express
Essential Questions:
EU: Space, time, and energy are basic elements of dance.
EQ: How do dancers work with space, time, and energy to communicate artistic expression?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Elements of Dance
  • Space
  • Tempo/ Speed
  • Energy
  • Basic movement qualities
  • Embody
  • Body Pattern
  • Shape
  • Locomotor/ Non-locomotor
  • Same side vs cross body
  • Spatial Awareness
  • General Space
  • Personal Space
  • Safety Principles in movement
  • Space
  • Prop
Skill Examples:
  • Explore shape examples: discuss what objects are straight. Show examples of said objects with the body (straight, curved, bent/ angled, size: big/ small).
  • Respond to music or other sound stimuli with free movement that matches varying tempo: fast, slow, moderate.
    • Engage in "freeze dance": respond to music or other sound stimuli through movement with varying tempo changes. When music/ stimuli pause, freeze in called out shape, size or level.
  • Observe and demonstrate movement qualities, such as hard/ heavy or soft/light, smooth or wavy, and slow or jerky.
    • Practice actions using varied movement qualities: stomp (hard), float (soft).
  • Demonstrate same side and cross-body locomotor and non-locomotor movements.
  • Display an awareness of physical space and apply principles of safety when sharing space with others in activities, formations and explorations.
    • Hold hands and form group shape formations.
    • Use locomotor movement (skip, hop, crawl, etc.) to travel in a group shape.
  • Discuss how we use space safely. Practice using safety principles discussed.
  • Demonstrate full body movement sequence through observation, demonstration, and repetition.
    • Practice learned sequence of heel, together right and left, and marching in place.
  • Practice and perform dance with others in the safety of classroom, gym or outside space.
  • Use a scarf to improvise flowing or staccato movement.
Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 1
Dance
1) Respond with movement to a variety of prompts.

Examples: music/sound, artwork, tactile

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Creating
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Process Components: Explore
Essential Questions:
EU: Choreographers use a variety of sources as inspiration and transform concepts and ideas into movement for artistic expression.
EQ: Where do choreographers get ideas for dances?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Prompts
  • elements of dance
  • choreography
  • structure
  • content and inspiration for movement
  • improvisation
  • dance phrase
  • feedback and revision
  • notation
Skill Examples:
  • Create movement based on music/ sound, artwork or tactile prompts.
  • Demonstrate a leap in a different direction, a turn on a different level or a run in different timing.
  • Observe a dance and discuss how it began (low level in stillness), what happened in the middle (became fast) and how it ended (dancer exit).
  • Discover how movements and elements can change the emotion of a dance, such as slow and curved movements can express sadness.
  • Perform a dance in different ways, changing the elements of the movement.
  • Create a personal key of symbols for movements (i.e., Jump ↑, turn ⟲, bend ↶).
Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 1
Dance
2) Experiment with changing a movement, utilizing the elements of dance.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Creating
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Process Components: Explore
Essential Questions:
EU: Choreographers use a variety of sources as inspiration and transform concepts and ideas into movement for artistic expression.
EQ: Where do choreographers get ideas for dances?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Prompts
  • elements of dance
  • choreography
  • structure
  • content and inspiration for movement
  • improvisation
  • dance phrase
  • feedback and revision
  • notation
Skill Examples:
  • Create movement based on music/ sound, artwork or tactile prompts.
  • Demonstrate a leap in a different direction, a turn on a different level or a run in different timing.
  • Observe a dance and discuss how it began (low level in stillness), what happened in the middle (became fast) and how it ended (dancer exit).
  • Discover how movements and elements can change the emotion of a dance, such as slow and curved movements can express sadness.
  • Perform a dance in different ways, changing the elements of the movement.
  • Create a personal key of symbols for movements (i.e., Jump ↑, turn ⟲, bend ↶).
Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 1
Dance
11) Identify and explore personal space and general space within movement.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Performing
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 5: Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.
Process Components: Embody
Essential Questions:
EU: Dancers use the mind-body connection and develop the body as an instrument for artistry and artistic expression.
EQ: What must a dancer do to prepare the mind and body for artistic expression?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Elements of Space: Shape, Level, Size, Direction, Pathway
  • Time: Tempo/ Speed
  • Tempi
  • Energy: Movement qualities
  • Embody
  • Locomotor
  • Non-locomotor
  • Direction
  • Explore
  • Spatial Awareness
  • Personal space
  • General space
  • Body awareness
  • Dance phrase
  • Space
  • Props
Skill Examples:
  • Demonstrate changes to level, size, direction and pathways in body shapes, locomotor and non-locomotor movement.
  • Create or recall locomotor movement in a variety of chosen pathways; zig zag, circular, straight (i.e., move in straight, curved, and zigzag pathways).
  • Join with others to make a circle, then work with others to change it to a square or line.
  • Create a curved shape on a low level.
  • Recognize steady beat and move to varying tempi of steady beat.
  • Observe, discuss and demonstrate changes in the energy and quality of given movement (jerky, smooth, melting, growing, bouncy, floppy).
  • Apply changes to a given movement sequence, making practiced steps jerky or smooth.
  • Question how changes in the way we do a movement can change the feel of it and also the appearance of it.
  • Demonstrate movement or steps in different facings and directions.
    • Skipping in a circle, reaching on a diagonal
  • Explore the space around their own body: How can they move without getting too close to another dancer, the wall, mirror, surroundings using perception of sight and body awareness.
  • Demonstrate unison movement in group formation (marching, skipping in a circle, etc.).
  • Discuss, identify and demonstrate ways to modify movement or placement in a group formation using perception of spatial awareness.
  • Modify an existing formation by utilizing more dance pathways.
  • Modify an existing dance phrase to utilize the space differently.
  • Perform a dance in theatre-in-the-round format.
  • Perform a dance in a non-traditional setting such as a football field.
Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 2
Dance
1) Respond to movement with a variety of prompts and suggest additional sources for movement ideas.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Creating
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Process Components: Explore
Essential Questions:
EU: Choreographers use a variety of sources as inspiration and transform concepts and ideas into movement for artistic expression.
EQ: Where do choreographers get ideas for dances?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • prompts
  • elements of dance
  • locomotor
  • non-locomotor
  • dance phrase
  • structure
  • concept and inspirations
  • for choreography
  • dance phrase
  • improvisation
  • notation
Skill Examples:
  • Execute a sequence of movements in different ways (i.e., different levels, timing, directions, body parts).
  • Create a dance based on a short story, with a beginning, middle and end.
  • Create a dance to a short poem and explain why movement expressed the idea.
  • Improvise movement to verbs and adjectives. Recall the movement and sequence to repeat.
  • Using basic stick figures to draw shapes used in a series of movements.
Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 2
Dance
11) Demonstrate safe movement in a variety of spatial relationships and formations with other dancers, sharing and maintaining personal space.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Performing
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 5: Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.
Process Components: Embody
Essential Questions:
EU: Dancers use the mind-body connection and develop the body as an instrument for artistry and artistic expression.
EQ: What must a dancer do to prepare the mind and body for artistic expression?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Space
  • Shape
    • Symmetrical
    • Asymmetrical
  • Facing
  • Pathway
  • Time:
    • Accented beat
    • Downbeat
    • Duple meter
    • Triple meter
  • Utilize quality of movement
  • Embody
  • Locomotor
  • Non-locomotor
  • Personal space
  • General space
  • Spatial relationship
  • Body awareness
  • Space
  • Projection in performance
  • Production elements
Skill Examples:
  • Identify symmetrical and asymmetrical body shapes and examine relationships between body parts.
  • Differentiate between circling and turning as two separate ways of continuous directional change.
  • Recall and practice given steps or sequencing with facing or level changes (what was up, make it down, face the back instead of the front).
  • Create body shapes that change level and facings.
  • Demonstrate locomotor movement on a straight pathway, circular pathway, zig zag pathway; making clear changes when called out.
  • Identify the beat in metered music and execute movement on the downbeat (the 1) of duple and triple meter.
  • Demonstrate an accented movement (clap, stomp, or jump) only on the downbeat of a piece of music. Practice with different tempos and 2/4, 4/4, and 3/4 music.
    • Other examples: Waltz, triplet, walking, or marching.
  • Review the terms adverb and adjective and make a list of descriptive words, choose several and execute a given movement or sequence with the word in mind or explore the word with their body in free movement.
  • (i.e., bouncy, jiggly, loose, strong, etc.).
    • Other examples: Bouncy leap or floppy fall.
  • Demonstrate movement and sequencing that utilizes a variety of pathways for personal space and group formations.
    • Skipping across the floor followed by skipping in place.
  • Identify modifications for spatial placement in a dance phrase.
  • Repeat movement or sequencing in a group formation or group dance using an awareness of his/her own body in space and make modifications to adjust placement as needed or requested.
  • Practice using production elements (i.e., multimedia equipment, scenery, costumes, lighting).
Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 3
Dance
1) Improvise movements with a variety of self-identified prompts.

Examples: music/sound, text, objects, images, notation, observed dance experiences

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Creating
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Process Components: Explore
Essential Questions:
EU: Choreographers use a variety of sources as inspiration and transform concepts and ideas into movement for artistic expression.
EQ: Where do choreographers get ideas for dances?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • prompts
  • use elements of dance
  • movement problem
  • choreographic devices
  • structure
  • dance phrase
  • concept and inspirations for choreography
  • feedback and revision
  • dance study
  • notation
  • dance phrase
Skill Examples:
  • Use a variety of prompts for inspiration (i.e., music/ sound, text, objects, images, notation, observed dance experiences).
  • Find a way to travel across the floor only using a low level.
  • Select a choreographic device and create a dance phrase (i.e., retrograde, scramble/ deconstruct, transposition, inversion, or fragment).
  • Create a short movement phrase and perform with "sad" emotion then "happy" emotion. Discuss how the movement changed.
  • Discuss and use peer feedback or instructor feedback.
  • Create a floor map, using different colors for different levels of movement.
Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 3
Dance
13) Use stage directions to identify main areas of a performance space.

Example: Travel from downstage right to upstage left.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Performing
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 6: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
Process Components: Present
Essential Questions:
EU: Dance performance is an interaction between performer, production elements, and audience that heightens and amplifies artistic expression.
EQ: How does a dancer heighten artistry in a public performance?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Space
  • Positive and Negative space
  • Tempo/ Tempi
  • Rhythm
  • Energy
  • Using Intent
  • Embody
  • Alignment
  • Dance phrase
  • Stage directions
  • Performance Space
  • Production elements
Skill Examples:
  • Observe, identify and explore the idea of positive and negative space with a partner, using still shape for partner 1, exploration (free movement) for partner 2.
  • Identify varied tempi and rhythms in music.
  • Explore moving with and against tempos and rhythms in music or sound stimuli.
    • Practice moving in slow motion during a fast song.
  • Identify and apply appropriate movement qualities to vary the intended effect from one movement to another.
    • Add force to a leap to communicate anger; change a reach by making it softer and slower to communicate gentleness.
  • Identify proper body alignment principles and apply them when practicing dance sequencing (i.e., Engaging the core, shoulders down and back, neck long, standing tall and grounded, energy pushing out through the floor).
  • Demonstrate movement that coordinates with a partner or group that changes level, direction or pathway design while maintaining safety and personal space (i.e., chasse in a circle holding hands).
  • Identify constructive feedback and apply corrections to the practice of group dance.
  • Discuss and revise constructive feedback phrases for peer feedback.
  • Demonstrate use of stage direction in locomotor and non-locomotor movement. Move from downstage right to upstage left.
  • Utilize costumes, props, music, scenery, lighting or media for a dance performed for an audience in a designated specific performance space.
Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 4
Dance
12) Coordinate performance timing with other dancers by utilizing cues from each other and responding to production elements.

Examples: Enter stage after eight counts of music, or wait until lights go up for bow.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Performing
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 5: Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.
Process Components: Embody
Essential Questions:
EU: Dancers use the mind-body connection and develop the body as an instrument for artistry and artistic expression.
EQ: What must a dancer do to prepare the mind and body for artistic expression?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Static and Dynamic Shapes
  • Negative Space
  • Rhythms
  • Qualities of Movement
  • Use of Energy
  • Dynamics
  • alignment
  • kinesthetic awareness
  • importance of conditioning
  • performance space
  • explore
  • production elements
  • artistic intent
Skill Examples:
  • Perform elevated shapes by jumping in a tucked position (positive space) vs. jumping in a jumping jack formation (large negative spaces).
  • Create a sculpture by filling in the negative space created by a partner.
  • Respond to even and uneven rhythms using a variety of percussive instruments and sounds.
  • Use adjectives and adverbs to describe a movement phrase and identify movement quality. Revise the phrase with energy changes and discuss how/ what changed.
  • Demonstrate alignment, coordination, balance, core support, and kinesthetic awareness while executing movement.
  • Discuss and practice body conditioning for the dancer.
  • Enter stage after eight counts of music, or wait until lights go up for bow.
  • Plan out a performance in a different setting such as a gym, studio, or park.
  • View a dance under different lighting and select the most effective lighting design.
Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 5
Dance
11) Employ safe practices before, during, and after dancing.

Examples: Discuss ways to promote muscular strength, endurance, injury prevention.

Promote healthful eating and good nutrition as proper food for the body.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Performing
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 5: Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.
Process Components: Embody
Essential Questions:
EU: Dancers use the mind-body connection and develop the body as an instrument for artistry and artistic expression.
EQ: What must a dancer do to prepare the mind and body for artistic expression?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Space: shapes and pathways
  • dance phrase
  • movement phrase
  • rhythm
  • explore
  • core to distal movement initiation
  • Embody
  • safe practices and injury prevention
  • performance goals
  • alternate performance venue
  • production elements
Skill Examples:
  • Create a movement sequence that involves still shapes in various levels along with moving shapes through jumping, rolling or other dynamic movement (i.e., X-jump, C-jump, floor roll).
  • Improv with a call prompt "bound" and other associated words with focus on what body part is starting the movement. Follow with "free" and other associated words with focus on the initiation point. Only explore each for a short period and discuss. Could be done in small groups and they can teach the movement created, or discussed as a class as part of a larger improv.
  • Practice step touch, pivot turn, three-step turn, and clapping.
  • Discuss ways to promote muscular strength, endurance, and injury prevention. Promote healthful eating and good nutrition as proper food for the body.
  • Keep an ongoing list of personal dance goals.
  • Identify ways to improve performance qualities and collaborate with peer group to establish a list of group goals to apply to practice for a dance.
  • Perform a dance in two different locations, such as an auditorium and outdoor venue.
  • Incorporate a fog machine, strobe light, and backlit cyclorama to enhance an eerie dance.
Tags: brain break, dance, move, theater
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Author: Tiffani Stricklin