ALEX Learning Activity


Keith Haring Dancing Drawings

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Abby Kuhn
System:Auburn City
School:Auburn City Board Of Education
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 1696
Keith Haring Dancing Drawings
Digital Tool/Resource:
Break Dancing Video: Beat Street 1984 -The Roxy Battle
Web Address – URL:

Students will read Kay Haring's picture book, Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing. Students will answer questions from the text. Students will identify break dancing as his inspiration. The students will watch a few minutes of a Break Dancing video from YouTube. They will draw their own dancing figure using motion lines to illustrate movement. 

This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 3
1 ) Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. [RL.3.1]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.3.1- Answer who, what, and where questions to demonstrate understanding of a story.

Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 3
Visual Arts
1) Elaborate on an individual or prompted imaginative idea.

Examples: Create an imaginative mask showing his/her personality.
Look at masks from different cultures such as Chinese, African and Native American.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Creating
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Process Components: Investigate, Plan, Make
Essential Questions:
EU: Creativity and innovative thinking are essential life skills that can be developed.
EQ: What conditions, attitudes, and behaviors support creativity and innovative thinking? What factors prevent or encourage people to take creative risks? How does collaboration expand the creative process?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Creativity
  • Criteria
  • Critique
  • Design
  • Media
  • Mixed media
  • Monochromatic
  • Principles of design
    • Rhythm
  • Technology
  • Visual image
Skill Examples:
  • Use a variety of materials to create a three-dimensional mask showing a student's personality.
  • Use torn paper scraps to create rhythm in a landscape.
  • Plan a community/city; then, build a model of it with recyclable materials, such as cardboard, boxes, containers, and tubes.
  • Collaborate with a group to demonstrate how to care for tools used in class (such as paintbrushes).
  • After looking at Vincent van Gogh's painting, Bedroom, create a narrative painting depicting a memory of a student's personal bedroom.
  • Use appropriate visual art vocabulary during the art-making process of two-and-three-dimensional artworks.
  • Collaborate with others to create a work of art that addresses an interdisciplinary theme.
  • Read and explore books like Imagine That by Joyce Raimondo or Dinner at Magritte's by Michael Garland and then create a Surrealistic style artwork.
  • Recognize and identify choices that give meaning to a personal work of art.
  • Create a drawing using monochromatic colors (paint, oil pastels, etc.).
  • Explore individual creativity using a variety of media.
  • Understand what effects different media can have in a work of art.
Learning Objectives:

Students will identify break dancing as the inspiration for Keith Haring's dancing figures.
Students will illustrate movement using motion lines in a dancing figure drawing.

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

Students will read Kay Haring's picture book, Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing.

Students will answer questions from the text.
What inspired Keith?
Why did he make art?
Why did he give his money away?
Where did he make art? 
(NOTE: Information for taking an Accelerated Reading (AR) Test on this book is included in the Advanced Preparations section below.)

Students will view images of Keith Haring's dancing figures. The instructor could share illustrations from the book or use a digital tool to share images of Keith Haring's paintings from Jenny Shepard's Tes Teach Gallery

Students will discuss how the motion lines illustrate movement for the figure.

Students will view a few minutes of a breakdancing video from YouTube. 
*You can share the whole 5-minute video if you would like. Two minutes would be enough for students to get the idea.

Students will create their own dancing figure drawing inspired by the movements of the dancers from the video.

Students will use motion lines to illustrate movement in their dancing figure drawing.

Assessment Strategies:




Student identified break dancing as the inspiration for Keith Haring’s dancing figures based on the text.



Student illustrated movement in their dancing figure drawing using motion lines.




Advanced Preparation:

Resources Needed:

Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing (Book)
Haring, Kay A.
AR Quiz No. 187592 En Nonfiction
IL: LG - BL: 3.8 - AR Pts. 0.5
AR Quiz Types: RP

Break Dancing Video 
Beat Street 1984 (The Roxy Battle)

Images of his Art:
I would recommend selecting a view images of his work to share with your class. 
You can also download this free color sheet to use as an "idea sheet" for your class. Students can use this sheet to help plan their dancing figure drawing.

Supplies Needed:
Paper (Your desired size)
Sharpies (for outlining pencil drawing)
Crayons/Markers (for adding optional color)

Variation Tips (optional):

Please consider the follow-up activity, Keith Haring Dance Phrase.

Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
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