ALEX Learning Activity


Dancing to Haikus-Part 2: Dance Party

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Hannah Bradley
System:Dothan City
School:Carver Magnet School
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 1706
Dancing to Haikus-Part 2: Dance Party
Digital Tool/Resource:
KidZone Poetry-Haiku
Web Address – URL:

This activity is designed to be presented after the activity Dancing to Haikus-Part 1: Counting Syllables. In this activity, the teacher will introduce pairing a haiku poem with locomotor movements, such as jumping, twirling, and skipping. The students will develop ideas to connect locomotor movements with prompting from a haiku poem. 

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: 2
4 ) Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song. [RL.2.4]

Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 2
2) Connect a variety of moments while manipulating the elements of dance through locomotor and non-locomotor movements.

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.
Learning Objectives:

The students will respond to movement with prompts from the teacher and words in a haiku poem.

The students will suggest additional movement ideas for a haiku poem.

The students will connect a variety of moments while manipulating the elements of dance through locomotor movements. 

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

1. Read the haiku "Beaches"  and complete the following movements for each line:

Line 1: Walk slowly while pretending to "scatter" sand from hands.

Line 2: Use arms to imitate waves crashing.

Line 3: Spread arms from the front to the side while "shimmering" hands.

2. Read the poem again, asking students to imitate movements. After completing this several times, ask the students, "How did I make these movements up?" After discussion, the students should understand the teacher was prompted by the words in the haiku when developing the movements. The term "choreography" can be introduced to students: Choreography is when we make up a sequence of movements. 

3. Read another haiku to students, such as the "What am I?" haiku found on this website: KidZone Poetry-Haiku. After reading the poem, ask the students which words in the poem could suggest a movement. With assistance from the teacher, the students should develop other movement ideas, such as shaking their legs during the line, "Green and speckled legs". Discuss with the students that because the poem used the word legs, a leg movement would express the words in the haiku.

4. Lastly, divide students into small groups of two to three students each. Assign each group of students a haiku (additional haikus can be found on this website: KidZone Poetry-Haiku). The teacher should require each group to create at least three locomotor or non-locomotor movements (one per line of the poem) that correspond to the words in the haiku. After students develop the movements, they should explain how their movements expressed the words or phrases in the poem. 

Assessment Strategies:

At the conclusion of the activity, the teacher can check for the students' understanding by requiring each group to perform their haiku dance. Students have met the stated learning objectives if they are able to connect at least three locomotor movements that respond to the words of their assigned haiku poem. In addition, the students should explain how their movements expressed a particular word or phrase within the poem. 

Advanced Preparation:

In preparation for this activity, the teacher can utilize the activity Dancing to Haikus-Part 1: Counting Syllables. This lesson will introduce students to counting syllables as well as the haiku syllabication pattern.

The teacher will need to have access to several haikus to present to students. A variety of haikus can be found on this website: KidZone Poetry-Haiku.   

Variation Tips (optional):
Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
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