Unit Overview

Context:

This unit provides students with a variety of opportunities to explore and experiment with the elements of dance by creating movement and discussing dances they've experienced in their communities. The focus is particularly on those elements covered in grade one (body and space) but can be used K-8.

This resource has French translations for teacher prompts as well as French BLMs in the attachments on the left.  

Summary:

Beginning with an exploration of locomotor (traveling) and non-locomotor (on-the-spot) movements, students have the opportunity in this unit to create dances that begin simply and become more complex as the unit progresses. Touching on nearly every expectation in the grade 1 dance curriculum, students explore the creation of a variety of body shapes, growing and shrinking movements, and using dance to express emotion.

Expectations

A1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22 in the 2009 Arts Curriculum Document) to the composition of simple dance phrases, using the elements of dance to communicate feelings and ideas;

A2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28 in the 2009 Arts Curriculum Document) to communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of dance pieces and experiences;

A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of dance forms and styles from the past and present, and their social and/or community contexts

 

Unit Guiding Questions

How can we use the elements of dance to tell people about our experiences and ideas?

Lesson Guiding Questions

Lesson 1 - Locomotor and Non-Locomotor Movement

What is dance?
How do you express yourself without talking?
How do you feel when you dance or move your body?

Lesson 2 - Exploring Shapes

How can you move your whole body using different levels and shapes?

Lesson 3 – Growing and Shrinking 

How does your body move through different levels?
What different sizes shapes can you make with your body?
What strategies can you use to choreograph and perform with a partner?

Lesson 4 – Dance my Feelings

How can you express your feelings and ideas by moving your body through space?

 

Assessment and Evaluation: How will students demonstrate their learning?

Assessment of learning

Culminating Performance Activity

Students' dance phrase in lesson 4 can be evaluated with criteria that is co-constructed with students before and during the choreography. Students will employ their knowledge of the dance elements as outlined in the curriculum and their observations from the preceding lessons in the creation of these criteria.

Assessment for Learning

Check Point #1/Lesson 1

Side-coaching
Self-assessment and group self-assessment during creation of movement response using success criteria

Check Point #2/Lesson 2

Side-coaching
Self-assessment and group self-assessment during creation of movement response using success criteria
Peer-feedback

Check Point #3/Lesson 3

Side-coaching 
Self-assessment and group self-assessment during creation of movement response using success criteria
Peer-feedback

Check Point #4/Lesson 4

Side-coaching
Self-assessment and group self-assessment during creation of movement response using success criteria
Peer-feedback
Two stars and a wish

 

Unit Lessons: How will assessment and instruction be organized for learning?

Approx. Duration 1 class = 60 minutes
Lesson 1

Locomotor and Non-Locomotor Movement

In this lesson students will discuss their previous dance experiences with community cultural dance or viewing dance in the media. They will work on moving in personal and general space and will explore both locomotor and non-locomotor movements. As a group, students will create a short movement phrase using these movements and will share and reflect on their creation.

1 class
Lesson 2

Exploring Shapes

In this lesson, students will explore the structures and shapes that they can create with their bodies and will relate those shapes to architectural and sculptural structures they have observed in their communities. In small groups, students will then create a three-shape-dance that explores a variety of body shapes and transitions between them.

1-2 classes
Lesson 3

Growing and Shrinking

In this lesson, students will explore changes in level and size of movements and will relate those changes to growth and developmental changes in the natural world. They will work with a partner to create a dance that traverses all three body levels and movements of a variety of sizes. 

1-2 classes
Lesson 4

Dance my Feelings

In this lesson students will explore ways of expressing their feelings through movement. In groups of three, they will create short dances that will reflect and communicate a particular emotion.

1-2 classes