Estimated Time: 2-3 periods
Subject: Primary/Junior Dance and Drama
In this lesson, students will use objects that are important to them as a starting point to discussing personal histories and the importance of museums as cultural institutions. Students will then have the opportunity to explore poetry through choral speaking and visual art.
A1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to the composition of a variety of dance pieces, using the elements of dance to communicate feelings and ideas;
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of dance pieces and experiences
B1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to process drama and the development of drama works, using the elements and conventions of drama to communicate feelings, ideas, and multiple perspectives;
B2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of drama works and experiences
At the end of this lesson, students will:
- Use the elements of dance to create everyday objects
- Use choral speaking to dramatize a poem
- Explore how object can represent our thoughts and feelings
- Discuss the importance of community
Instructional Components and Context
Students should have some familiarity with the elements of dance. Prior experience with choral speaking would be an asset. Before beginning this lesson, describe the Essence of Me task and ask students to bring in an object that represents them.
Music, music player
A tile for each student and art supplies
Whole Class > Creating Objects
Divide students into groups of 4 or 5. Tell students the goal of this exercise is to create an object with their bodies as you count down from 10 to 1. Teacher prompt: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...Couch…...3, 2, 1….smart phone….3, 2, 1…..shoe etc. Encourage students to consider the elements of dance as they are creating (e.g. different levels, big and small shapes, direction, body base).
- Invite students to create objects with moving parts and sounds (e.g. an electric toothbrush, a washing machine, a motorcycle).
- One pair from each group leaves the room and the others create an object. Students who have left the room have to guess what the object is.
Connections: Ask students to create objects that they are familiar with and/or objects that are connected to subject matter from another class.
Assessment for learning: Use this activity as a diagnostic assessment to determine students’ level of comfort with the elements of dance.
Whole Class > The Essence of Me: Telling our Personal Stories through Objects
Ask students to select an object to bring to school that represents them. Invite students to imagine that this object will be displayed in museum. The object will convey what is important to them, what they believe in, who they are. Have students complete a brainstorming web to generate ideas. After students have selected an object, have them complete BLM #1: The Essence of Me.
Whole Class > Creating a Class Museum
Tell students to find a spot in the room to display their object and BLM #1: The Essence of Me worksheet. Play quiet music and tell students to go on a gallery walk around the room. Ask students to stand beside their object. In turn, each student will present their object and its meaning.
Key Questions for Discussion
Was it easy or difficult for you to choose an object?Why?
Can objects express our personalities or identity?
What can an object convey about a culture or period in history?
How do certain objects end up in museums? Who makes those decisions?
Why do things get preserved?
How do items get passed down?
What is something that you would want to pass down to your children or preserved that represents your family and or community?
What do artifacts represent about the people of the time?
Whole Class > Choral Speaking
Introduce the elements of choral speaking: Voice, Movement, Volume, Sound. See “Connections” section for resources on choral speaking. Give students a section of the poem Skin Again. In groups, students will create a choral speaking presentation. Students will share their work with the class. (BLM #2 Choral Speaking Checklist).
Individual > Illustration
Distribute one line from the poem to each student. Students will draw their interpretation of that line from the poem on a mosaic tile.
Connections: Resource on: choral speaking.
Whole Class > Collective Mosaic
Students will work in small groups to assemble their poetry mosaic. Small groups will join together and repeat until the final two groups join mosaics to form one large class mosaic. Teacher prompt: How do individuals make up a community? How do communities create culture? Can we think of some examples from our school? Our community? Tell students that we are like the tiles of the mosaic. We are individuals coming together to create a community.
Introduce students to the mosaic pieces (such as the triple arched wall) from the AGA Khan Museum collection
Assessment for and as learning: Observe student discussion to determine if the class may require further teaching. Students may be given the opportunity to use self-assessment to reflect on their learning from the lesson.