Name – Sarah Kirschman Subject – Arts Education [Dance]
Lesson Length – 40 minutes Grade – 5/6
Content – Rhythm through Sound Collage and the History of South African Dance
Teaching Strategy – student involvement, direct teaching, demonstration, group work and creation
Outcomes –CP 6.1: Create dance compositions that express ideas about identity and how it is influenced (e.g., factors such as pop culture, cultural heritage, peer groups, personal and family interests, gender).
CH 6.1: Investigate how personal, cultural, or regional identity may be reflected in arts expressions.
Indicators – CP 6.1: d) Reflect on how movement and dance elements can be organized to convey meaning in dance (e.g., What messages or ideas does our movement or dance communicate to an audience about identity?).
e) Reflect upon choices made during dance-making process.
CH 6.1: a) Apply critical thinking when analyzing and describing how identity is expressed in arts expressions (e.g., hip hop, blues, country music).
Prerequisite Learning – Students have received a handout on basic dance theory, how it has developed. Students must also have basic grasp of rhythm and where/what Africa is.
Materials – students must have pens, pencils, shoes, notebooks ready
Advanced Preparation – YouTube clip of Gumboot Dancers prepared and ready to show, whiteboard cleared for notes.
Set – Ask the students about their knowledge of the following subjects: Africa, South Africa, rhythm. Have a discussion about different dances they have seen or done. Discuss why people dance.
- Using the white board, write notes out as discussion and teaching is done so the students have notes they can refer to about the lesson.
- Discussion of South Africa, describing Apartheid and the ways in which the African American people were discriminated against [Apartheid – “the state of being apart” the white people segregating the African Americans. Segregation – separating people into groups based on race]
- Types of jobs allowed by the white government for African Americans [maids, gardeners, essentially servants of the white people. Miners, putting emphasis on gold mining as a career]
- Attire of African American Miners [‘prison’ outfits, rubber boots, gumboots, and handcuffs]
- Wore rubber boots due to the water in the mines giving the workers blisters and skin disease
- The handcuffs were to keep the workers in their work station
- Talking was not allowed
- How do you communicate if you cannot speak? [Discussion, answers should be things like, actions, facial expressions, etc]
- The mines were very dark, and so it was hard to see
- They used beats to communicate
- Ask students to discuss what beats can be made, if one is not allowed to talk or make sounds with their mouth [clapping, tapping, etc.]
- Miners were shackled and so could not clap efficiently.
- They communicated through three noises [stomping feet, slapping boots, shaking the handcuff chains]
- Move from the past into the present. Gumboot dancing has evolved into a dance called “stepping”
- Show clip from “So You Think You Can Dance” of dancers “stepping”
- Move desks in order to sit in a circle on the floor
- Briefly explain that the first step in learning a dance is rhythm
- Doing quarter notes by clapping, move around the circle so one by one each student joins into clapping the quarter notes
- Explain tempo, show how the tempo increased as the clapping continued
- Emphasize that a steady tempo is important
- Explain Sound Collage
- Each student will take a few seconds to come up with their own rhythm. Give examples [emphasizing that simpler is better]
- Get a volunteer to do quarter notes, if no volunteers, I will do the clapping, as it is important that the beat is steady, so the person clapping must be confident
- Either through pointing or nodding, I will introduce each person with their rhythm one at a time, randomly
- When I want them to stop, I will point or nod at them a second time
- We will have a discussion after of what worked/what didn’t
- Depending on skill level, we will either continue clapping sound collages to build up confidence, or move on to making noises with hands on the floor, or on their knees.
- The final sound collage, if all proceeds successfully will be with stomping.
Conclusion – we will have a recap of what was learned [what is Apartheid, what is gumboot dancing, what is sound collage] and I will let the students know that in the following weeks, we will be working toward building our own gumboot/stepping dance.
Adaptive Dimension –
- Giving students a beat to use instead of asking them to come up with their own.
- Increase/Decreasing Tempo
- Not moving on to harder sound collages if they are still struggling with a simpler one
- Ideally, by the end of the lesson, I should have a general idea of which students are more comfortable with rhythm and which aren’t, as well as the general skill level, so the choreography can reflect their level of comfort.
Goal – Speak clearly and concisely
Steps to Achieve Goal – Monitor the speed of my speech and stay on target
Instructions for Observer – Observe that the students are engaged and interested, as well as understanding what is being said.
Observer’s Notes –
- clearly state what students will accomplish “Big Question” (SWBAT)
- Nice lead in to dance, nice transitions
- Students write slow, various pauses
- YouTube video: pulled things together for students
- Enthusiasm with lesson – too much? too little?
- Look and nod worked well – responded well
- “all looking, paying attention”
- Overall students engaged in task
- “So today you have learned…”