Bulb Archived: A/R Partners 2017-2018: Bencel & Rhyme

1. How did you and your teaching partner decide to do this project? (Please describe the context of your project, this can include influence from previous projects, context of your school, community, etc.): 

Megan: We worked together over the last two years with the Collaboration Laboratory program and wanted to continue working together. We wanted to keep some aspects of our previous collaborations – using movement/dance, students working together to create choreography, social emotional learning components, filming the final project – but wanted to focus on a different academic content area. Caitlin brought up the idea of a science unit, and I really enjoyed that idea because I love science and have collaborated with a scientist in my own artistic career before. 

2. Big Idea:  Changing States

3. Inquiry:  How and why do things change?

4. Grade Level: 2nd grade

5. Academic Subject(s): Science: states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) and how they change (freezing, melting, evaporation, condensation)  SEL: how are our emotions connected to our energy and how do our emotions change?


6. Artistic Discipline(s): Dance: using concepts of body, energy, space and time, remembering learned movement and developing new movement vocabulary, generating improvisational movement, using movement vocabulary and improvisational movement to create performance.


7. How many years have you worked together as partners?: 3

8. Please describe what you did and what you made for this project: 

Students engaged in inquiry through the exploration of moving their bodies through space with the consideration of time and energy; they used this to engage in inquiry about how they can use their Bodies, Energy, Space, and Time (BEST) to represent states of matter and the transformation of states of matter as well as our emotions. We asked the students to think about energy quantitatively (using a scale of 1-10 to describe the amount of energy we have). They described states of matter and emotions using energy level and space and developed a set of movement vocabulary (including students created movements and movements learned in their in-school dance class) that corresponded to each state of matter. Our students created CAPE journals that tracked emotions and made connections between their changing emotions and changing states of matter, identified how and why the changes occur, and kept records of planning their movements for dance. We used structured improvisations to explore how states of matter change (melting, freezing, condensation, evaporation). We watched videos and discussed the science behind these changes in order to create the structure to our improvisation. Students worked in 4 groups to produce dance pieces that embody the changes they saw within themselves and the states of matter: each group created a dance that showed one of the 4 states of matter change (melting, freezing, condensation, and evaporation.) We filmed each group’s dance and editing them together to create a film. Students also produced personal narratives (stories from their life when their emotions changed in a similar way to a state of matter change) as voiceovers for the movements that became the soundtrack to the film.

Students working together to create movement vocabulary towards the beginning of the process
A list of movement vocabulary for each state of matter: some created by the students, some that students chose from moves they learned in their school dance class.
Student journals
Caitlin and students talking about dance vocabulary that represents solids, liquids, and gases
Students referred to notes they made in their journals about different movements as they worked in their groups to create a piece of choreography
Personal narratives from students about a time in their life when their feelings changed

9. What were you hoping the students would learn during this project?: 

A deeper understanding of states of matter – to recognize the difference between states of matter and changes in states of matter because they can feel the difference when they explore it physically

An understanding that feelings change over time

Ability to use frameworks like energy level to reflect on and understand their personal experience of emotions 

Using movement to create meaning or show a concept 


10. What surprised you during this project?:  

Real world examples could sometimes be helpful but sometimes could be confusing because students weren’t always able to understand what the molecules were doing as opposed to the whole liquid/solid/gas. For example, a description of freezing involving juice becoming a popsicle got some of the students off track because they focused on the juice being poured into the popsicle container rather than the decreasing energy of the molecules as the liquid froze into a solid. 

11. What worked in this project and why? What didn’t work and why?: 

The improvisations really worked to let us know what the kids did or didn’t understand about the molecular level of the solid – so sometimes it seemed like the improvisation “didn’t work” because the kids did something different that what we expected for that state of matter or transition. But those “didn’t work” times allowed us to see what the kids didn’t understand yet and focus on that next time. For example, during the first time we explored melting, they all chose to fall down to the ground. So the next time we asked them to focus on increasing their energy and space in order to better understand that molecules have more energy and move around more in a liquid than in a solid.

12. How did you assess student learning?: (ex. Was it formative or summative? Was it a written, verbal or performative based assessment? Were students provided with teacher or peer feedback? Did you use a rubric or portfolio system? Etc.) 

We used a rubric that to assess the following components: accurate representation of the original states of matter using energy and space; accurate representation of the transformation into the second state of matter using energy and space; relation of energy levels to emotions – how and why they change and the differences between; consistency of choices throughout the process. The numerical score was based on Bloom’s Taxonomy. 

We also used a great deal of performative assessment during the class, including looking for physical examples that correlated to specific examples of understanding. For example, spreading out their arms and legs and moving around the entire room is an example of taking up a lot of space with their bodies and filling an entire container as a gas. We provided feedback by coaching the students in their movement choices when their movements indicated that they were having a hard time understanding a concept. Our journals were also a tool that the students used for aiding memory and self-reflection. 

Students using their journals to reflect and work on group choreography

13. How did you share your student’s learning process with others? Who did you share it with?: 

We had a showing on Monday Feb 26th at Peirce in which we presented our film to parents, the principal, and CAPE staff. We shared students’ reflection journals, the various posters and planning papers, as well as our final film. Students chose the specific journal entries and planning papers they wanted to display and also verbally shared their experiences at the final showing.

The film that we created as the culmination of our project

14. Standards Addressed: (Common Core, Next Generation Science, National Core Arts):

Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards: 

CCSS RI2.3 Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text SL2.1b Build on others’ talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others SL2.5 Create audio recordings of stories or poems W2.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question MP2 Reason abstractly and quantitively NGSS 2-PS1-1 Patterns in the natural and human designed world can be observed. Different kinds of matter exist and many can be either solid or liquid depending on temperature. Matter can be described by its observable properties. 1-PS1-4 Events have causes that generate observable patterns 2-PS1-2 Objects may break into smaller pieces and be put together into larger pieces, or change shapes. 2-ESS1-1&2 Things may change slowly or rapidly 2-LS2-2 Modeling builds on prior experiences and progresses to include using and developing models that represent concrete events. Develop a simple model based on evidence to represent a proposed object or tool .

National Arts Standards: 

 #1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work #2 Organize and develop artistic ideas and work #3 Develop and refine artistic work for presentation #10 Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art