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.):
Going Around the World was initiated by classroom teacher Marybel Cortes. She felt the importance of learning not only students’ own cultures but also others’ to expand their whole geographic perspective and cultural knowledge.
2. Big Idea: Culture, History, and Beauty in You and Me
3. Inquiry: What cultural similarities and differences do classmates’ share, even within the same culture?
4. Grade Level: 3
5. Academic Subject(s): Social Studies
6. Artistic Discipline(s): Dance
7. How many years have you worked together as partners?: 1 (This is our first year.)
8. Please describe what you did and what you made for this project:
Students researched their own and other cultures: Argentina, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Italy, Russia, and France. They discussed about climates, landscape, agriculture, and clothing which reflect the environment. Students listened to music and folk songs from those countries and choreographed dance movement along with the music expressed through different instruments. Students also learned the circle dance to “All You Need Is Love” to perform for the finale as the whole class. They performed their dance in the auditorium in front of teachers, friends and parents with the projection of their research slides.
9. What were you hoping the students would learn during this project?:
– Notice their creativity inside and develop it to share with others.
– Imagine/learn different dance and music style depending on the natural environment, geographic characters/climates, cultural heritage, and history. Or express environmental, cultural and historical differences through the dance movement/choreography.
– Experience and learn collaboration by leading and being lead by their friends or by creating together and helping one another.
10. What surprised you during this project?:
The focus and creativity of the students were amazing from the beginning. The curiosity made them really good choreographers and dancers. Students developed their dance composition and also improved their quality of dance based on peer and teacher/instructor feedback. Students’ potential and creativity were proved through not only through dance, but also their Powerpoint project. Students demonstrated research skills as well as design and presentation skills. Due to their focused state, we could add one more circle dance as coda/finale piece of work. Students were eager to learn the dance, following the choreography. They memorized and learned do-si-do formation and did it so well!! They knew what they were doing better than the teachers!
11. What worked in this project and why? What didn’t work and why?:
Ayako’s each visit was 90 min rather than 60 min. That worked well to work with students closely and gave all of us to set choreography, deepen the movement materials, show to one another, and exchange feedback. Although spring break came in, arranging on-stage rehearsal, including spacing and technical rehearsal for three times worked very well for students and teacher/instructor to get used to the flow of the presentation. The repeaded run-through elevated the quality of the performance and raised awareness among students upon what they are working on/toward. They became less shy and confident by the time of the show.
Marybel motivated students to learn about their own and others’ cultures even before dance instructor came in. So students were ready to create dance. Marybel was also responsible for students to work on research and create the slideshow. Each group’s skill to create the presentation slides was amazing.
Also Marybel moved together and encouraged students to be more expressive, feeling the music. The excitement of the teacher directly become energy for students and that is one big reason why the project was successful.
For dance, lecturing, demonstrating and exercising how to make dance worked well. Deciding the music first worked really well, too. To create their group pieces, repeating the routine of group rehearsal by themselves, showing, receiving feedback, and revising worked well. In the end, they themselves started to ask teachers whether they can practice on the side as groups while others are showing and getting feedback from teachers. Their passion was amazing.
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.)
For both academic and dance, both formative and summative evaluation were made.
Students picked their choice of conntry and researched overtime about geographic location, weather/climate, language, places to visit, cultural tradition/holidays, hobbies, sports, traditional food, arts, famous people. Then, they created presentation slides with images. Through the content of slides, their research/reading, summarizing, writing and even design skills were revealed and developed.
For dance, also performative based assessment was made. Students were very responsive to teacher and peer feedback. They really worked on the self-reflective base of the creative process and that achievement was even beyond our expectation.
13. How did you share your student’s learning process with others? Who did you share it with?:
We did our in-class showing in front of peers. Not really sharing with others, yet rehearsals on stage during the show week were effective to get rid of shyness for the show. In the end, students performed the dance pieces they created in front of friends, family, and teachers at the auditorium, projecting the research power point in the back.
14. Standards Addressed: (Common Core, Next Generation Science, National Core Arts):
Core Arts Standards: Dance
a. Experiment with a variety of self-identified stimuli (for example, music/sound, text, objects, images, notation, observed dance, experiences) for movement.
b. Explore a given movement problem. Select and demonstrate a solution.
Process Component: Plan
Anchor Standard: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
and experiment with choreographic devices to create simple movement patterns and dance structures (for example, AB, ABA, theme
b.Develop a dance phrase that expresses and communicates an idea or feeling. Discuss the effect of the movement choices.
Process Component: Revise
Anchor Standard: Refine and complete artistic work.
movement choices in response to feedback to improve a short dance study. Describe the differences the changes made in the movements.
b. Depict directions or spatial pathways in a dance phrase by drawing a picture map or using a symbol.
Process Component: Express
Anchor Standard: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.
spaces as distance traveled and use space three-dimensionally. Demonstrate shapes with positive and negative space. Perform movement sequences in and through space with intentionality and focus.
b.Fulfill specified duration of time with improvised locomotor and non-locomotor movements. Differentiate between “in time” and “out of time” to music. Perform movements that are the same or of a different time orientation to accompaniment. Use metric and kinesthetic phrasing.
c.Change use of energy and dynamics by modifying movements and applying specific characteristics to heighten the effect of their intent.
Process Component: Embody
Anchor Standard: Develop and refine artistic technique and work for presentation.
a. Replicate body shapes, movement characteristics, and movement patterns in a dance sequence with awareness of body alignment and core support.
b.Adjust body-use to coordinate with a partner or other dancers to safely change levels, directions, and pathway designs.
c.Recall movement sequences with a partner or in group dance activities. Apply constructive feedback from teacher and self-check to improve dance skills.
Process Component: Present
Anchor Standard: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
the main areas of a performance space using production terminology (for example, stage right, stage left, center stage, upstage, and downstage).
b.Explore simple production elements (costumes, props, music, scenery, lighting, or media) for a dance performed for an audience in a designated specific performance space.
Photo by Michelle Green (CAPE) and Ayako Kato