Bulb Archived: Henry 2018-2019: Cortes and Kato (2018-2019 A/R Partners)


1. How did you and your teaching partner decide to do this project?

Nowadays, it’s getting more crucial to recognize and respect each other’s differences as well as similarities as humans in order to foster multi-cultural centric ideas as the holistic whole. Patrick Henry Elementary is located in Albany Park and demographics of students are mostly Latino. Called minorities, we felt it is worth for them to be proud of their own cultures as well as to be curious and respectful for many others’, living in the US, expanding their knowledge on different traditional cultures.   

Students made posters after their research on Puerto Rican, Mexican, Indian, Korean, and Polish cultures seen in the Albany Park area in Chicago, and explaining the contents to the audience. 

2. Big Idea: Dancing Others & Dancing with Others: Recognizing and Respecting Cultural Heritage

Students created their own folk dance based on their dreams.

3. Inquiry: How can students expand the notion upon Chicago in terms of racial and cultural varieties and how can they recognize the part of multicultural Chicago history as a fractal aspect of US history?

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?: 2

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

Students presenting Poster on Mexico

Students expressing their dream dance, using Mexican folk music. 

In Chicago, there are varieties of neighborhoods with different cultures. Students researched the history and cultures of Puerto Rico, Mexico, Korea, India, and Poland from their own Albany Park neighborhood. With the dance instructor, students learned different folk dance forms of those cultures as well as how to develop their own dance movements based on their dreams. Students created posters on different countries based on their cultural research and choreographed their own contemporary “folk dances” to share the inspiration they gained. 


9. How did you share your student’s learning process with your school faculty or comm

Ms. Cortes encouraged students to make stage fright gone! And …

This boy started to dance. [This recording was done by a student volunteer (I sometimes ask them to help me to shoot the video so that I can focus on teaching as well as some students can eventually improve those skills, even though now it’s wobbly!)]

Teaching Artist Assessment:

How did you assess student arts 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.)

I assessed students both in formative and summative ways. 

In the beginning, I tried some simple mirroring exercise and also introduced the basic folk dance concept to see their ability to focus and physically catch movement. I also asked students to answer some questions: What is your dream? Or what do you want to be?, What is your favorite music? 


We created two kinds of dance: their own small group dream (contemporary folk) dance by choreographing and ensemble folk dance with interpretive creative folk movement of multiple countries, being choreographed (one country’s movement was adopted from one of the students’ movement). In this way, we could formatively evaluate their development of creativity and dance memorization and physicalization skills. 

I taught the basic way to make dance, sharing some dance terms, such as choreography, composition, improvisation; formation; facing; ensemble; unison and cannon; repetition; speed, size, level change; locomotor and non-locomotor movement. While students were watching videos of different world dance forms, I explained how those elements of dance were used to choreograph. After that, I demonstrated any seed idea could be developed into dance in space. Then, I asked one student to come out and share his movement improvisational. Then, the miracle started to happen. 

April 25: Students drawing their own choreographic ideas of their dream dance. I showed my own choreography notebook for them to see how it can be drawn as well as written in their own styles.

April 12: After watching the dance video of Indian Classical Dance, one student demonstrated his interpretation of the dance through improvisation. Since it was very creative, I am trying to lean his movement with other students. This is for students to learn how to share their movement after they have some ideas and choreograph movement on others or choreographed by others.

I formatively assessed students by observing how their motivation, understanding of how to create dance, how to develop their own materials. Once in a while, we had informal in-class showing and provided with peer and teacher feedback. In the end, as the summative assessment, students presented their own group dance and also ensemble folk dance at the auditorium in front of teachers, parents and their friends.

May 3: They shared their new idea in front of others and tried to apply new feedback/suggestion for the idea.

What were the results of the assessment? What did students learn in your class/project?

Students eventually started to form their groups and create the group dance.

Their favorite music was pretty pop. So the classroom teacher and I decided to introduce international folk music based on the countries they researched on. Students really adopted the folk music from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Korea, India, and Poland well and applied their movement to it well. For ensemble folk dance, in the first place, students were not so confident, yet gradually, their physical ability improved and all of them were actively moving in the performance. 

May 11: Six days before the show

What did you learn from analyzing the student assessments that informs your Arts teaching practice?

Interesting facts were that students started to make very original movement in the first place, yet gradually started to adopt each different group’s movement/formation and imitated favorite ideas of one another. Also, I prohibited to imitate the video game Fortnite movement as materials of their dance. However, one boy who was writing, “My dream is Fortnite” ended up becoming the leader of the group folk dance since I found out he is good at memorizing dance moves. Also, I found out some of those students who are not enthusiastic about studying revealed they are good at dancing by creating very complicated movement sequence and generating very creative new dance vocabularies. Those students who are good at studying also got very curious about choreographing. In that sense, it seems brain and physicality or dance neuromuscular coordination seems to be both different from the academic brain activities, yet related with the brain activity to analyze and create, which is necessary for academic subjects, as well as activate and embody certain human activities. I became curious how the dance brain functions or how dance activates the brain differently and found this article: https://neuro.hms.harvard.edu/harvard-mahoney-neuroscience-institute/brain-newsletter/and-brain-series/dancing-and-brain   

Illinois Arts Learning Standards Addressed:

We covered below while teaching. However, we also added the content of why and executed how students will learn along with our Big Idea, their interests and personality. Ms. Cortes informed me students need special care. Thanks to that initial sharing, I could prepare my mind and materials better so that I teach them even more step by step than usual and also laying certain atmosphere for them to learn. Although I plan before I come to teach, my teaching method is to be flexible to adjust for every different classroom condition and atmosphere of the day/students to gain the maximum effect. The balance of sticking to the plan/image/goal and shifting approach or deepening the content of teaching in the moment along with students’ understanding is very important. For this classroom, Ms. Cortes and I needed to place students really in the center and prioritized what they are experiencing more than the outcome for the showing. As the result, we witnessed and experienced a couple of amazing creative moments initiated from the students and their motivation and focus raised toward the end of the session became unforgettable.   


Grade 3


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.

Grade 3


a.Identify and experiment with choreographic devices to create simple movement patterns and dance structures (for example, AB, ABA, theme and development).

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.

Grade 3


a.Revise 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.

Grade 3


a.Judge 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.

Grade 3


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.

Grade 3


a.Identify 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.



Teacher Assessment:

How did you assess student academic content 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.)

What were the results of the assessment? What did students learn in your class/project?

I assessed my student I used formative and summative assessment.

I started by asking students what they know about their own heritage and neighborhood community (building background knowledge) I provided an outline. They have the opportunity to interview their parents and do a little research on Neighborhood Community (Albany Park): 

– History, 3-4 Important Facts, 

– Choose the 2-3 landmarks that you would like to research and study. 

– Write a topic sentence that states the name of your landmark or historical building and why it is important to Chicago and collect and/or create at least 2-3 artifacts about your Albany Park landmark such as photographs, pictures (not hand drawn), brochures, ticket stubs, and programs. All artifacts should be in color. Students shared with the class what they know about their community and what the learned.

As a summative assessment, students worked in small groups focusing on different Chicago communities by researching on: history, language, food, music, sports, and clothing, traditional holiday events. (Korean, polish, Puerto Rican, Mexican and Indian cultures). At the end, each group created a poster based on their country they researched and presented to the class.

What were the results of the assessment? What did students learn in your class/project?

The end result of this activity or research were that students learned the differences and similarities among different cultures around the world and helped them become more culturally aware, curious, open minded, respectful, and tolerant of others. They learned the depth and complexity of multicultural American communities.

Inquiry Skills:

Developing Questions and Planning Inquiries

Constructing Essential Questions

SS.IS.1.3-5: Develop essential questions and explain the importance of the questions to self and others.

Constructing Supporting Questions

SS.IS.2.3-5: Create supporting questions to help answer essential questions in an inquiry.

Civic Standards

Processes, Rules and Laws
SS.CV.4.3: Describe how people have tried to improve their communities over time.

Geography Standards

Human-Environment Interaction: Place, Regions, and Culture

SS.G.2.3: Compare how people modify and adapt to the environment and culture in our community to other places.

History Standards

Change, Continuity, and Context

SS.H.1.3: Create and use a chronological sequence of events.


SS.H.2.3: Describe how significant people, events, and developments have shaped their own community and region.

Historical Sources and Evidence

SS.H.3.3: Identify artifacts and documents as either primary or secondary sources of historical data from which historical accounts are constructed.

Here is the final piece of the show! Ensemble folk dance with interpretive creative movement of five major cultures seen in Albany Park in Chicago: India, Korea, Polish, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.