Bulb Archived: Waters SCALE 2017-2018: Roman & Rhyme

School Name: Waters

Teacher Name: Lucila Roman

Teaching Artist Name: Megan Rhyme

Big Idea: Sharing the Experience

Inquiry: How does experiencing knowledge with our bodies help us understand it more and how do we share does experiences with an audience.

1. Planning: What interests and curiosities were brought to the planning by each of you? 

Teacher response: Technology in life, experiencing knowledge, learning through research. How do we express ourselves through technology and understand it? How does learning stay with you through your life?

Teaching Artist response: voice, props, and costumes. dancing and speaking information. How do we use our bodies to learn more deeply? How do we incorporate other arts into a performance?

A page from our planning form.

2. The Project: Tell the story of your project. What happened in the classroom? 

We started by doing our interview to learn from the student’s family heritage. The students learned about each other’s culture and we gathered ideas of which dances to learn as a class. The students shared interviews with each other and we made a list of words that we noticed or that were that unfamiliar and explained some of the cultural traditions behind those words. From there, we watched videos about the dances to learn about the history of the dance and the cultural tradition of it. We looked for things like: costuming, colors, who was doing the dance, what body parts were being used, the energy the dancers were putting into the dance, and the space they were using. 

A list of questions and things we noticed from our family interviews.

Then, we learned the steps of the dance and practiced it as a class. In December we invited our friends and family to a midyear show, were we performed the dances. We discussed with the students who they wanted to invite and what facts about the dance we should share with their families and friends. Students performing the three cultural dances we learned in class.

After the performance, we asked the students about their thoughts and feelings about each dance  and what pictures came to mind. Then, we had them draw their pictures on their journal and we asked them to share with each other and explain why they draw the picture. We asked them to draw it on a large piece of drawing paper and then finalize their drawing. After they finalized their drawing, they cut and pasted small squares of construction paper to make a Mosaic. In March, this mosaic was displayed at the CAPE SCALE exhibit, along with a video of them doing the dances. 

Students working on their mosaics. 
The finished mosaics that were displayed at the exhibit.

After March, we discussed who we are as individuals and the culture of our dance class community. Each student created their own dance movement, inspired by a favorite song. Then they worked in groups to create their own dances, using their movements as well as steps from the dances they learned last semester. We made instruments and created rhythms to accompany each group. We answered questions about ourselves that were similar to the questions on our family interviews from the beginning of the year: What music do we like? What dances do we do with our friends? How would we describe ourselves in dance class? Finally, we chose a song as a class and linked all of our movements together into one big dance for the entire class. In May, we will present the answers to our self-interview questions, our group dances, and our whole class dance at the Waters final sharing event. 

A student demonstrating his move.
Students made posters to record the choreography (moves, timing, formations in space) for their group dances. 
Student answers to the question “How do you like to dance and move when you’re with your friends?”

3. How did you check in throughout the project to plan and adjust plans as the project unfolded? We had planning time after our class and share/discuss our ideas.  We also talk to each other during the class, for example when the students are eating snack or stretching. We had to ask the parents for help, when we realized that cutting the paper for the mosaics would take longer than we thought. 

Some of our planning notes from a planning meeting. 

4. What are the conflicts, contradictions or challenges of your teacher/artist collaboration? 

Teacher response: As we progress though the project, one of us might think of something new to add to the project and it changes the planning on the spot.

Teaching Artist response: Sometimes when the plan is changed, it takes us a minute to adjust to our new plan and we have to talk and plan again before we tell the kids.

Mrs Roman working with students on mosaics.

5. What are you learning as a result of collaborating with one another in terms of teaching and art making? 

Teacher response: Collaborating with Ms. Megan, teaches me to incorporate dance into teaching other subject like social, history of cultures, geography of people, narrative writing, and presenting their work. 

Teaching Artist response: Working with Ms. Roman, teaches me how to be more flexible with the dance class and how to incorporate art and personal expression, and other types of learning environments. 

Pages from student journals: during the year, students wrote and reflected in journals about the activities of dance class. 

6. How has the community-focused component of the project contributed to or challenged your teacher/artist collaboration? 

Teacher response: We asked parents to come in and assist the students with their project, so they could  be involved and see how hard their child is working to do this project. We hope that by them coming to the room, they will be more interested in going to see the exhibit and feel more connected to CAPE community.

Teaching Artist response: It was nice to have the interview at the beginning of the program because I think the parents felt involved in the class almost right away. The interview made a connection with parents, that we were able to build on with the December showing and the mosaic project.

A video from our December parent sharing in which we invited parents to join in and dance with their students.