Poems That Dance

Title:  Poems That Dance

Grade:   5

Art Discipline:   Dance

Time Frame:  

(3) 15-40 minute sessions

Lesson Overview:   Students create, 1) a cinquain poem, 2) a dance based on the cinquain, and 3) a changed/modified dance using the elements of body, energy, space and time.


GLO(s):   2. Community Contributor, 4. Quality Producer


Arts Benchmark:   How the Arts Are Organized – FA.5.4.1: Modify a simple dance using the elements of dance.

Rubric based on Arts Benchmark:

Advanced

Proficient

Partially Proficient

Novice

Modify a simple dance, using an extensive variety of the elements of dance.

Modify a simple dance, using a variety of the elements of dance.

Modify a simple dance, using a few of the elements of dance.

Modify a simple dance, using one or two of the elements of dance.

Key Arts Vocabulary:   contrast, choreography, locomotor, non-locomotor, sharp, smooth, pathway, level, tempi


Content Area Benchmark:   Range of Writing – LA.5.4.1: Write in a variety of grade-appropriate formats for a variety of purposes and audiences, such as: narratives that include a plot, setting, characters, and a conflict, poems that use figurative language to convey a theme or impression, reports incorporating a framing question and including research from two or more sources, responses to literature, pieces related to completing tasks, notes summarizing what they have read or heard, pieces to reflect on learning and to solve problems.

Content Area Rubric:

Advanced

Proficient

Partially Proficient

Novice

Insightfully adapt writing to grade-appropriate formats for a variety of purposes and audiences.

Adapt writing to grade-appropriate formats for a variety of purposes and audiences.

Write with some adaptation to grade-appropriate formats for a variety of purposes and audiences.

Write with little adaptation to grade-appropriate formats for a variety of purposes and audiences.


Classroom Set Up:   Several spaces in room large enough for groups of 4-5 students to plan, choreograph and perform their dances.

Materials & Equipment needed:  

  • Hand drum
  • Examples of cinquains that contain action
 

Prior to this lesson, students need to know the meaning of noun, verb, and adjective.  Students should be familiar with the elements of dance (body, energy, space, time).  They should have experience choreographing as a group (otherwise, allow more time for exploring and planning).

Teaching Tips:  

  • This lesson can be divided into two or more sessions.
  • Before having the students perform one group at a time, have a “whole class practice” where all the groups practice simultaneously. 
  • Feel free to try other forms of poetry such as free verse or haiku.  The important thing is that the language is vivid and danceable.
 

# Minutes

Procedure

Create

Perform

Respond

10

Session 1:

We are going to write cinquain poems, and then choreograph dances based on those cinquains. Here is the cinquain format.  Let’s write one together as a whole class.  What are some nouns we could start the poem with?

  • one noun
  • two adjectives modifying the above noun
  • three ‘ing’ words (verbs)
  • a four word phrase (with action)
  • one final word

Be sure that the words are action-packed.  Words like pretty, yellow and love are hard to show through movement. 

(Teacher note:   Make sure the poem does not lend itself to pantomiming.  This would be more like drama than dance.) 

Sample Cinquains:

Surf 
Foamy, Tubular 
Rushing, Enclosing, Crashing 
Speeding through the pipeline 
Wipeout! 

Volcano
Massive, Jagged
Swelling, Bubbling, Exploding
Lava flowing to ocean
Hisss!

 

check mark

   

5

As I read our class poem slowly, make the shapes and motions of the words you hear. 

(Teacher’s note: Guide the students into trying more than one way of moving; suggest possibilities for using varied body parts, a different energy, level, direction or speed.) 

check mark

15

Session 2:

Break into groups of 4-5.  Now your group will write a cinquain.

 

check mark

15

Choreograph a dance for your cinquain. 

Remember that the dance should have a beginning, middle and end, with some locomotor and non-locomotor movement.  The people in your group do not all have to do the same thing.  You can connect, you can travel.  Keep in mind the concepts we’ve learned already: contrast, variety, surprise.  Do you have a variety of levels?  Does the energy change?  Are there any surprises?  Are there contrasts of timing?  Decide how the poem will be communicated to the audience. 

You will have ten minutes to plan and practice, and then we’ll perform for each other. 

(Teacher note: Move around the room and help each group.)

check mark

10

Groups will perform one at a time.    check mark  

Describe the kinds of movements you saw.  Did you see locomotor and non-locomotor movement?  Was there variety of levels, directions, body parts, tempi?  Did the dance match the poem? 

 

check mark

10

Session 3:  

Now your group will modify your dance. 

Think about the elements of dance. 

How could you modify your use of “body,” e.g., use different body parts, different locomotor and non-locomotor movements? 

How could you modify your use of “energy,” e.g., change from smooth to sharp?  How could you modify your use of “space,” e.g., change from big to small steps, or change pathway, or change level

How could you modify your use of “time,” e.g., change from fast to slow? 

Use a variety of elements to make the changes.  You are no longer thinking about making the dance match the poem.  Just think about making a modified dance that is quite different from, but still related to, the original.  Practice both versions.

 

check mark

   

10

Each group will perform your original dance, then immediately perform your modified dance.

 

check mark

 

5

Closing Reflection with students:

Describe how the dance elements were altered in the modified dances you saw.

What was the difference in mood and meaning between the two versions?

What was the most interesting modification you saw?

   

 


check mark


Responding (Questions to ask students before, during, or after an activity in the lesson to elicit their thinking about their own work or about work they are studying):

Step 1: Describe

Step 2: Interpret

Step 3: Evaluate

Describe the kinds of movements you saw.

Describe how the dance elements were altered in the modified dances you saw.

Did the dance match the poem?

What was the difference in mood and meaning between the two versions? 

What was the most interesting modification you saw?


Task Specific Rubric:

Advanced

Proficient

Partially Proficient

Novice

Use unusual, surprising and humorous variations of time, space, and energy to modify each part of the dance.

Use variations of time, space, and energy to modify each part of the dance.

Use variations of space and time to modify some parts of the dance in predictable ways, such as changing level or slowing down.

Use variations of only one element such as space, in one or two simple ways, such as changing size and level.

 

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