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make your day dance

Lesson Plan: Using Focus in a Narrative Dance

November 16th, 2008 · No Comments · Tags: ······

Grade Levels: 1-5

Enduring Understanding:  Narrative dance tells a story.  The use of focus supports a story.

Target:  Choreograph narrative dances.  Assessment criteria:  Students’ dance shows a story, including a beginning, middle, and end.

Target:  Use focus to help tell the story.  Assessment criteria:  Students use focus in showing the story.

Context:  Students already completed a lesson on Focus (single focus, multi-focus, and internal focus), including an introduction, explorations, and several improvisational structures using focus.

Warm-up:  Lead a whole-body warm-up, reviewing single focus, multi-focus, and internal focus along the way.

Skill development:  Teach a movement sequence — Walk with multi-focus for 4-8 counts; Focus (single focus) on a designated location & freeze 4 counts;  Maintain single focus in a curving pathway as you turn, as if the point of focus flew around you, 4 counts; Freeze with single focus on one spot, as if the point of focus landed, for 4 counts; repeat.  After several repetitions, add a narrated storyline as students think about what they might be focusing on: first, I was walking along… next, something caught my attention suddenly… then, it moved, and I watched it…

Creating:  Small groups (duets for younger students; trios or quartets for older) use the pattern and add an ending to create a dance that tells a story.  First, generate a list of possible points of focus (e.g., an alien, butterfly, phantom, frog, ghost, monster…).  Groups then choose a point of focus, adjust the original pattern (walk, focus, turn, focus) to their choice, and complete the story by adding an ending: Finally…..

Groups perform their stories, telling the audience what their point of focus is.  Audience members give the performers feedback on how they think the story concluded. [Alternately, ask the audience to identify the use of focus in the dance.]

Conclusion:  Groups assess their own stories for beginning, middle, and ending — or for their use of focus. Review the definition of “narrative dance.”

EALRs: 1.1.1 Understands arts concepts and vocabulary (focus); 1.1.2 Creates movement sequences with a beginning, middle, and end (form); 2.1 Applies previously learned arts concepts, vocabulary, skills and techniques through a creative process; 3.2 Uses the arts to communicate for a specific purpose.

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