In this blog post, I am fully documenting two 80-minute lessons that I did with my grade 4 class over the past couple of weeks. I will detail, step-by-step, what it was we did, with examples of video, as well as describe the formative assessment that went along with these activities. I will include examples student assessment below as well.
Even though this learning experience was broken down into two 80-minute lessons for me, if you are interested in trying it out, depending on your own schedule, it may end up being three 60-minute lessons or four 40-minute lessons.
To Start Off (Part A)
Have the following questions posted on the whiteboard or on chart paper and use the questions to stimulate discussion about movement composition. If possible record your students’ answers.
Why is it important to match movements used in a routine to the piece of music it is being performed to?
This part of the lesson should take no more than 5 minutes and the You Tube video seen below is what I had my students watch. It is a funny, entertaining clip of 2 Cirque Du Soleil performers doing a juggling scarves routine. One is juggling and the other one is using drums to create a distinct beat for their routine. After watching the video the students answered the following questions.
How did the movements of the juggler match the beat of the drums? Give specific examples?
What are some juggling scarves movements/tricks that the juggler created as part of his routine?
Tuning In (Part B)
Giving the students only one scarf each and putting them into their own area, they had to explore different types of tricks and movements that they could do with their one scarf (NO MUSIC played at this point). The following questions are asked at this point.
What movements/tricks are more difficult to do?
Video and Audio at this point (Part C)
Giving the students 2 scarves now, I have them watch the video of the juggler and obviously hear the beat of the drums. They are to copy, as closely as possible, the movements of the juggler in the Cirque video. They love this part!!! I give them a few goes at copying the juggler.
Assessment Criteria Discussion (Part D)
At this point they are informed that they will create their own juggling scarves routine either on their own or a group of 2 or 3. It is very important to discuss what assessment criteria they believe are critical when creating, planning, and practicing for their routines. The following assessment criteria was what my grade 4 students came up with.
Movements Matching Music
I recorded this criteria in my journal and then created their formative assessment sheets to be used in the final phase of this lesson.
Once the students decided whether or not they wanted to work in groups, they got down to business creating a juggling scarves routine. The requirements were that they had to come up with 5 distinct tricks/moves using the juggling scarves and record their routine, step-by-step on their assessment sheets. They had to practice and refine their routine and decide how many times they wanted to repeat the pattern of juggling scarves tricks during the piece of music. The music was 1 minute 18 seconds long. Some groups repeated their pattern of 5 movements twice, some groups three times. I didn’t care as long as they were able to decide on the timing and come up with a pattern of 5 movements.
The Final Act (Part F)
Instead of performing for the whole class, what we did was one group would perform for another group. The group observing would give feedback and then the observing group now performed theirs. Feedback was given and then all groups, at the same time, self-assessed using the formative assessment sheets.
To hear the music used for this formative assessment piece click on the little music link below:
A fantastic lesson that flowed well. They were essentially in charge of creating their own assessment criteria, so knew ahead of time what was expected of them and how they were being assessed. Although it was a self-assessment, I was able to assess them using their own criteria as well.
Try this series of lessons out, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!!!
Example Student Assessment Below