Although I love to dance, I would be the first to say that I certainly don't set the world on fire with my moves. I simply am not a good dancer! No ifs, ands, or buts about it. All of the people that have known me well over the years, know for certain that I love to have a good time and to dance. I have one classic dance move that I have continually busted out over the years. Please see video below of my latest dance video that has gone around a few circles!
It's all in good fun of course, but the point I am making is that even if you cannot demonstrate dance moves doesn't mean that you cannot teach a dance unit well.
There are loads of resources on the internet that can be used as instructional tools in movement composition. I take full advantage of accessing as many of these resources as possible and for any other teachers that struggle with dance, you should as well. My sons first introduced me to Just Dance videos on You Tube a few months back. We have had lots of family fun dancing away to these videos and I decided to use them in my movement composition unit. In fact, I had an excellent conversation about dance with Joey Feith and Nathan Horne about dance as well. They have both used Just Dance as well and have documented it on their great blogs here (Joey's website, Nathan's website).
I used Just Dance videos last week for all of my classes in movement composition with spectacular results. The students absolutely loved it and by using these Just Dance videos as an instructional tool, I was able to step back and really have a look and assess the variety of levels the students were at with dance. It was great and I am glad that Joey and Nathan recommended it to me as well.
I have embedded 5 Just Dance videos that I used for my classes last week. Simply click on any of these videos to have a look. If you haven't tried them out with your students, please do so as you will not be disappointed.
Breakdown of the Lesson
It was important to discuss the central idea of the 'How we express ourselves' unit first before letting them dance away. In my last blog here, I explained how I kick started the lesson with posting key questions and I posted a picture of the visual organizer that I used to initiate discussion with my students. The second question that I posted was 'What do the 6 different dance videos have in common that make them all very good performances? My aim was to teach them about synchronization and patterning and hopefully my line of questioning helped them to achieve this.
Once we concluded our discussion, I got them to experiment with a number of the Just Dance videos that you see above. After each video, we paused to have important discussion and it didn't take long for them to come up with answers to the second question that I posted. They definitely were beginning to understand that synchronization and patterning are both an important part of good dance routines.
Using the 'Creative Cycle', I then gave the students their task which was to create a 22-second dance routine to Shakira's Waka Waka in groups. They had about 20 minutes to use the entire creative cycle to come up with their routines. After the students performed their short routines, we had a closing discussion about the creative cycle. I photographed what we came up with and shared this with the grade 3 classroom teachers to help them take this further.