I have not had this much fun teaching dance in a long long time. Getting the younger students moving is never a problem as we already know, but getting them to think and create specific movement is more challenging. If you read my recent blog post Just Dance, you saw how I used Just Dance videos from You Tube as an instructional tool in my PE classes. I can say will full certainty that 99.9% of my students were fully engaged in dancing and simply could not get enough.
It was great to take little breaks from time to time to discuss important concepts related to dance. The students were able to share their ideas with one another and recognize that timing and patterning were a big part of all the dances that they had seen and copied. At this point, it was easy for me to introduce the word 'Synchronization' to them. Most of my students are now very familiar with this word and know its meaning (YES!, even my kindergarten and grade 1 students).
As a follow up to my students copying the Just Dance videos, I wanted to do a formative assessment task geared around getting them to demonstrate their understanding of simple patterns in dance. The way I went about this was to take screen shot images of the most popular dance moves from the 6 Just Dance videos seen in class. The students themselves had selected and named many of these dance moves themselves in earlier classes, so it was easy for me to choose which moves to use.
So, after taking screen shot images of the most popular dance moves, I created formative assessment sheets for both kindergarten and grade 1. After having one last go at the Just Dance videos, I then handed out these assessment sheets. As you can see from the pictures of the assessment sheets below, I included images of all of the different dance moves on the sheet. The assessment task itself was modified, of course, for both kindergarten and grade 1.
For grade 1, as a starting point they had to select 3 different dance moves from the images on the assessment sheet plus they had to create 1 or 2 dance moves of their own. Once they had done this, they had to perform these moves to music and repeat the moves in a pattern. After this, they had to choose another pattern with all new moves. Nothing was recorded on the assessment sheets at this point. I am saving all recording on assessment sheets until next week.
For kindergarten the task was modified. On their assessment sheets, there were fewer dance moves to choose from. What they had to do was to select three dance moves from the Just Dance images and create a pattern. They practiced this 3-dance move pattern and then created a new pattern. They practiced these patterns to different types of music. The music I played had different beats and rhythm, so I was observing how well they changed up their movement and whether or not it matched the music being played.
A super successful lesson that you should try out!!