Unit 5: Lesson 3
Unit 5: Lesson 3
Read Sparklers by Mark Vinz and Instruct on Dance Concepts
LITERACY "I CAN" STATEMENT
Reading Standards (Literature)
RL 3.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.
RL 5.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.
Speaking & Listening
SL 3.1a: Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
SL 3.1b: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
SL 3.1c: Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.
SL 3.1d: Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
SL 3.6: Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
SL 4.1a: Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
SL 4.1b: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
SL 4.1c: Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.
SL 4.1d: Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
SL 4.6: Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion); use formal English when appropriate to task and situation.
SL 5.1a: Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
SL 5.1b: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
SL 5.1c: Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.
SL 5.1d: Review the key ideas expressed and draw conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.
SL 5.6: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation.
Reading Standards (Literature)
RL 3.5: Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.
RL 4.4: By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grades 4–5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
RL 5.6: Describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described.
-“Sparklers” by Mark Vinz
-Movement Chart (Created in Class)
-Words in Motion Wall Safety Chart (Create in Class- space to record words and phrases)
-Safety Chart (Created in Class)
-Free-Verse Poetry Characteristics (Created in Class)
-Unit 5, Track 1: “BrainDance of Words #1” by Debbie Gilbert
-Unit 5, Track 6: “Bottle Rocket,” by Eric Chappelle
Audio Recordings of Poetry
-Unit 5, Track 5: “Sparklers” female with prosody
-Unit 5, Track 5: “Sparklers” male with prosody
Life & Learning Skills
Unit 5 includes the following Life & Learning Skills:
Differentiation Options will appear throughout the unit to suggest ways to scaffold or challenge student learning. Use the number of helping hands to select the level of differentiation that best supports student learning.
Key instructional steps where the arts are used to leverage literacy-learning (and vice versa) are marked with . Smaller leveraging moments also occur throughout the lessons.
STEP 1: INTRODUCE LESSON 3
Process: Give an overview of the lesson objectives: Read and discuss a new poem; learn the dance concept Energy Qualities (sharp, smooth); and use dance to explore words and phrases in the poem.
ELL Support Comprehensible Input
Support ELL language development and comprehension by starting with a short vocabulary lesson using Vocabulary Snapshots to provide multi-sensory pre-learning for words that may be unfamiliar to culturally diverse students. Click here for a sample lesson plan.
Recommended vocabulary from “Sparklers” to pre-teach with Vocabulary Snapshots:
- Sparklers - Twirling - Loops -
- Grownups - Lawn Chairs - Bare Feet -
- Slippery Grass - Porch Light - Glow -
- Independence Day -
Sample Visual Icons for “Dragonfly”
See Unit 5 Texts, pages 8-12 (students) and this resource page (teachers) for Vocabulary Snapshot activities for “Sparklers” using these visual icons and more.
Introduce Lesson 3
"Today we are going to read a new poem, learn a new dance concept, and use all our dance concepts to explore the poem."
"By the end of today’s lesson, you will be able to say, 'I can identify words and phrases in a poem that evoke a feeling or help me imagine how something looks, sounds, smells, feels, or tastes. I can use movement to help me explore the meaning of a poem.'”
STEP 2: ENGAGE IN PRE-READING DISCUSSION OF “SPARKLERS” AND THE CHARACTERISTICS OF FREE–VERSE POETRY
Process: Introduce the next poem, “Sparklers,” by engaging students in a discussion about the topic of the poem. Show images of topics and vocabulary as needed from this resource page. Discuss characteristics of free-verse poetry and make a list to post in the room. See the menu below for Characteristics of Free-Verse Poetry.
ELL Support: Independence Day Concept
Recommended vocabulary to pre-teach with Vocabulary Snapshots:
- Declaration of Independence - Patriots -
- 4th of July - Fireworks -
- Picnic - Uncle Sam -
- Red, White, and Blue - Streamers -
- Balloons - Parade -
Sample Visual Icons
Click here for additional icons.
Engage in a pre-reading discussion of “Sparklers,” by Mark Vinz.
"The new poem is called 'Sparklers,' by Mark Vinz. What is a sparkler? What does it look like? Has anyone ever held a sparkler? (Students respond.) It’s a firework that shoots little sparks into the air. Here’s a picture of a sparkler. (Show image from Resources, page 22.)"
"When do people usually use fireworks like sparklers? (Students respond.) Yes, the Fourth of July, which is also called Independence Day. Independence Day celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, which is when the United States decided to stop being part of Great Britain. What kinds of things do people do for Independence Day? (Students may respond “watch fireworks or parades, have barbeques or picnics,” etc. Show images on Resources, pages 22-29 as needed.)"
"What feeling do you get from the title 'Sparklers'? What do you think will happen in the poem? (Students respond.) What if the title were “America’s Day of Freedom”? What response would you have? (Students respond.) When we read 'Sparklers,' let’s see what words and phrases Mark Vinz uses to create images, feelings, and thoughts for the reader."
Identify & discuss characteristics of free-verse poetry
"Before we read the poem, let’s talk for a moment about the kinds of poems we are exploring in this unit."
"What did you notice about the poem 'Dragonfly' (Unit 5 Texts, page 7) and the way it is written? (Students respond. Guide students to notice that it is a non-rhyming poem.)"
"All the poems we read in this unit are called “free-verse poems.” That means they do not have a rhyming pattern, they have no set line length, and no set rhythm. You are probably used to writing or reading poems that rhyme. Free-verse poems are great because they allow the poet freedom to choose words he or she thinks best evoke images, feelings, ideas, and responses, which is our focus as word explorers. I’ll make a list of the free-verse poetry characteristics and post it. (Record on chart paper.)"
STEP 3: READ & DISCUSS “SPARKLERS”
Teaching Tip: Sample Questions
-What word or phrase stood out for you?
-Did it give you an image, or a feeling, or did it make you think of an experience you’ve had? Tell us about it.
-Did anyone else have a response to this word or phrase?
-(Ask only when appropriate.) Why do you think the poet chose this word or phrase?
Teaching Tip: Poetry Recordings
This unit contains audio recordings of a male and a female reading each poem in Unit 5. In this lesson you may want to play the recordings of “Sparklers” (Unit 5, Track 17 & Track 19) instead of reading them each time yourself.
Classroom Charts & Graphic Organizers: World Explorer Guide to Reading Poetry
Pay attention to the ways poets use words & phrases to:
Communicate a focused topic
My 7th Birthday
The maple syrup streams
In winding rivers
down my leaning tier of
birthday blueberry pancakes.
I’m no longer six.
Birthdays. I love birthdays. I have a birthday party every year and eat whatever I want for breakfast.
Help readers imagine how something looks, smells, sounds, tastes, or feels to the touch
Examples: a melting purple popsicle, crackling popping fire, slippery sidewalk
Expamples: joyful, frightened, nervous, angry, sluggish, hopeful
Teaching Tip: Discussing“Sparklers” by Mark Vinz
Words and phrases that evoke images include:
“Twirling our frantic loops and circles” .
“Grownups watching from their lawn chairs”
“Giddy slash of every turn and leap”
“And bare feet flying in slipper grass”
Words and phrases that may evoke feelings include:
“We cried, look!”
“Until the last glow died”
“Warned each time about burnt hands”
“Again! We shouted”
“Ran as far beyond the porch light as we dared”
Personal connections students make might include:
Fourth of July celebrations with friends and family Favorite fireworks Summertime A time they were really excited Doing something their parents might not like
"Open your Unit 5 Texts to page 13 to the poem 'Sparklers,' by Mark Vinz. We’ll read the poem aloud several times."
"The first time, just listen to the poem. (Read poem.)"
"The second time, close your eyes and see what kind of feelings or images come into your mind. (Read poem again.)"
"The third time, follow along in your text as I read. Notice words and phrases that stand out because they evoke a visual image, a strong feeling, an idea, or make you think of an experience you’ve had. (Read poem.)"
"As word explorers, we’re paying attention to the words and phrases poets use."
"Let’s look at Mark Vinz’s choices. Pair-share with a partner a word or phrase that stood out for you. You will probably have different responses to the poem, and that’s okay. (Students pair-share.)"
"Let’s share with the whole group. What word or phrase stood out for you? (Students may respond “loops and circles,” “Giddy slash,” “feet flying,” “Again! We shouted.”)"
"Did it give you an image, or a feeling, or did it make you think of an experience you’ve had? Tell us about it." (Student may respond “It reminded me of the 4th of July and how excited I was.”)
"Did anyone else have a response to this word or phrase? (1–2 students respond and give examples.)"
"Why do you think the poet chose this word or phrase? (1–2 students respond.)"
Continue discussion with students’ responses to other words and phrases from the poem.
STEP 4: TRANSITION TO DANCE AND MOVE DESKS
Process: Transition to dance and move desks. Tell students to put away their Unit 5 Texts.
Transition to Dance and Move Desks
"Next we’ll learn a new dance concept and create dances to show a line from the poem. When I say 'Go,' put your Unit 5 Texts away and move the desks. Then, find an empty space in the room for our BrainDance warm-up. Go!"
STEP 5: WARM UP WITH THE BRAINDANCE
Process: Lead the students in the BrainDance of Words #1. The audio track for BrainDance of Words #1 (Unit 5, Track 1) has verbal cues and musical accompaniment for the BrainDance. If desired, instead of using the audio track, use the verbal cues below to guide students through the BrainDance. This can be facilitated as a generic BrainDance without descriptive words, with descriptive words, with or without music.
"Let’s get our bodies and brains ready with the BrainDance."
Breath: Breathe softly.
Tactile: Busily tap your head, your arms, your fronts, your backs, your legs, and your feet.
Core-distal: Smoothly grow into a large shape and shrink into a small shape.
Head-tail: Tranquilly curl forwards and backwards and from side to side.
Upper half: Freeze the lower half of your body. With the top half of your body, move joyously.
Lower half: Freeze the top half of your body. With the lower half of your body, move grumpily.
Body-half right: Freeze the left side of your body. With the right side, move quickly.
Body-half left: Freeze the right side of your body. With the left side, move slowly.
Eye-tracking: Follow your right thumb with your eyes. Move it mysteriously from side to side. Follow your left thumb with your eyes. Move it mysteriously from side to side.
Cross-lateral: Enthusiastically reach your arms across the front of your body on different levels.
Vestibular: Anxiously spin and then freeze in a confident shape.
Breath: Breathe softly.
STEP 6: INSTRUCT ON THE DANCE CONCEPT—ENERGY QUALITIES (SHARP, SMOOTH)
Process: Ask students to sit where they are. Review the previous dance concepts of Level, Shape, Self Space, General Space, and the movement Safety Chart. Introduce the new dance concept of Energy Qualities with Sharp and Smooth Energy. Show them the dance word signs for energy qualities. Lead an exploration of smooth and sharp energy, first with one body part at a time and then with whole bodies. After instructing on energy qualities, add them to the Movement Chart and make connections between the energy qualities and feelings and images. Post dance word signs.
Classroom Charts & Graphic Organizers: Movement Chart
Several sample responses have been filled in below. Both a sample and a blank version of this chart are available in this resource page. Project it on the document camera or create a chart to post on the wall.
"Select one of the options listed below or structure the dancing, presenting and reflecting in a way that appropriately meets students’ needs and fosters engagement."
"Guide whole class reflection. All groups create dances for the same line from 'Sparklers.' 1-3 groups share dances with the class. Guide reflection on dance choices. This option provides the most support presenting and reflecting on dances."
"Guide whole class reflection. Groups share dances with buddy groups. Groups create dances for an assigned line in “Sparklers.” Invite 1-2 volunteer groups to share with the class. Guide the reflection. Then, have each group share & reflect on their dance with a “buddy” group. Select this option if groups are able to constructively reflect on their peers’ dances."
"Groups share dances with buddy groups. Groups create dances for different lines in 'Sparklers.' Have each group share and reflect on their dance with a 'buddy' group. If time and attention permit, all groups can share their dances with the whole class. Allow students to lead the reflection."
Instruct on Energy Qualities
"Have a seat where you are. (Students sit.) What dance concepts did we explore in our last class? Can you show me a Shape on a High Level? Can you show me a Shape on a Low Level? What is moving in Self Space? What is moving through General Space? Remind me what we need to keep in mind to move safely. Show me your Space Bubble."
"Our new concept is Energy Qualities. (Display dance word sign for each energy quality.) Energy is another important dance tool to help dancers communicate expressively. Energy is the dynamic quality of movement. Dancers can move with Smooth Energy or Sharp Energy. Let’s try these energy qualities. Smooth Energy is continuous, sustained, and flowing. The movement does not stop."
- Move your hand with Smooth Energy. Freeze.
- Move your head with Smooth Energy. Freeze.
- Stand up and move with your whole body in Self Space with Smooth Energy. Freeze.
- Move with your whole body with Smooth Energy, traveling through General Space. Freeze.
- Sit down right where you are.
"Sharp Energy is sudden and jerky. It is all about moving and stopping."
- Move your hand with Sharp Energy. Stop. Move. Stop. Move. Stop.
- Move your shoulders with Sharp Energy. Stop. Move. Stop. Move. Stop.
- Stand up and move with your whole body in Self Space with Sharp Energy. Stop. Move. Stop. Move. Stop.
- Move with your whole body with Sharp Energy traveling through General Space. Look for the empty spaces and don’t disturb anyone’s Space Bubble. Stop. Move. Stop. Move. Stop.
Discuss when and why students might use different energy qualities in their dances.
"Let’s add Smooth and Sharp Energy to our movement chart. (Record on chart.) When might you use Smooth Energy in a dance? What feeling or image can Smooth Energy help you show? (Students respond. Record on chart. Repeat for Sharp Energy. See sidebar Movement Chart for sample responses.)"
STEP 7: STUDENTS CREATE DANCES FOR “SPARKLERS”
Process: Guide students to create their own dances for a line in the poem. See the menu, Differentiation Options: Creating, Presenting & Reflecting on Dances for “Sparklers” for ways to scaffold Steps 7 and 8. Put students into groups of three to five to choreograph dances. See menu Grouping Students for Dance for rationale of grouping sizes. Assign each group a line from the poem. A version of “Sparklers” broken down by lines is available in this resource document, for copying, cutting, and handing out to each group.
Students create dances. After dances are created, add music. Play “Bottle Rocket,” by Eric Chappelle (Unit 5, Track 6). Groups can choose to have everyone dance the same choreographed movements or they can each do different movements.
Timing to create dances is 5 minutes.
Teaching Tip: Grouping Students for Dance
Students were grouped in pairs & trios for the initial dance activities. If your students are ready, move to groups of 3-5 students starting with this lesson. The dance explorations in the first few lessons were designed for groups of two or three to enable students to build skills working as a team to create movement and dances. The small size is effective because all students have an opportunity to act as both leaders and followers. Each student has an active role in the collaboration.
Large groups need to develop more collaboration skills to be successful working together. Additionally, for large groups more space is required for each group to choreograph movements and time is required so that each student can contribute to the dance-making process.
As students build their choreographic and collaboration skills they can work in slightly larger groups. Larger groups offer more choices for choreography. This lesson is written for groups of 3-5 students.
Coaching Tips for the Arts: Discussing Dance
Reflecting on dances:
- Use Dance Reflection Starters to guide reflection. Over the course of the unit, students will gradually take over the reflection process.
- Guide your students to be specific when they respond to dances. This improves their observation skills, their dance-making skills, and their ability to see meaning in poetry and movement.
- If students are ‘acting’ rather than dancing a line from a poem, encourage them to exaggerate their movement by using their whole body and to repeat movements.
- Help students focus on what was effective in the performance and describe choices that worked rather than things they did not like. This type of feedback supports choreographers because it validates their choices and helps them think about future choices.
Create Dances for "Sparklers"
"Now, you’ll create a dance for a line in the poem. I’ll put you into groups and give each group a line from the poem. (Put students into groups and assign a line from the poem.)"
"As you did when you choreographed dances for “Dragonfly” (Unit 5 Texts, page 7), you will create a beginning shape, a movement, and an ending shape. Make shape and movement choices to show the word choice in your line from “Sparklers.” Will you use Smooth or Sharp Energy, or both? What Levels will you use? Will you use Self or General Space, or both? What Shapes will best communicate the words and phrases? Look at our Movement Chart for ideas about how movement can show different feelings or images."
"You have 5 minutes to choreograph and practice your dance. (Students create dances.)"
"Now that you have your dances, let’s add music. Get into your opening shape. When you hear the music, begin your dance. If your group finishes before other groups, stay frozen in your shape until the music stops."
Dance two or three times with music. Play “Bottle Rocket,” by Eric Chappelle (Unit 5 CD, Track 6).
STEP 8: STUDENTS PRESENT & REFLECT ON “SPARKLERS” DANCES
Process: Facilitate groups to share and reflect on their dances. Create the performance space and review audience and performer behavior. Follow the suggested dialogue if it aligns with the differentiation option you selected.
Invite 1-2 volunteer groups to present their dances for the class. Follow a similar process if students will share their dances in buddy groups or additional groups will present for the class. Play “Bottle Rocket,” by Eric Chappelle (Unit 5, Track 6) for the performance. Guide the reflection using the Reflection Starters and discuss the shape and movement choices made by the dancers to show the images, feelings, and responses to the poem. Students can also write their reflections on pages 6-7 in their A4L Student Notebook.
Prepare students to share dances.
"What makes a good audience? (Students respond.) What makes a good performer? (Students respond.)"
"Let’s have the FIRST group come into the performance space. (Students move to the performance space.)"
Facilitate student sharing and reflecting on the dances.
"Dancers, get into you beginning shape. I will read the line from the poem. When the music starts, begin your dance. When you’re finished, stay frozen in your ending shape until the music stops."
"Audience, look for the choices they made to show the words and phrases in the poem. Audience ready? Dancers ready? (Dancers perform.)"
"Dancers, take a bow! Audience, give them a hand in sign language! Dancers, stay where you are. (Groups stay in the presentation space, standing or sitting, while the audience responds.)"
Facilitate a discussion of the dancing.
"Audience, let’s use our Reflection Starters to help us respond to the dance. What movement choices did the dancers make to show the words and phrases from the poem? Describe what you saw. Be specific. Did you see smooth or sharp movement? Were their shapes big, small, twisted, stretched? What parts of their bodies did they move? What levels did they use? Did they stay in one spot? Did they travel? (Possible responses: 'They turned sharply in their self space to show twirling that was frantic.' “They drew huge smooth circles in the air with their arms to show how they wrote their names in the air.”) What feelings or images did you get from their movements? (Students respond. If desired, remaining groups perform with audience response after each performance.)"
"Bravo, dancers! You have just created and performed dances for 'Sparklers.'"
STEP 9: MOVE DESKS
Process: Restore the room to its original state. Tell students how and where to move the desks and where you want them to go once they’ve moved everything.
STEP 10: CLOSE LESSON 3
Process: Close the lesson with a look forward describing the next lesson.
"In our next lesson, we’ll dig deeper into the words and phrases in the poem and learn a new way to explore the poems through dance."
Performing The Closing Ritual (Optional)
CONGRATULATIONS ON COMPLETING LESSON 3! YOU ARE NOW READY TO MOVE ONTO LESSON 4 OF UNIT 5.
You've now reached the end of our ArtsforLearning Curriculum preview.