By the end of this lesson students will be able to show and reflect on their understandings of words and phrases through dance and vocal expression.
“I can show and reflect on my understanding of the words and phrases in my poem through dance and vocal expression.”
Reading Standards (Literature)
RL 3.1: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
RL 3.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.
RL 4.1: Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
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 5.1: Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
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.
-Movement Chart (Created in Class)
-Safety Chart (Created in Class)
-Vocal Qualities Chart (Created in Class)
-Laptop or Tablet
Unit 5 includes the following Life & Learning Skills:
-Critical and analytic thinking
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.
Highest level of scaffolding. Select this option if students are learning strategies for the first time, if the text is challenging for them, or if students require more guidance during activities. Part 1 lessons are written for the highest level of scaffolding.
Moderate scaffolding. Select this option if students require some support comprehending the text or navigating the activity.
Least amount of scaffolding/Extending the instruction. Select this option if students are ready to work more independently, move more quickly through the material, or are ready for additional challenge.
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.
Process: Give an overview of the lesson objective: Groups create dances with prosody for one selected phrase.
"Today you will select one part of your poem to dance, create a dance with prosody, and share it with others."
"By the end of today’s lesson, you will be able to say, 'I can show and reflect on my understanding of the words and phrases in my poem through dance and vocal expression'.”
Process: Transition to dance and move desks. Designate an area where students can easily access their A4L Student Notebooks and a pen or pencil.
"Now you’ll create a dance for one of the lines your group explored in the poem. When I say 'Go,' move the desks and put your A4L Student Notebooks in the designated area. Then, find an empty space in the room for our BrainDance warm-up. Go."
Process: Lead the students in the BrainDance of Words #3 The audio track for BrainDance of Words #3 (Unit 5 CD, Track 3) 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.
Warming Up with BrainDance
We’ll start by warming up our bodies and brains with the BrainDance to prepare us to use our whole bodies to dance our words and phrases from the poems you’ve selected.
Breath: Breathe leisurely.
Tactile: Squeeze your head, your arms, your fronts, your backs, your legs, and your feet.
Core-distal: Inflate your body into a gigantic shape and shrivel into a tiny shape.
Head-tail: Daintily 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 vigorously.
Lower half: Freeze the top half of your body. Tremble with the lower half of your body.
Body-half right: Freeze the left side of your body. With the right side, move with determination.
Body-half left: Freeze the right side of your body. With the left side, move awkwardly.
Eye-tracking: Follow your right thumb with your eyes. Move it lazily from side to side. Follow your left thumb with your eyes. Move it merrily from side to side.
Cross-lateral: Turbulently reach your arms across the front of your body on different levels.
Vestibular: Sharply spin and then freeze in a limp shape.
Breath: Breathe leisurely.
Process: Tell students to get their A4L Student Notebooks, find their group, and have a seat together on the floor. Review previous dance concepts of Smooth and Sharp Energy, Level, Shape, Self Space, General Space, and the movement Safety Chart. Guide students to create one dance (shape, movement, shape) for one of the phrases they explored in their poem.
After choreographing their dances, groups decide how to say each phrase with prosody, and then practice doing the movement and saying the phrase together with vocal expression. Timing to create and rehearse dances with prosody is 8-10 minutes.
Differentiation Options: Creating, Prenting & Reflecting on Dances for Choice Poem
Select one of the options listed below or structure the presenting and reflecting in a way that appropriately meets students’ needs, fosters engagement, and makes the best use of class time.
Groups create dances and several groups share dances with class. Each group choreographs a dance and then adds prosody. Either randomly select or invite 2-4 volunteer groups to share their dances with the whole class. Guide the reflection on dance choices. Select this option if students require support reflecting on movement and vocal choices.
Groups create dances, guide whole class reflection for 1-2 groups, then all groups share and reflect with buddy groups. Each group choreographs a dance and then adds prosody. Invite 1-2 groups to share with the class and guide a reflection. Then have all groups share and reflect with a buddy group.
Groups create dances and share & reflect with buddy groups.
Each group choreographs a dance and then adds prosody. Groups share and reflect on dances with buddy groups. Select this option if students are ready to work independently.
Preparing Students to Choreograph Dances
"Get your A4L Student Notebooks and sit with your group. Before we begin choreographing dances, tell me the dance concepts we’ve learned. (Students respond.) What do we need to keep in mind to move safely? (Students respond.) Today you will be choreographers and make movement choices that show the meaning of the words and phrases in your poems. You will create one dance with a beginning shape, a movement, and an ending shape."
"Ask these choreographer’s questions and use the Movement Chart for ideas:
-Which Energy Quality will best communicate the words and phrases?
-What Level best supports the word choice?
-Would it communicate the ideas best to use Self Space or General Space or both?
-What Shapes should we choose for the beginning and the ending of the dances?
-What kinds of movement will best communicate the feelings and images from the part of the poem?
You have 5 minutes to choreograph your dance." (Students create dances.)
Preparing Students to Add Prosody
"Now that you have choreographed your dances, it’s time to add prosody. Think about how you will say your line with pitch, volume, pace, and timbre, vocally expressing the feelings, images, and meaning of the line. You will say your line while doing your movement. You have five minutes to revise your dances, decide how you’ll say your lines, and practice putting them together." (Students add prosody and revise movement choices.)
Facilitate groups to share their dances. See the menu above Differentation Options: Creating, Presenting & Reflecting on Choice Poem Dances
(in Step 4) for ways to structure the activity. Create the performance space and review audience and performer behavior. After groups perform, guide a reflection on shape, movement, and vocal choices made by the dancers. Use the Dance Reflection Starters
if appropriate. See menu below Coaching Tips for Discussing Dance and Coaching Tips for Prosody
for additional support.
Teaching Tip: Coaching Tips for Prosody
Support students in their development of prosody by prompting them with ways to say words and phrases in the poem.
Prompt with an “as if …” for emotions or states of being:
“Say the word as if you’re excited.”
“Say the word as if you’re begging.”
“Say the phrase as if you’re spinning around really fast.”
Prompt with vocal qualities—pitch, volume, pace, timbre:
“Say the word in a high pitch.”
“Say the phrase in a slow, whispery voice.”
Prompt with a feeling, image, action, or meaning to match the expression:
“Say the word ‘twirl’ so that it sounds like a twirl or like it’s twirling.”
“Say the phrase ‘giddy slash’ like you’re laughing and then stop suddenly.”
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.
Rather than allowing students to say “I liked that,” or “I didn’t like that,” ask them to describe what they saw using dance vocabulary. Prompt students with questions like “What parts of the dancers’ bodies were moving? What movement did they do? Were they in self or general space?”
Then, guide students to interpret the movement, e.g., “What did the dancers do that showed the meaning of the words? Did their dance give you a feeling or make you imagine something?”
Preparing Students to Share Dances
"What makes a good audience? (Students respond.) What makes a good performer? (Students respond.) You will perform in the order of the poem. Each group will perform its dance with prosody. Audience, look for the choices they make with their bodies and voices to show the words and phrases in the poem."
Students Sharing and Reflecting on Dances
"Let’s have the groups who are dancing the first phrase come into the performance space. Dancers, get into your beginning shape."
"Audience ready? Dancers ready?" (Dancers perform their dance, speaking the line as they dance.)
"Dancers, take a bow! Audience, give them a hand in sign language!" (Performers stand or sit in the presentation space for the audience response.)
"Audience, what movement choices did the dancers make to show the words and phrases in the poem? What movements showed the different word choices? Be specific, so that someone walking into the room after the dance would know what happened just from your words." (Students respond to questions.)
"Were their shapes big, small, twisted, stretched? What parts of their bodies did they move? What smooth or sharp energy did they use? What levels did they use? Did they stay in one spot? Did they travel? What did they do with their voices to express the meaning of words and phrases?"
Repeat the process for the remaining groups.
"Bravo, dancers! You created and performed dances with prosody and reflected on ways they showed the word choices in your poems."
Process: Restore the room to its original state. Tell students how and where to move the desks and where to go once they’ve moved everything.
Process: TRAIL Marker #2
is the second formative assessment in the unit. Students turn to page 17
in their A4L Student Notebooks and reflect on their learning.
Select one of the following options to facilitate the activity and discussion:
-Have students work in pairs or small groups to complete the TRAIL Marker page in the notebook. Have them talk before writing to get ideas flowing. Then, have a whole class discussion.
-Have students complete the TRAIL Marker individually and then share in small groups or whole class.
TRAIL Marker: Formative Assessments
Purpose: TRAIL Markers are points in the unit for teachers and students to reflect on learning. During the TRAIL Markers, students stop and do a reflective activity connected to what they are learning with regards to reading, writing, the arts, and what they need to do next.
Use TRAIL Markers in the following ways:
1. Take stock of where the group and individuals are with respect to the learning objectives.
2. Engage students in conversation about what they have learned—get them to stop, think, and reflect. This can be whole class, small student groups, and/or individually with students.
Introducing the TRAIL Marker
"It’s time again to stop and do a quick activity to help us think about what we’re learning with regard to word choice and dance. Open your A4L Student Notebooks to page 17. We’re going to reflect again on the poetry reading you have done and the dance you created to express it. This time we’re going to write it down as a TRAIL Marker to check to your progress.
1. What phrase or phrases did you dance? Select one and write this in your A4L Student Notebook under “I’m thinking about when I danced...”
2. Think about your beginning shape, movement, and ending shape. What were one or more things you did with your body? If you need help, refer to the Movement Chart for words to describe movement.
3. How did you speak your part or your lines from the poem? Think about what you did with your voice. If you need help, refer to our Vocal Qualities Chart for ways to describe what you did with your voice.
4. What were you trying to show with your body and voice? Think about the image or feeling you wanted to communicate about the poem."
Engage in class discussion or have students share with partners. Then have students individually write their thoughts on the TRAIL Marker page.
Process: Close the lesson with a look forward describing the next lesson.
"This wraps up Part 1 of our unit. In the next part of our unit, you will get to write your own poems."
Performing The Closing Ritual (Optional)
"To close our theater lessons, we'll appreciate our work and each other with a unified clap.
On three we'll all clap once and say, 'Huh!' 1-2-3 (clap) Huh!"
CONGRATULATIONS ON COMPLETING LESSON 8! YOU ARE NOW READY TO MOVE ONTO LESSON 9 OF UNIT 5.