CREATIVE MOVEMENT LESSON PLAN By: Martha Harris Revised Lesson Plan TITLE OF LESSON/TOPIC: Northwest Native American Potlatch Dance GRADE LEVEL: Fourth Grade MOVEMENT STRATEGY: Authentic Dance Form- Native American Dance MAIN OBJECTIVES: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the Native American Potlatch Dance by contributing to the culminating event through an authentic Native American group performance. Cognitive: Washington State History, Native American Dance Affective: individual/group participation, understanding, active listening Social: collaboration, cooperation, interpersonal skills Artistic: choreography, basic knowledge of movement, creativity FRAMEWORKS OR STATE STANDARDS: HISTORY: 4. The student understands and applies knowledge of historical thinking, chronology, eras, turning points, major ideas, individuals, and themes in local, Washington State, tribal, United States, and world history in order to evaluate how history shapes the present and future. COMMUNICATION: 2. The student uses communication skills and strategies to interact/work effectively with others. 3. The student uses communication skills and strategies to effectively present ideas and one's self in a variety of situations. HEALTH & FITNESS: 1.1 Develops motor skills and movement concepts as developmentally appropriate. THE ARTS: 3. The student communicates through the arts. 4. The student makes connections within and across the arts to other disciplines, life, cultures, and work. TIME ALLOTMENT: 2 hours SPACE REQUIREMENTS: Large classroom or gym with 4-5 areas for groups to work in. MATERIALS, SUGGESTED MUSIC: Drum, mask printed on tag board, string, markers or crayons, scissors WARM-UP: Gather students into a circle and model the Native American dance steps: step drag-close, step lift-close, and shuffle (see dance step packet). Have students practice dance steps as a group until they exhibit understanding. LESSON PLAN: 1. K-W-L CHART: (KNOW-WANT TO KNOW-LEARNED) Ask students what they know about a Native American Potlatch. Then find out what they want to know. When the lesson is near completion, come back to the students and review what they learned. Other activities prepared for the unit can be further extended to meet the learning wants of the students. 2. Think-Pair-Share: Have each student think of, and write down some of the times they get together to have fun and celebrate with family, friends, and others (i.e. birthdays, Christmas parties, family reunions). Open up discussion for the Native American students in the classroom if they feel like sharing about their culture. Then, have students pair up and share their ideas with another classmate. After this has taken place, invite students to share the ideas with the class. List the students' ideas on the board. Discuss some of the purposes or activities that all festivals and gatherings have in common. 3. Mini-Lecture: Introduce the Northwest Native American Potlatch. The word comes from the Chinook Jargon, meaning "to give away" or "a gift". The Northwest Coast Native American potlatch is a type of ceremony among Native peoples living in the Pacific Northwest region in both the United States and Canada. Potlatches can be held to celebrate births, rites of passages, weddings, funerals, puberty and honoring the deceased. These celebrations will typically include a feast, music, some theatrical performances involving tribal masks and spiritual events. The host family of each potlatch will also demonstrate their wealth and social status by distributing gifts to the guests. Gifts included food, canoes, blankets, copper and many other types of items. Dancers have always been an important part of Native American culture. For some cultures elaborate and theatrical dances are performed reflecting the hosts' genealogy and cultural wealth they possess. Many of these dances are also sacred ceremonies of secret societies or display of family origin from supernatural creatures. They dance to singing and the continuous beat of drums because the beating of the drum is considered to be the pulse of mother earth. 4. Exhibit or Demonstration: Show students the Native Dance video filmed at the Chief of Seattle Days in Poulsbo. Point out the dress, masks, and movements (choreography, levels, flow of tension, and percussive foot movement with drum, etc.). Model a few movements with the students and practice as a group a few times. 5. Directions: Announce to students that they will each be creating a mask and performing in a group Potlatch dance. Using the Native American Dance Move packet as a guide, they will choreograph a 3-5 minute routine and perform in front of the class. First, you will color your Native American mask and cut out carefully making sure not to cut through the mask. When it is cut out and ready, I will punch two holes on each side and give you a string so that you can wear it on your head. Second, you and your group will discuss and plan a dance routine that includes at least three of the Native American dance moves provided in the packet. Remember that this dance will be done with the drum, so you will need to assign one person to the drum who will be responsible for remembering the beats and performing during the dance. 6. Work-time: Create groups of four- five students and move to tables. Allow one hour for the masks and groups to begin working on the performances. If more time is needed, continue assignment and allow more time. While groups are working, float around and assist students and answer questions. 7. Performances: Groups perform for class while students are an audience. Allow time for questions after each performance. Have each group show the class the three dance moves they used. If time allows, class can practice moves when presented. 8. Reflection: Revisit the KWL Chart as a class and discuss what they have now learned about Native American Dance and the potlatches. If questions were not answered in the want-to-know column, possible future activities could be planned. CULMINATING ACTIVITY: Form a large circle as a class and each student perform their favorite dance move while beating the drum. Move the circle in different directions and lead a fun group dance. ASSESSMENT: Students will be assessed by group cooperation and contribution to the Native American potlatch dance based on a 4,3,2, or 1 scale.
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