Dance FocusGesture-Locomotor and Axial Movements

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					                         Sixth Grade Social Science Lesson Plan
                               Integrated Dance Standards
                    Dance Focus/ Gesture-Locomotor and Axial Movements
                         Social Science Focus/ Ancient Kingdom of Kush
Objective: Students will explore movements that reflect the attributes of the culture of the
Ancient Kingdom of Kush.
     Drums and other rhythm instruments (optional)
     Music (optional: Planet Drum)
     Pictures in text of arrows, bows, shields
     Dance of Nubia verse on a chart
Vocabulary: Africa, Sudan, Nubia, balance, gesture, locomotor, axial, improvisational
Background Information:
Kush (also called Nubia), is located on the Nile River, south of Egypt. The Nubians were known
as the people of the bow because their kingdom was protected by fierce and skilled archers.
Nubia had much wealth: gold, ivory, incense, and iron ore. The people lived in farming villages
which were organized by cooperative division of labor. Villagers gathered in a central part of the
village after work was completed. Kush (Nubia) became the iron center of ancient Africa until
they deforested the area in their search for fuel to forge iron. They then turned to developing a
trade route through the Sahara Desert. With the introduction of the camel, it was possible to get
from Kush to West Africa. The Kush at first worshipped the same gods as the Egyptians and
built pyramids.
Timeline: Two hours
    1. The teacher asks students to review the illustrations and text about the Kush civilization
        in their social science book. Students describe the Kush and note the similarities and
        differences between their society and neighboring Egypt. Marzano Strategy:
        Similarities and Differences (Example) Students and teacher continue to find
        similarities and differences.
        Egypt                            Kush (Nubia)
        Pyramids                         Pyramids                         Buildings
        Linen body wraps                 Body wraps/leopard and           Clothing
                                         other skins
        Gods                             Egyptian gods first then Lion Religion
                                         headed god: Apedemek
                                         Split pieces of palm or bricks Homes

   2. The students note that the people of Kush were effective warriors, warring back and
      forth with Egypt for power in the region. They note that the women of Kush were also
      warriors fighting for their sovereignty from Egypt. SS Standard 6.2: Students analyze
      the geographical, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the early
      civilization of Kush.

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   3. The teacher reviews the dance elements of dance from previous lessons. The students
       find a space of their own, perform warm-up exercises, and demonstrate their knowledge
       of levels, force, energy, focus, attraction, repulsion, balance, and isolation on the
       teacher’s command. The teacher talks about gesture, using the face and body to express
       what a person is thinking and feeling and models facial and body gesture. The students
       practice facial and body gesture.
   4. The teacher assigns students to one of two groups- The Egyptians, or the Kush (Nubians).
       Referring to the history of the two groups, the teacher reminds students that once the
       Egyptians conquered and ruled the Kush for a while, and then later the Kush
       overpowered and ruled the Egyptians. This power struggle was based on the control of
       valuable resources found in the area. Kush had gold, copper, stone, ebony and ivory.
       Kush was protected early on by the cataracts of the Nile that kept the Egyptians out. The
       Egyptian Pharaoh conquered Kush and Kush became a part of Egypt. Then Kush
       regained strength and attacked and conquered Egypt. Students in the two opposing
       groups line up opposite each other facing an opponent. Each warrior is carrying an
       imaginary bow and arrow or weapons as featured in the illustrations on page 124 of their
       social studies text. The line representing the Egyptians advances first with a forceful
       movement of lurch forward, while the opposite Kush (Nubians) lurch backwards,
       showing repulsion of movement. This repeats in the opposite direction. Each line takes
       turn using attraction and repulsion by raising and lowering their imaginary bow and
   5. The two lines line up across opposite walls. Each group creates movement across the
       floor that shows agility (ease of movement) and ends in a balanced pose. Then they
       retreat backwards toward their wall. The other group repeats.
   6. The teacher introduces sound by pounding on a drum. At the sound of the drum the two
       sides turn their heads to the upper right corner of the room scanning for the enemy.
       Another drumming is heard and both groups turn their heads to the upper left corner of
       the room. Students repeat this two more times.
   7. The teacher instructs students that at the fifth pounding of the drum and all the warriors
       look in the same direction (towards an audience) and fold their arms in front as if
       carrying a shield to defend them selves. The two groups hold this posture as they form a
       closed circle for their group to protect each other’s backs.
   8. The two-circled groups rotate in their circle with much energy to maintain the circle
       while engaged in an imaginary battle.
   9. The warriors in each group move slowly backwards with arms in the air protecting
       themselves as they check under bushes, behind imaginary trees, etc.
   10. The warriors slowly and carefully put their imaginary weapons down and create a straight
       line, which then backs up in retreat silently and quickly, never taking their eyes from the
       imaginary audience. Dance Standard 1.3: Identify and use force/energy variations
       when executing gesture, locomotor, and axial movements.
   11. The teacher asks students to read the verse “Dance of Nubia” and to explain each line.
   Dance of Nubia
   In Nubia, our paradise,
   The girls must go to the river to fetch water.
   I can see you going with your sister in the mountains.
   I can imagine how you will be talking very seriously to one another.
   Nubia, our beautiful Nubia is the land I love and will always remember. (

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    Marzano Strategy: Classification
Dance of Nubia (title) line                          meaning
In, Nubia, our paradise                              Whoever is telling this lives in Nubia and
                                                     thinks it is a perfect land: beautiful and
The girls must go to the river to fetch water.       This must be in olden times because they don’t
                                                     have faucets and running water. The girls’ job
                                                     is to get water, not the boys. The girls have to
                                                     carry heavy containers of water from the river
                                                     to home. The river must not be too far away.
I can see you going with your sister in the          Maybe this is a boy telling this since in the line
mountains.                                           above girls are mentioned, and here he sees
                                                     someone (a girl?) going into the mountains
                                                     with a sister.
I can imagine how you will be talking very           Perhaps a boy really likes the girl and thinks
seriously to one another.                            about her a lot, and imagines what she does,
                                                     even when she is with her sister.
Nubia, our beautiful Nubia......                     The land and people are very precious to this

   12. The teacher explains that dance is sometimes improvisational (made up to match
       situations) in nature, and the dancer draws from a variety of characteristic movements
       with which to interpret the music and show mastery of the rhythm. The teacher asks
       students to improvise movements to fit the poem line by line.
   13. The teacher reads the following (on page 127 Ancient Civilizations) aloud and asks
       students to take notes on the movements they can use to improvise a dance: “You live in
       Meroe, the capital of Kush, in 250 B.C. Your father is a skilled ironworker (teacher
       sidecoaches-what movements would an iron worker make?). From him you’ve learned to
       shape iron tools and weapons (teacher sidecoaches- what movements are made to shape
       tools and iron weapons?). Everyone expects that you will carry on his work. If you do
       become an ironworker, you will likely make a good living (teacher sidecoaches- what
       movements signify making a good living?). But you are restless. You’d like to travel
       down the Nile to see Egypt and the great sea beyond it (students improvise movements).
       Now a neighbor who is a trader asked you to join his next trading voyage. Will you leave
       Meroe to travel? Why or why not?” Students are in cooperative groups to create the
       ending to this dance- will they be a trader or an ironworker?
   14. Groups of students show their iron working/trader dance.
   15. The teacher asks students to describe the three dances: The Warrior Dance, the Iron
       making dance, and the Nubia dance and to tell how peoples created dances for their
       everyday lives. Dance Standard 3.3: Explain the various ways people have
       experienced dance in their daily lives. 1.5: Describe and analyze movements
       observed and performed, using appropriate dance vocabulary. Students compare and
       contrast the two dances exploring the purposes and the movements.
Warrior   What        Movements    Nubia      What       Movements    Iron      What        Movements
Dance     purpose?                 Dance      purpose?                making    purpose?

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Are students able to identify and use force/energy variations when executing gesture, locomotor,
and axial movements? Are students able to explain the various ways the Kush people may have
experienced dance in their daily lives? Are students able to describe and analyze movements
observed and performed, using appropriate dance vocabulary?

Part Two                        Dance Focus: Dance Origins
Objective: Students explore the African roots of current dances by learning Hip Hop.
Vocabulary: rhythm, beat, origins, isolations, torso, polyrhythms
    African Music (Planet Drum or other selections)
    Appropriate Hip Hop music
    Drums
   1. The teacher lets students know that they will be learning a Hip Hop style dance and will
      learn that the dance has its origins from Africa. African dance has a strong rhythmical
      base which remains in Hip Hop. The teacher asks students to describe the moves they’ve
      seen in Hip Hop dances.
   2. The teacher gives students a short summary of the attributes of African dance: low level
      movements; full use of the torso (rib cage area); and use of polyrhythms (multiple layers
      of rhythms).
   3. The teacher asks students to find their own space for warm-ups. The warm-up begins
      with isolations starting with the head and working down:
      Head              look right, look left, look up, look down
      Chin              Stick out chin, pull in chin
      Shoulder          alternate up/down, roll back/forward
      Rib cage          right/left, circle
      Knees             flex and extend
      Ankles            flex, point, and roll
   4. The teacher tells students the next thing is to perform a side slide: Push off left leg and
      slide onto the right, bring your left leg into the right leg; push off your right leg to your
      left, slide right leg into the left. This is slide step together, slide step together. Perform
      this at a low level and add dynamics to fit the rhythm.
   5. The teacher introduces the shoulder bounce. Students relax their shoulders and raise them
      up and down and then add stepping side to side with knees bent while responding to
      different tempos and dynamics.
   6. The teacher shows students a shoulder/rib isolation and students then practice. Students
      perform rib and shoulder isolations while changing levels, beginning at a high level and
      working down to a lower level.
   7. The teacher tells students that now they will put everything together following these
            Four side slides to the right- slide right 1 step together 2, slide left, step together
               4, slide right 5, step together 6, slide left 7, step together 8. Students practice this
               until they can perform the sequence.
            Four shoulder bounces-Step right foot forward, shoulder bounce 1 and bring the
               right leg together still bouncing 2. Step left leg forward, bounce 3 and bring left
               leg together still bouncing 4, repeat on the right 5 and 6, repeat left 7 and 8.
               Students practice until they are able to perform the sequence.

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             Eight shoulder/rib isolations starting to the right. Right 1, left 2, right 3, left 4,
              right 5, left 6, right 7, left 8. Students practice until they are able to perform the
            Combine all the sequences into three 8 counts. Students practice until they can
              perform the three 8 counts. Then music (African or appropriate Hip Hop) is
              played and students practice with the music. Students perform the Hip Hop to the
              rhythm of the music.
            Students perform the dance sequence to African music and then Hip Hop and note
              the similarities and differences.
   8. The teacher asks students to compare and describe the difference of creating a dance
      (the Nubia and Ironworking dance) with learning and following steps to a dance (Warrior
       and Hip Hop dance). Dance Standard 2.2: Compare and demonstrate the difference
       between imitating (learning steps) movement and creating original dances.
    Are students able to compare and demonstrate the difference between imitating (learning
   steps) movement and creating original dances?
Novice             Practitioner            Apprentice           Expert                Standard
Students are not able   Students are able to    Students are able to   Students are able to    1.3: Identify and use
to identify and use     identify one or two     frequently identify    consistently identify   force/energy
force/energy            force/energy            and use force/energy   and use force/energy    variations when
variations.             variations in           variations in          variations in a wide    executing gesture,
                        movements.              movements.             variety of              locomotor, and axial
                                                                       movements.              movements.

Students do not         Students explain one    Students explain two   Students explain        3.3: Explain the
explain ways people     way the Kush people     ways that the Kush     three ways the Kush     various ways people
experience dance.       may have                people may have        people may have         have experienced
                        experienced dance in    experienced dance in   experienced dance in    dance in their daily
                        their lives.            their lives.           their lives.            lives.
Students do not use     Students are able use   Students describe      Students are able to    1.5: Describe and
dance vocabulary or     dance vocabulary to     movements that the     describe and analyze    analyze movements
analyze dance           describe their own      see perform and can    movements that they     observed and
movements.              movements.              use dance              see in performances     performed, using
                                                vocabulary to          and that they           appropriate dance
                                                describe their own     perform using dance     vocabulary.
                                                movements.             vocabulary.
Students do not         Students describe       Students are able to   Students are able to    2.2: Compare and
compare imitative       how they create         tell the difference    compare and             demonstrate the
and creative dances.    movements.              between learning       demonstrate the         difference between
                                                dance steps and        difference between      imitating (learning
                                                creating a dance.      learning steps to a     steps) movement and
                                                                       dance and creating a    creating original
                                                                       dance.                  dances. exercises in polyrhythm.

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