Activity Guide CROSS-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES Social Studies: The Great Depression Bill Robinson’s popularity was at its height during the Great Depression of www.liveoakmedia.com 800-788-1121 the 1930s. Ask children to work in small groups to find out about the Great Depression in reference books or online. Have them write brief reports about Rap a Tap Tap the causes and effects of the Depression. They can report on what they have learned to the class. Lead the class to understand that entertainment such as that which Bill Robinson provided helped people forget their troubles ABOUT THE STORY during the Depression. In this book about Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, the authors capture in words the wild rhythms of the tap dancer whose flashing feet made dance history. Drama: Watching Bojangles Tell children that Bojangles performed in several movies, often alongside the ABOUT THE AUTHORS/ILLUSTRATORS young actress Shirley Temple. Show children dance scenes from one of Leo Dillon grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and Diane Dillon grew up in these movies, such as The Little Colonel or The Littlest Rebel. Have children southern California. They met at Parsons School of Design and started write a brief review of Bojangles’ dancing in the scenes they view. freelancing soon after graduation. For several years they also taught Materials and Techniques at the School of Visual Arts. The Dillons’ books for Art: Bojangles Performance Poster children have won many awards, including the Caldecott Medal in 1975 and Ask children to imagine that Bill Robinson is coming to their town to give a 1976. They have been illustrating for over forty years and have completed performance. Have them work in pairs to create a poster advertising his over forty books as well as many book jackets and posters. appearance. Urge them to give a time and place for the performance and to illustrate their posters with pictures of Bojangles. When posters are finished, INTRODUCING THE STORY hang them around the classroom. Ask children if they have ever seen or heard a tap dancer. Explain that tap dancers dance in special shoes that make loud tapping sounds as they Language Arts: A Bojangles Review quickly move their feet. Tell children that the book they will read is about one Have children imagine that they have seen Bill Robinson in performance. Ask of the most famous tap dancers of all time. them to act as newspaper reviewers to write a review of his show. Encourage them to describe the performance and to give their opinion of Bojangles’ READING ACTIVITIES dancing. Comprehension/Thinking Skills a. “Where did Bojangles do his tap dancing?” INTERNET ACTIVITY b. “How did people feel about Bojangles’ dancing?” Before you send children to do research using any of the keywords listed c. “What do you think the “skids” were?” (Draw Conclusions) below, you may wish to try them yourself to be sure the sites are suitable. d. “How do you think Bojangles felt about dancing? Why do you think so? (Analyze) Other Tap Dancers Send children to the Internet to learn about the life and work of another Vocabulary genius of tap dancing. Have them use the performer’s name as keywords. Write these words and sentences on the chalkboard. Have children copy the Some possibilities include Savion Glover, Gregory Hines, Donald O’Connor, sentences, writing the correct word in each blank. and Shirley Temple. Children can write brief biographical sketches of the dancer they have chosen and present them to the rest of the class. pleasure passion clatter rhythms 1. A tap dancer moves his feet quickly, making a loud ______as they move. 2. It gives many people _________ to watch a good dancer. 3. Some people love dancing so much that it becomes a ______________. 4. Great tap dancers can use their feet to imitate many different_________.
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