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Rap a Tap Tap

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									                                         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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