No Series: Literacy Through Creative Dance

Literacy Through Creative Dance

Lesson Objective: Create and perform dance movements to interpret the meaning of a poem
Grades 9-12 / ELA / Engagement
5 MIN

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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How do students analyze literary elements of the poem to find inspiration for their dance?
  2. How can interpreting poetry with movement increase student understanding?
  3. How do students make use of the author's literary devices?

10 Comments

  • Private message to Genein Letford
This is amazing and I am so glad I found this video! I'll be teaching a masters class for teachers on how to integrate the arts into their gen ed curriculum. This will be a great addition! Well presented!
Recommended (0)
  • Private message to Nena Littlejohn
For all of those ESLteachers out there, this is a great example of TPR (Total Physical Response) and how it can be used to help teach abstract concepts in literature. Thank you Carrie and Tina, for sharing with us. Awesome! This is authentic learning!!
Recommended (0)
  • Private message to Amparo Meneses-Olivar
Excellent idea,thanks!
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  • Private message to Srimathy Kannan
What a great idea! I am going to use this in the very next opportunity I get!
Recommended (0)
  • Private message to Sara Agrait
This is a great idea! I started teaching dance to middle school students two years ago. I am constantly looking for instructional strategies that will allow me to teach literacy through dance. I would like to see more videos like this one in the future.
Recommended (0)

Transcripts

  • Literacy Through Creative Dance Transcript

    01:00:00 Title open
    01:00:04 CARRIE: My name is Carrie Patterson.
    DINA: …And I’m Dina Denis. We

    Literacy Through Creative Dance Transcript

    01:00:00 Title open
    01:00:04 CARRIE: My name is Carrie Patterson.
    DINA: …And I’m Dina Denis. We teach Literacy Through Creative Dance here at the East Bronx Academy for the Future to grades nine through twelve.
    01:00:14 Lesson Idea Title Card
    01:00:15 CARRIE: We have been doing the poem “The Bells” by Edgar Allen Poe.
    DINA: We decided to choose this poem to help the students understand mood and also certain literary devices such as alliteration, assonance, and onomatopoeia. Then the dancers look to those literary devices and deconstruction of the work for inspiration to create movement that expresses the work.
    01:00:34 DINA: Welcome everybody! Yesterday we guided you through a processes for looking at the poem, discussing the work, and then looking at inspiration for creating movement that expresses the work.
    01:00:47 DINA: I thought literature was a wonderful opportunity to bring into the classroom, because, I feel that it really parallels the creative processes within dance.
    01:00:56 CARRIE: (reading from “The Bells”) In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire, Leaping higher, higher, higher, With a desperate desire…
    01:01:3 CARRIE: We will read the poem, discuss it, do the literature aspect of it, where we are digging and ripping it apart.
    01:01:09 CARRIE: So you’re looking for the mood of this stanza right? So you want to circle words that really represent the mood of that stanza. So once you have those, then you guys can talk amongst yourselves and you’re going to choose three that you feel really, really talk about the mood of the stanza and that you can come up with some symbols of. So like if you were to write “shriek” what would you draw to emulate that. But don’t forget you’re going to have to make a move to go with that.
    01:01:35 DINA: I see that the creation of a literary work from free writing to just the initial discussion of ideas definitely parallels the creative processes with dance: Where does an artist begin? Where does his inspiration start? And once you have this inspiration what do you do with it? What are you trying to tell an audience?
    01:01:52 GIRL 1 : That’s the thing like, clang and clash and raw (?) means something rough or a mystery. Like banging into something.
    01:02:02 GIRL 2: Well I think “horror”
    GIRL 3: (OS) Horrified.
    GIRL 2: Yeah, because it’s been repeated like mad times.
    01:02:08 DINA: So when you think of “horrified”, start thinking about the mood, the feelings associated with that, maybe there are pictures or images that you see.
    01:02:17 DINA: When you think about dance, yes, it is a form of communication, but the beauty is that it is non-verbal communication. So I don’t really want an answer yet, I’d actually like to see it answered through your movement, but how to think about expressing a vocalization or sound such as a scream.
    01:02:33 CARRIE: And then the dance aspect jumps in so they can actually take their inspiration from the poetry that they have interpreted and then actually create dance from what they’ve interpreted.
    01:02:43 GIRL 4: So for like the shivering and stone, we’re like…there are a couple of curious little girls like hanging in the cemetery and like playing around and then like a monster comes out of the grave and scares them.
    01:02:55 DINA: You’ve had this experience now. You’ve picked out your three words. You have your resource material, your inspiration. Now it’s time to move it.
    01:03:03 DINA: Using their words as inspiration they start to improvise.
    01:03:06 GIRL: 5: And then she should…she should…
    GIRL 6: I’m dead.
    GIRL 7: But she got to have the position where she…
    01:03:13 DINA: So the students get to share out some of the work that they have created. We like students also to be able to explain their inspiration.
    01:03:40 DINA: Once the students have that emotional connection to the work, it becomes meaningful to them. So the understanding deepens.
    01:03:54 CARRIE: I’m really surprised. I taught “The Bells” to my regular English classes and I don’t feel that they got quite what these girls are getting out of it because they’re going in with the idea, with the imagery, they are really ripping this apart so much and then making it…translating it to the physical is really making it stick.
    01:04:10 GIRL 8: We chose three words. One was “Silence”, “Ghouls”, and then the last one was “Menace”. We walk to her silently, we attack her, we walk away and her revenge is like she’s the menace and attacks us.
    01:04:23 DINA: My goal is for the students presenting their projects to be able to have their audience to be able to understand exactly what they are trying to communicate, so they are not just up there dancing abstract work; they are dancing work with intention and with meaning from a particular source that they are well informed and researched about.
    01:04:38 PATTERSON: They continually surprise me so I think it’s really making a big difference.
    01:04:45 CREDITS

    01:00:00 Title open
    01:00:04 CARRIE: My name is Carrie Patterson.
    DINA: …And I’m Dina Denis. We teach Literacy Through Creative Dance here at the East Bronx Academy for the Future to grades nine through twelve.
    01:00:14 Lesson Idea Title Card
    01:00:15 CARRIE: We have been doing the poem “The Bells” by Edgar Allen Poe.
    DINA: We decided to choose this poem to help the students understand mood and also certain literary devices such as alliteration, assonance, and onomatopoeia. Then the dancers look to those literary devices and deconstruction of the work for inspiration to create movement that expresses the work.
    01:00:34 DINA: Welcome everybody! Yesterday we guided you through a processes for looking at the poem, discussing the work, and then looking at inspiration for creating movement that expresses the work.
    01:00:47 DINA: I thought literature was a wonderful opportunity to bring into the classroom, because, I feel that it really parallels the creative processes within dance.
    01:00:56 CARRIE: (reading from “The Bells”) In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire, Leaping higher, higher, higher, With a desperate desire…
    01:01:3 CARRIE: We will read the poem, discuss it, do the literature aspect of it, where we are digging and ripping it apart.
    01:01:09 CARRIE: So you’re looking for the mood of this stanza right? So you want to circle words that really represent the mood of that stanza. So once you have those, then you guys can talk amongst yourselves and you’re going to choose three that you feel really, really talk about the mood of the stanza and that you can come up with some symbols of. So like if you were to write “shriek” what would you draw to emulate that. But don’t forget you’re going to have to make a move to go with that.
    01:01:35 DINA: I see that the creation of a literary work from free writing to just the initial discussion of ideas definitely parallels the creative processes with dance: Where does an artist begin? Where does his inspiration start? And once you have this inspiration what do you do with it? What are you trying to tell an audience?
    01:01:52 GIRL 1 : That’s the thing like, clang and clash and raw (?) means something rough or a mystery. Like banging into something.
    01:02:02 GIRL 2: Well I think “horror”
    GIRL 3: (OS) Horrified.
    GIRL 2: Yeah, because it’s been repeated like mad times.
    01:02:08 DINA: So when you think of “horrified”, start thinking about the mood, the feelings associated with that, maybe there are pictures or images that you see.
    01:02:17 DINA: When you think about dance, yes, it is a form of communication, but the beauty is that it is non-verbal communication. So I don’t really want an answer yet, I’d actually like to see it answered through your movement, but how to think about expressing a vocalization or sound such as a scream.
    01:02:33 CARRIE: And then the dance aspect jumps in so they can actually take their inspiration from the poetry that they have interpreted and then actually create dance from what they’ve interpreted.
    01:02:43 GIRL 4: So for like the shivering and stone, we’re like…there are a couple of curious little girls like hanging in the cemetery and like playing around and then like a monster comes out of the grave and scares them.
    01:02:55 DINA: You’ve had this experience now. You’ve picked out your three words. You have your resource material, your inspiration. Now it’s time to move it.
    01:03:03 DINA: Using their words as inspiration they start to improvise.
    01:03:06 GIRL: 5: And then she should…she should…
    GIRL 6: I’m dead.
    GIRL 7: But she got to have the position where she…
    01:03:13 DINA: So the students get to share out some of the work that they have created. We like students also to be able to explain their inspiration.
    01:03:40 DINA: Once the students have that emotional connection to the work, it becomes meaningful to them. So the understanding deepens.
    01:03:54 CARRIE: I’m really surprised. I taught “The Bells” to my regular English classes and I don’t feel that they got quite what these girls are getting out of it because they’re going in with the idea, with the imagery, they are really ripping this apart so much and then making it…translating it to the physical is really making it stick.
    01:04:10 GIRL 8: We chose three words. One was “Silence”, “Ghouls”, and then the last one was “Menace”. We walk to her silently, we attack her, we walk away and her revenge is like she’s the menace and attacks us.
    01:04:23 DINA: My goal is for the students presenting their projects to be able to have their audience to be able to understand exactly what they are trying to communicate, so they are not just up there dancing abstract work; they are dancing work with intention and with meaning from a particular source that they are well informed and researched about.
    01:04:38 PATTERSON: They continually surprise me so I think it’s really making a big difference.
    01:04:45 CREDITS

School Details

East Bronx Academy For The Future
1716 Southern Boulevard
Bronx NY 10460
Population: 662

Data Provided By:

greatschools

Teachers

Carrie Patterson
Dina Denis

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