Submitted by Robin Hall, Cumberland County Schools

Lesson Title

Grade Level or Course
Dance III/IV

Time Allotment
2 (90 minute) lessons for composition process
1 (90 minute) lesson for performance and evaluation

Targeted Goals and Objectives from the 2000 North Carolina Arts Education Standard Course of Study and Grade Level Competencies, K-12:

2.01 - Assess the use of improvisation to solve movement problems individually and with a group.

2.03 - Analyze the use of differing stimuli in personal choreography.

3.01 - Communicate personal feelings and ideas through movement with individual style and clarity.

4.01 - Choreograph a dance and revise it over time articulating the reasons for the artistic decisions made.

4.02 - Apply selected aesthetic criteria to analyze personal choreography and that of others.

4.03 - Relate and examine viewer opinions about dance with peers in a supportive and constructive manner.

7.01 - Create an interdisciplinary project based on a theme including dance and two other content areas.

8.01 - Demonstrate the consistent use of concentration and focus as part of the role of a performer of dance.

Targeted Goals and Objectives from the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and Grade
Level Competencies, K-12
for other content areas.

Visual Arts-

Competency Goal 7: The learner will perceive connections between visual arts and other disciplines. (National Standard 6)

1.06 - Manipulate sensory stimuli to develop perceptual awareness.

2.03 - Communicate and express ideas through a variety of materials and techniques.

4.01 - Demonstrate the use of life surroundings and personal experiences to express ideas and feelings visually.

English I-

Competency Goal 1: The learner will express reflections and reactions to print and non-print text and personal experiences.


Alignment with NC High School Exit Exam:


  1. Evaluate information in order to recognize the author's purpose, draw conclusions, or make informed decisions.

  2. Evaluate information to detect bias or vested interest.

  3. Follow instructions to draw conclusions or make informed decisions.

Processing Information:

  1. Analyze information by comparing, contrasting, and summarizing to make informed decisions.

  2. Use patterns, relationships, and trends to draw inferences and make predictions concerning environmental and social outcomes.

  3. Synthesize information from several sources to apply that information to a new situation.

  4. Organize tasks to accomplish an objective.

  1. Interpret multiple sets of data to determine the best course of action.

Problem Solving:

  1. Plan logical steps and organize resources to accomplish a task within a given time frame.

  2. Evaluate situations to determine conflict and resolution.

Using Numbers and Data:

  1. Use relationships among fractions, decimals, and percents to demonstrate understanding of mathematical and scientific concepts.


Lesson Objective(s):

The learner will understand and display the differences between literal, and non-literal movement and abstraction. The learner will understand the essence of pure movement.

Materials/Equipment Needed:

Book read by the student, music for sounds, paper and writing/drawing/cutting utensils, personal objects, video camera


Lesson Procedure:

Lesson 1:


  • Choose an everyday movement and abstract it.
  • Have students pick from a hat an everyday action and improvise an abstraction of the movement to the class and have the class guess the everyday action. When having students create abstractions and gestures, remind them of level changes, timing, directional facings, use of space, etc.
  • Choose a character in a story and identify the personality traits of this individual (bright, cheerful, sad, depressed, ruthless, gentle, and so forth). Then come up with several movement phrases that you feel express the nature of this character. Then using the same character, decide how this character changed throughout the book; choreograph several more phrases that express these changes. Students can then connect the movement phrases that you developed into a short dance that expresses the changes in reaction and attitude experienced by this character.

Lesson 2:

Add to creation from previous lesson

  • Listen to sounds and draw pictures to represent the sounds. Drawing should be done without a lot of thinking, and in response to the quality of the different sounds. Relax and use your whole arm. Listen to the sounds again and respond by moving instead of drawing.
  • Use visual motivations to abstract as well. Use construction paper in various colors to motivate your movement responses. (Ex. Red usually stimulates quick, excited movements, while cool colors such as green or blue is met with a amore calm reaction.) You can add shape by cutting the colored construction paper into various shapes.
  • Use your own personal objects as a motivation to create abstractions. These objects could include prints, photos, feathers, plants, pottery, and so on. Begin by selecting the colors, line, patterns, shapes, and textures found in these objects. Then use these characteristics to stimulate movement.

Lesson 3: Complete preparation of dance to show to the class and to be video taped for assessment.

Lesson 1:

Small group:

  • Create a phrase of literal gestures.
  • Change the phrase to abstract

Lesson 2:

  • Separate in to small groups and learn the different phrases of the individuals in the group.
  • Put movement phrases together to form one large group piece.

Lesson 3:

  • Polish group piece.
  • Perform group piece for class and assessment.

Assessment: (See Assessment Item aligned with this Lesson for copies of rubrics)

Assessment of individuals: The teacher will assess each student using a rubric given to the students at the beginning of the class. Assessment of group work: The groups will evaluate each other using a checklist for choreography given by the teacher.

Special Considerations:

This lesson should be completed after students shave completed tasks and mastered objectives from Dance I and II. They should be able to use improvisation well and be familiar with different stimuli for basic improvisation. If the students work in groups, they should be able to familiarize themselves with the members of the group to continue through basic improvisation to contact improvisation as well as the use of props. *This lesson may take more than three class sessions or less than three class sessions depending on class size and involvement.


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