Inquiry Question: Does dance analysis and peer and teacher feedback through technology improve students’ achievement/learning in comparing and contrasting of dance elements and the choreographic process and in supporting students to think and work like artists? How and why? What is the observable evidence?
Summary: The Fall 2013 ARTS ACHIEVE performance assessment revealed that students in this class struggled with vocabulary usage and movement qualities. For this unit, 5th and 6th grade classes met twice a week for 45 minutes per session over 10 weeks.
After watching Paul Taylor’s adaptation of Snow White, students made personal connections with their prior knowledge. They discovered that a familiar story could be transformed into another artistic language.
Students examined spatial relationships, movement qualities, and ways to embody characters through signature gestures. Then they choreographed their own versions of two iconic fairy tales. The unit culminated with a performance of student-choreographed fairy tale excerpts.
Students were asked to:
- Manipulate dance elements to express choreographic intent.
- Use peer and teacher feedback to inform and guide the choreographic process.
- Rehearse, evaluate, revise and edit a dance in collaboration with peers.
- Perform fairy tales adapted into dances for peers, families and school community.
Throughout the choreographic process, students participated in formative assessments that included: written reflection in iPad dance journals, peer-assessments using the Ladder of Feedback protocol, group conferences with the teacher for feedback, video-recording and review of video on iPads, collaborative editing, and revision.
These supports within the scaffolded unit of lessons led students to a strong sense of accomplishment with their ability to collaborate and choreograph.
Key Takeaways from the lesson:
- Improve students’ ability to collaborate via peer feedback protocols
- Build written and verbal skills with formative assessment
- Distinguish between literal, everyday movement and abstract, stylized dance
- Use dance concepts to express human emotions and story