How many times have you asked a student to answer a question based on a certain text and the student gives an answer based on personal experience instead? I was recently working with some elementary teachers who were interested in some new ideas for Arts Integration and that Common Core emphasis of students providing evidence from text to support conclusions was on my mind.
Many of the second grades in my district have been working with Cinderella stories from different cultures so that was on my mind as well. I decided to share with these teachers a way to broaden the definition of text to include pieces of art. By applying some of those Common Core Reading Literature standards to different areas of art, educators can develop a new way to engage “readers” and provide more opportunities for students to hone those important literature reading and reasoning skills.
Many students are familiar with the fairy tale of “Cinderella” but they may not be familiar with musical, theatrical or dance interpretations of the story. By showing students clips from a Disney production of Rogers and Hammerstein’s musical theater version of “Cinderella” and Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet , they can compare and contrast the two different art pieces‘ interpretation of the stories and of the characters.
Student can examine the sets, props, character voices, facial expressions, posture, gesture, dialogue, costumes, and blocking and use these elements as evidence to support discussion of Key Ideas and Details, Craft and Structure and Integration of Knowledge. The costumes and facial expressions are priceless as well as the distinct contrast in the quality of movement between Cinderella and her stepsisters. What fun to have the students try to move like the various characters and really “feel” the different in their bodies!
Here are the times of certain scenes you may wish to use for “reading” purposes although the two pieces have many rich scenes from which to choose.
Disney’s Rogers and Hammerstein:
44:40 Prince dances with Stepsisters.
47:10 Cinderella arrives at the ball.
48:00 Cinderella and the Prince dance.
Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet:
1:00:00 Cinderella and the Prince dance for the first time.
1:08:00 Stepsisters and stepmother dance.
1:10:30 Step-family tries to dance with the Prince but Cinderella and guards rescue him. Cinderella and Prince dance again.
Here are some of the Common Core Reading Standards for Literature K-5 you may find dovetail nicely with your Arts Standards.
Grade 1 RL: Key Ideas and Details
1. Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
Grade 2 RL: Craft and Structure
6. Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.
Grade 2 RL: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
9. Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures.
Grade 3 RL: Key Ideas and Details
1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
Grade 4 RL: Key Ideas and Details
1. Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
3. Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
Grade 5 RL: Key Ideas and Details
1. Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
3. Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).
Grade 5 RL: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
9. Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics.
May these clips be a springboard for you to find many examples of “text” in pieces of art!
Deirdre is a teaching artist and AI coach in the San Diego public schools dedicated to helping classroom teachers make arts an integral part of their teaching. Deirdre has an MEd in Arts Integration and over twenty years of classroom and performing arts teaching experience. Email Deirdre.