This month we will explore Standard 10: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.
Anchor standard 10 focuses on the artistic process of connecting with the component of synthesize. The enduring understanding that as dance is experienced, all personal experiences, knowledge, and contexts are integrated and synthesized to interpret meaning. The essential question is: how does dance deepen our understanding of ourselves, other knowledge, and events around us? Although the anchor standard does not change as the grade level progresses the expectation continues to advance.
In unpacking this standard it is clear that this is heavily concept-based and involves large ideas that can be infused throughout many lessons and experiences within dance. So, for this standard we will be taking a look at more encompassing lesson opportunities, rather than specific lesson plans.
Let’s first take a look at the language, specifically the high school proficient strand:
a. Analyze a dance to determine the ideas expressed by the choreographer. Explain how the perspectives expressed by the choreographer may impact one’s own interpretation. Provide evidence to support one’s analysis.
b. Collaboratively identify a dance related question or problem. Conduct research through interview, research database, text, media, or movement. Analyze and apply information gathered by creating a group dance that answers the question posed. Discuss how the dance communicates new perspectives or realizations. Compare orally and in writing the process used in choreography to that of other creative, academic, or scientific procedures.
These are very full expectations, however if we break them down we can easily utilize specific sections of the standard throughout the year with our students.
Analyze a dance to determine the ideas expressed by the choreographer.
This can be demonstrated at any point when students are watching choreography, whether it is a viewing of student work or professional work, include probing questions that help students to specifically analyze what the choreographer is trying to express through the movement vocabulary used.
Explain how the perspectives expressed by the choreographer may impact one’s own interpretation.
This can easily be re-phrased into a question that students can respond to when viewing artistic work.
Collaboratively identify a dance related question or problem.
Open a discussion forum with students to identify issues related to their personal dance community. Have students turn to social and printed media to see other issues in the greater dance community. Use these issues to build questions.
Conduct research through interview, research database, text, media, or movement.
Utilizing the questions generated from the identified issue/problem, have students determine what avenues of research would be best to conduct in order to find plausible answers to the composed question.
Analyze and apply information gathered by creating a group dance that answers the question posed.
Once students have answered their questions through traditional research methods, communicate the results through composed movement.
Discuss how the dance communicates new perspectives or realizations.
Have students identify the perspectives that are introduced through the movement. Students can demonstrate this through written or oral presentation.
Compare orally and in writing the process used in choreography to that of other creative, academic, or scientific procedures.
One academic process that is clearly aligned with the artistic process, is that of writing. Each step of the writing process is also experienced in the choreographic process. Making this connection will also open many opportunities for cross collaboration.
Prewrite = improvisation, gathering concepts,
Write = composition of initial movement, including structure and devices
Revise = accept analysis of the composition, take questions and suggestions into account
Edit = make adjustments in the composition
Publish = present the composition
Any opportunity to bring the art back to students’ personal perspectives and interpretations will allow them to continuously demonstrate this standard.
Piquès & Pirouettès
Next Week: Arts Integration Lessons
Typhani Harris is a dance educator and mentor teacher who has been on the boards of both the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (CAHPERD) and California Dance Education Association (CDEA). Recently, she has made a cross-country move and is now an instructional coach in Brooklyn, New York. Having begun as a high school English teacher, it has been her mission to bring theory and research into the traditional dance class, and in 2009 she won the Music Center’s Bravo award for excellence in Arts Education. Typhani is currently on a mission to help teachers Stop Teaching and Start Reaching their students, check out the unTeacher Lab at stopteaching.org