Mannequin Challenges are all the rage nowadays and are taking the internet by storm. Bring this pop culture phenomenon into your classroom with an arts integration twist.
For those who are unfamiliar with the Mannequin Challenge, here is some context. The Mannequin Challenge is a viral internet video trend that captures a room of people frozen like mannequins and put to music.
Looking for an example? Check out Michelle Obama and the Cleveland Cavaliers HERE.
How to Produce a Mannequin Challenge Arts Integration Style
Create a Mannequin Challenge video with your students! This challenge integrates art, movement, expression, and technology in a seamless way that will excite your students and solidify classroom content! Students can design costumes, props, and sets. Using iPads, cell phones, and computers, your classes can be responsible for production, filming, editing, and selecting the music for the video. They can create everything from the title to the credits. This can be done using iMovie or Animoto, along with many other available video editing options. For more information, check out the, “Why I Heart iMovie,” EducationCloset post HERE.
Tip: I would recommend grouping students and selecting jobs and tasks for each individual. The entire group can make editing and production choices, but it would be helpful to have specific job titles like: artistic director, camera operator, choreographer, and composer.
How Can I Use This In My Classroom?
Here are some ideas of how content areas can use the Mannequin Challenge in the classroom!
- Students can recreate scenes from a book, play, poem, or short story. This can be based on reading material from the class, or it can be generated by the students in a creative writing assignment. For younger students, they might want to create letters with their bodies, or use their choreography to depict a sentence. Music can be used to convey a tone or mood for the scene.
- Students can use the challenge to represent atmospheres or characteristics of different planets, demonstrate simple machines, describe lunar phases, or explain the steps of the Scientific Method.
- Students can work with the choreographer to represent angles, formulas, geometry, or patterns.
- Students can recreate a scene from history. For example, the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Costumes and props can be designed with historical details. Civilizations can be represented like Egyptian profiles or the Analects of Confucius. Props, costumes, and music should represent the time period.
- Movements can be frozen in time like during a heated game of Dodgeball or lifting in the weight room.
- For choreography ideas, check out “Freeze Dance: A Gateway to Dance Integration” HERE
- Using “Music as Text: A Closer Look” HERE
How do you use pop culture to inspire your students? Let us know in the comments below!
Lauren Hodson is a middle school visual and computer art educator in Plymouth, Massachusetts. As a mentor teacher and professional development presenter, Lauren is passionate about creativity and making art accessible for everyone. Her passions in STEAM and Arts Integration are at the root of her goal to collaborate with classroom teachers everywhere.