Music & Dance in Different Cultures

Music & Dance in Different Cultures

Each of 4 classes learns and performs a folk dance from a different culture (Ireland, Mexico, South Africa, or Israel). All dances are performed at parents' day. Dances are co-operative group dances which are very popular in the cultures from which they come. Students also learn other basic rhythms, steps and melodies from the cultures. By participating in these lessons, student see how a dance performance is arranged and staged.

Grade 4
Content Area Social Studies
Key Benchmark SS 4.6.1 Explain how music and dance are elements of culture and contribute to the preservation of culture.

Art Form Dance
Art Benchmark FA.4.2.6: Compare and contrast music and dance styles from two or more cultures
School Year 2009-2010
Artist Matt Binder
Unit Plan

Lesson Plans

Introducing the Dance

The artist introduces the dance the class will perform (Irish, Mexican, South African, or Israeli) and provides cultural background. The artist assesses capabilities by teaching basic steps, simple variations, and configurations. Students practice the basic steps for their dance.

Working on the Dance

Students continue work on the basic steps of their dance. Then more complex variations are taught. Finally, the class discusses performance arrangements.

Putting It All Together

Students practice the dance as it will be done in performance.

Practice Makes Perfect

Students practice the dance as it will be done in performance. They rehearse how they will enter and exit, as well as other aspects of the staging.

Performance Day

Costume are checked, last minute re-arrangements made, sound system checks completed, videotape is set up. Students perform.