Submitted by Joanna Caves, Wake County Public Schools

Lesson Title
A Journey of Discovery: Studying Choreographers Who Changed the Face of Dance

Grade Level or Course
Eighth Grade

Time Allotment
3 (50 minute lessons for research in the library)
5 (50 minute lessons for completion of technology portion of project)
2 (50 minute lessons for the actual delivery of presentations)

Targeted Goals and Objectives from the 2000 North Carolina Arts Education Standard Course of Study and Grade Level Competencies, K-12:

5.05 Create Projects that incorporate knowledge of various dance forms and innovators throughout historical time periods.

Targeted Goals and Objectives from the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and Grade
Level Competencies, K-12
for other content areas.

English Language Arts: Analyze and evaluate information from a variety of sources

  • Summarize and determine importance of information

  • Research and organize information to achieve purpose

  • Citing sources

  • Employing graphics such as charts, diagrams, and graphs to enhance the communication of information.

  • Apply conventions of grammar and language usage.

Computer Technology Goals: The learner will understand important issues of a technology based society and will exhibit ethical behavior in the use of computer and other technologies.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of copyright by citing sources of copyrighted materials in papers, projects and multimedia presentations.

  • Use a variety of technologies to access, analyze, interpret, synthesize, apply and communicate information.

  • Research, create, publish, and present projects related to content areas using a variety of technological tools.

Information Skills: The learner will and explore and use research processes to meet information needs.

  • Develop a search strategy which includes the continuous evaluation of the research process and the information gathered.

  • Gather information from the most effective research sources.

  • Credit sources of information

  • Produce and present findings in various formats (print, graphical , audio, video, multimedia and web based.)


Lesson Objective(s):

As part of their study of dance history students will learn how choreographers changed the world of dance, and how their lives were shaped by the world events that occurred during their lifetimes. Students will create a Power Point slide presentation about a choreographer of their choosing who greatly contributed to the art of dance. Students will first research their choreographer using print and electronic resources, then place their information into a cohesive slide presentation which they will deliver to the class. Students will use a rubric for self-evaluation, which will assess each stage of the project. The teacher will use two different rubrics at the end of the project. One rubric will grade the grammar, format, and technological components of the project. The other rubric will grade the content and delivery of the presentation.

Materials/Equipment Needed:

Print materials on choreographers, access to computers with Microsoft Power Point, and internet access, floppy disks, printer, rubric for self evaluation (teacher created); Content and Delivery rubric (teacher created) for all students.


Lesson Procedure:

Lessons 1 - 3 The Research (Three 50 minute classes)

  1. Inform the students that they will be creating Power Point presentations on choreographers who greatly impacted dance. With teacher guidance, as a class, have students create questions that will help guide their research in the library (usually about 15 - 20 questions are generated). The teacher needs to ensure that the questions cover all aspects of the choreographer's life, major world events that may have occurred during the course of the artists' lifetime. This ensures that students can not only learn about the impact the choreographer had on dance, but also learn about the artists' total life experiences.

  2. Once students have finished creating their questions, they are ready to begin their research. The teacher should help students find print resources, ensure they are finding the information they need and model how to cite sources appropriately. The teacher should model how to put information into different words so that students do not plagiarize. The teacher should constantly reference not only the student self-evaluation rubric, but the content rubric as well.

Lessons 4 - 8 (Four 50 minute classes)

  1. Once their research is complete, students report to the computer lab to begin placing their information onto Power Point slides. Using design templates, the teacher should model how to use the program, including the creation of a single slide, adding slides, adding tables, graphs, Word Art or any other feature of the program the teacher wishes to include. The teacher should be available to solve any variety of technical problems that may arise and encourage students to save often, so that if a computer freezes their work is not lost.

  2. Students will fill in any holes in their research with information from electronic sources. Students will type their research onto slides adding clip art and or pictures from the internet.

  3. Students will edit their presentations, checking sentence structure, grammar, spelling and formatting.

  4. Students will create a slide for their bibliography, citing all sources they used for their research.

  5. Students will do a final glance over their presentations referencing the rubric to make sure their work is complete.

Lessons 9 -10 (Two 50 minute classes)

  1. Have each student present his/her slide presentation to the class.

  2. Use the criteria from the Presentation and delivery rubric to discuss and ask questions about the presentations.

Assessment: (See Assessment Item aligned with this Lesson for copies of rubrics)

Students will self assess their progress at the end of their research time, when they have finished constructing their presentation and after all projects have been presented in class. The self-evaluation rubric should incorporate students ability to listen to their peers while presentations are going on, and their participation in class discussions about those presentations.

Special Considerations:

The teacher should provide a list of choreographers for students to choose from. The teacher should check to see what print sources are available in the library about choreographers. Typically encyclopedias do not provide adequate information on dancers. If Microsoft Power Point is not available to you, then this project could be adapted using other programs such as Hyper studio, Microsoft Publisher or Microsoft Word. Students do not have to know how to use the Power Point program ahead of time to be able to do this project. Students who have more advanced technological skills can use some of the preset animation, sound, and visual effects that come with Microsoft Power Point, if they finish early. The teacher can designate how elaborate the presentations should be based on the specific needs and abilities of students in the class. This project can be done on an individual basis or in pairs.


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