Submitted by Frances Charleene Cox, Cumberland County Schools

Lesson Title

Grade Level or Course
Dance I and above

Time Allotment
2 (90 minute) lessons for writing and choreographing
1 (90) minute lesson for performing and evaluating

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

1.01 Recognize and demonstrate kinesthetic awareness through proper body alignment.

1.03 Demonstrate and define basic modern dance vocabulary.

2.01 Employ the use of improvisation (free and structured) to discover and generate movement.

2.02 Explore movement with a partner or group and exhibit spontaneous decision-making to select movement for dance.

3.01 Recognize and demonstrate the use of the human body as an instrument of expression.

4.01 Identify a variety of artistic decisions that are required to create and perform dance.

4.02 Identify and discuss possible aesthetic criteria for evaluating dance including skill of performer, style and quality of movement, technical elements, visual or emotional impact, compositional elements (variety, contrast, unity, transition, and repetition) and choreographer's intent.

6.01 Demonstrate capabilities and limitations of the body through movement exploration.

7.01 Identify, conclude, or predict connections between dance and other content areas by applying criteria for evaluation.

8.01 Demonstrate appropriate audience etiquette using good listening skills, attentive behavior, and respect for the audience and performers.

8.02 Demonstrate understanding of concentration and focus as part of the role of a performer of dance.

8.05 Demonstrate personal progress through the creation and use of a dance portfolio containing written and/or visual samples of student work.

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: expressing reflections and reactions to print and non-print text and personal experiences; examining argumentation and developing informed opinions; applying conventions of grammar and language usage

Alignment with NC High School Exit Exam:


  1. apply rules of standard English to written text

  2. use main ideas and supporting details to organize and communicate information.

  3. evaluate ideas and information to make informed decisions.

  4. listen carefully and thoughtfully to understand, record, and synthesize information.

  5. evaluate information in order to recognize the author's purpose, draw conclusions, or make informed decisions

  1. follow instructions to draw conclusions or make informed decisions

Processing Information:

  1. analyze information by comparing, contrasting, and summarizing to make informed decisions

  1. synthesize information from several sources to apply that information to a new situation.

  2. organize tasks to accomplish an objective

  3. evaluate information, explanations, or ideas by identifying and applying criteria to draw conclusions or make predictions

  4. interpret multiple sets of data to determine the best course of action.

Problem Solving:

  1. Plan logical steps and organize resources to accomplish a task within a given time frame.

  2. Evaluate situations to determine conflict and resolution.


Lesson Objective(s):

As part of their study to discover different processes in which to base chorography on, students will create an original cinquain (five-line poem). Students will choreograph movement to their poem and perform movement for class and video. Students will use a rubric for self/group evaluation. A separate rubric for the composition and the performance of the choreography will be used. The choreographies will be performed for the class and finished poems along with completed rubrics will be placed in each student's portfolio as a sample of his/her work.

Materials/Equipment Needed:

Video camera to record choreographies; music and player if desired by students; rubric for self/group evaluation; Cinquain handout (see the end of this lesson)


Lesson Procedure:

Lesson 1 (90minutes)

  1. Inform students that they will have the opportunity to write a cinquain (five-line poem) and choreograph movement to it. They will be incorporating what they have learned with improvisation, writing and reading, with their original ideas to create a short dance. Give students copies of the rubric that will be used for assessment of the choreographies, so they will know what the expectations are from the beginning.

  2. Model the process for choreographing by using the example cinquain. The teacher should help the students think abstractly.

  3. Students should write their cinquain. If they do not finish in class, students should finish for homework.

Lesson 2 (90 minutes)

  1. Students should have written cinquain in last class or for homework.

  2. Students will work on putting cinquain to movement.

  3. Monitor students work, ask questions about poem or movement that might inspire movement ideas when students seem to have a movement block.

Lesson 3 (90 minutes)

  1. Allow students to review movement, in order to be in a comfort zone for the video recording of their work.

  2. Students will read their cinquain and then perform movement that was choreographed.

  3. Use criteria from rubric for discussion about the choreography. Class members may constructively criticize performances of individuals/groups.

  4. Have students discuss what they have learned and file cinquains and rubrics in individual portfolios.


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

Students will self and group assess using rubric provided (see Assessment Item that aligns with this Lesson).

Special Considerations:

This lesson should be completed after students have had experience with the basic elements of dance (time, space, energy and body) and when basic skills in technique have been learned. Observations of modern dance videos could be shown to expose students to different choreographic styles and techniques. *This lesson may take more than 3 class times depending on the abilities of students and the size of the class.


Cinquain ( 5 line poem)


1st line: Noun, one word
2nd line: Adjectives, two words
3rd line : Gerund (ing), three words
4th line: Phrase or sentence
5th line: One word (to end)



Hard, uncomfortable
Creaking, slanting, falling
In the middle of the room


_____________________, _____________________

_____________________, _____________________, _____________________




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