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Looking Ahead for Our Native Animals - Part 3: Dance

Writer: Maria Winder and Julie Cadzow

Curriculum Focus: Dance

Curriculum Level: 3

Years 4-7

Duration: 8 lessons

Dance is used to explore and communicate knowledge, ideas and feelings about features and actions of selected extinct or endangered New Zealand native animals.

Focus for the Unit: What are or were the main features and movements of extinct or endangered animals?

Dance Learning Goals

LG1 (PK) Students can perform locomotor movements using a variety of different body bases to represent features and actions of an extinct or endangered animal.
LG2 (PK) Students can perform locomotor and non-locomotor movements with changes of weight to represent a free or trapped extinct or endangered animal.
LG3 (PK) Students can perform locomotor and non-locomotor movements with changes of flow to represent a free or trapped extinct or endangered animal.
LG4 (DI) Students can compose movement sequences to communicate knowledge, ideas and feelings about endangered or extinct animals.

Resources

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa resources - photocopied and laminated. For this unit, support information for these resources has been modified for use with students. The links below are to the original online resources. Use all eleven or just a selection.
Note: Digistore resources are only available for New Zealand educators due to copyright restrictions. Because of this, you need to join and login to Digistore to access the collection. Please read the registration terms and conditions relating to the use of the resources.

blue_weight_cards (Word 28 KB)

(Word 28KB) - photocopied and laminated

green_flow_card (Word 26 KB)

(Word 26KB) - photocopied and laminated

Music Suggestions:
  • 101 Kiwi Kids Songs: refer to MOE catalogue
  • 'Karanga Weka' by Hirini Melbourne; 'Koromiko' by Angeline Hamiora; 'Poi Awhiowhio' by Hirini Melbourne; 'Nature' by Wayne Mason; 'Sea Song' by Keryn King; 'Te Rito o te Harakeke' by Hirini Melbourne
  • Kiwi Kids Waiata: Toi whenua (Track 5)
  • Whale Rider: Lisa Gerard - Biking Home (4)
  • Deep Forest - Pacifique: La Legende Part 2 (2), Night Village (3) L'ille Invisible (8)
  • Oceania - Oceania: He Tangata (People) (5)
  • Pitch Black - Electronomicon: Reptile Room (1), Unadrumma (7)
Movement Activities to Develop Learning about Extinct or Endangered Animals

Have copies of the  Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa resources  ready to hold up as necessary. Where possible, photograph or film the students as they develop their work. Use the resulting images and film for regular feedback and feed forward sessions, allowing time for the students to use the new information to develop their work further.

  1. Organise the students to stand in one or two lines down the left side of the playground/field/dance space.

    The teacher holds up one of the Digistore Icon cards and calls out its name.
    The students 'write' the word using enormous letters on an invisible whiteboard as they move sideways across the playground/field/dance space.

    • Use different body parts for each letter - hand, right foot, nose, left ear, shoulder, knee or hip.
    • Use 2 body parts at the same time to write the letters, such as one hand and one knee or one elbow and one foot.
    • Use a different body base for each letter. Definition of a body base: The body part/s on the floor (such as 2 feet, or 1 hand and 1 foot).
      For example: MOA
      • M with the left arm, body base of one foot
      • O with the head, body base of two feet and torso angled towards the floor
      • A with two elbows 'glued' together, body base of one knee and one foot
  2. Students work in groups of three or four. They select (or are given) the name of one of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Icons.

    • The students allocate themselves one letter each (or more for longer words) and take responsibility for composing a short 'spell it out' movement phrase with an interesting body base for that letter/s.
    • The students then teach each other their phrase.
    • Together they create a short sequence where the students spell the entire word by using different body parts for each letter.
       They should consider their formations - where they are in relation to each other.
    • Encourage the students to find ways to link each letter smoothly with the next one = smooth transitions between each letter.
    • Finish with a movement or action that the bird or animal makes.

    Suggested Music:
    101 Kiwi Kidsongs: 'Poi Awhiowhio' by Hirini Melbourne; 'Karanga Weka' by Hirini Melbourne

    Encourage the students to take still photos of each other 'spelling' their icons during the learning process.
    Film the final dances as they are performed for the class.

    View digital photographs and video footage of the dances with the class for peer and self-assessment discussions.

    Questions for Reflection:
    What was their Digistore Icon? How do you know?
    What body bases did they use?
    How did they link the movements for each letter? (Transitions)
    Feed forward: How could they/you develop the dance further?

    Give students a more time to develop their dances, based on the feedback they have received.

    Extension
    The dances could be performed one after the other for a syndicate assembly.
    Project the Digistore Icons onto a wall behind the students as they perform.

    Formative Assessment Opportunity:
    LG1 (PK) Students can perform locomotor movements using a variety of different body bases to represent features and actions of an extinct or endangered animal.
    LG4 (DI) Students can compose movement sequences to communicate knowledge, ideas and feelings about endangered or extinct animals.

  3. Organise the students to sit in their own space around the dance floor, hall, classroom or playground.

    Show the students the picture of the North Island Brown Kiwi.
    Imagine that you are a kiwi picking your way through the bush. Make the shape of the kiwi in the picture with your body.
    Which body parts are you using to make a beak?
    What body parts are on the ground? What is your body base? (Two feet, probably)
    Move around like a kiwi to a new spot.
    Pretend you are searching for worms under leaf litter. Leave your beak on the ground. What is your body base now?

    Show the students the picture of the tuatara
    By magic you have become a tuatara! Make the shape of a tuatara with your body.
    What body parts are on the ground? What is your body base? (Two hands and two feet.) How fast do tuataras travel? Move around like a tuatara to a new spot by travelling as slowly as you can.
    See if you can freeze in that position for 10/15/20 seconds!

    Show the students the picture of the albatross
    You have suddenly become an albatross standing/sitting on a high cliff, looking out to sea.
    What body parts are on the ground? What is your body base?
    How can you show that you have very long wings?
    Is there another way?
    Find a way to travel as if you are walking across the rocks and then taking off into the sky.
    Albatrosses glide across the water. Move as smoothly as you can as you sail over the waves.

    Putting it Together
    Students work alone and link the three different movements they have created into a short sequence.
    They decide on the order of each movement (such as: 'Albatross/Tuatara/Kiwi' or Tuatara/Kiwi/Albatross'.)
    Rehearse for clarity until everyone has his or her own Digistore Icon dance sequence.

  4. Resources: Weight Vocabulary Cards: Strong, weak, heavy, light

    Would a kiwi move through the forest with heavy or light footsteps?
    If a kiwi was pecking into the leaf litter for grubs, would its movements be strong or weak?
    Imagine you are watching an albatross trying to take off into the air on a windy day. Would its wing movements be strong or weak?
    Would an albatross walk across the grass with heavy or light footsteps?
    Would the jaw movement of a tuatara be strong or weak as it crunches a grasshopper?
    Would a tuatara walk with heavy or light footsteps?

    After a discussion using the questions above, give the students some time to develop their 'Albatross/Tuatara/Kiwi' sequences from the previous activity using a selection of the 'weight' words of strong, weak, heavy and light.

    In pairs, take turns to perform their sequences and see if the partner can identify the 'weight' words that were used and where in the dance they occurred.

  5. Organise the students to work in groups of three.
    The students show each other their sequences from the previous activity.
    They then create a 'Kiwi, Tuatara and Albatross Dance' by performing their individual sequences at the same time.
    They should consider:

    • Their formations - where they are in relation to each other?
    • Directions and use of space.
    • How fast or slowly they perform their sequences. If possible, relate this to the bird or animal they are representing.
    • An interesting still shape to finish.

    Suggested Music:
    Kiwi Kids Waiata: Toi whenua (Track 5)

    Each group performs its sequences for the class.

    Video, or take digital photos of the sequences to use for reflection.
    Reflection
    What was the order of each dancer's Digistore Icons?
    What body bases did they/you use?
    Where in the dance did you see weak or light movements?
    Where in the dance did you see strong or heavy movements?
    How did they/you link the movements for each letter? (Transitions)
    How could they/you develop your dance further?

    Give students time to develop their dances based on the peer and self-reflective feedback.

    Extension suggestions:

    • Perform each sequence twice to make it longer.
    • Change the formations for the second time.
    • Take longer to perform one section.
    • Each dancer could introduce a moment of stillness somewhere in their dance.
    • Move further away from each other (or closer together) for one section.

    Performance opportunity:
    Another class
    A syndicate assembly

    Formative Assessment Opportunity:
    LG1 (PK) Students can perform locomotor movements using a variety of different body bases to represent features and actions of an extinct or endangered animal.
    LG2 (PK) Students can perform locomotor and non-locomotor movements with changes of weight to represent a free or trapped extinct or endangered animal.
    LG4 (DI) Students can compose movement sequences to communicate knowledge, ideas and feelings about endangered or extinct animals.

  6. Green Vocabulary Cards: Free, Bound
    Discuss the words 'free' and 'bound'.
    If you were 'free' to move anywhere and anyway you wanted, what kinds of movements could you make?
    What does 'bound' mean? (Restricted, held back, tied, trapped)
    What kinds of movements could you make if you were 'bound'?

    Organise the students to work in a suitable space by themselves.
    Show me a shape that is big and open.
    Show me another one.
    Copy someone else in the class.
    Walk around the room wherever you like, without touching anyone.
    Move in a different way.
    Travel across the room as if you are an albatross skimming across the sea.
    Travel to a new place in the room with long moa strides.
    You are a Maui's Dolphin leaping out of the water.

    Reflection
    Were your movements big or small?
    Were you 'free' or 'bound'? How did it feel?
    How can you further develop your 'free' and 'bound' dance movements?

    Organise the students to work in a suitable space by themselves once more.
    Show me a shape that is small and closed.
    Show me another one.
    Copy someone else in the class.
    Travel across the room as if your legs are tied up.
    Find a different way to move with your legs bound.
    Imagine that you are an albatross that is caught in a long line behind a fishing boat. Try to move
    You are now a Maui's Dolphin trapped in a set net. See if you can find a way to move.

    Reflection:
    Were your movements big or small?
    Were you 'free' or 'bound'? How did it feel?
    How can you further develop your 'free' and 'bound' dance movements?

    Formative Assessment Opportunity:
    LG1 (PK) Students can perform locomotor movements using a variety of different body bases to represent features and actions of an extinct or endangered animal.
    LG3 (PK) Students can perform locomotor and non-locomotor movements with changes of flow to represent a free or trapped extinct or endangered animal.

  7. Dance Goal: Developing the idea of contrasts in dance movement

    Organise the students to work in groups of four (pair up pairs from Activity 9 if appropriate). Students name themselves Pair 1 or Pair 2.
    Discuss what a contrast could mean in a dance context: opposite size/different level/open or closed/curled or stretched.

    The teacher begins by calling out a body base instruction to one of the pairs. The two students make an exciting still shape as fast as possible.
    The other pair studies what the pair have created and create an equally exciting contrasting shape.

    Possible non-locomotor contrasts:

    • Up/Down
    • Twist/Straight
    • Angular/Curved
    • Forward/Backward
    • Near/Far
    • Heavy/Light
    • Strong/Weak
    • Free/Bound
    • Moa/Tuatara
    • Upokororo/Albatross
    • Hector's Dolphin/Huia

    'Contrast Ours' Extension Activity:
    Develop the activity into pairs creating short locomotor (travelling) movement phrases.
    Meeting/Parting
    Roll/Walk
    Expanding/shrinking
    Push/Pull
    Kiwi/Giant Eagle
    A Maui's Dolphin moving freely through the water/a Maui's Dolphin caught in a set net.

    Once the students have gained confidence in this activity, take digital photos (or encourage the students to) of the contrasting shapes to display in the classroom.

    Questions for reflection:
    How clear are the contrasts made by the dancers?
    What are some other possibilities?
    Where is the focus of the dancers? (In which directions were they looking?)
    How did their focus help to communicate the idea of the contrast?
    Describe the way the dancers show the contrast of moa and tuatara. Describe how effective the contrast is.

  8. Dance Goal: Reinforcement and revision of Dance vocabulary explored so far

    This activity can also be used as a warm-up for each dance lesson.

    Students are organised into two concentric circles.

    The students in each circle move in opposite directions (clockwise and anti-clockwise) using locomotor movement as directed by the teacher - perhaps to the beat of a drum or to music.

    When the drum/music is stopped the students stop and face the person opposite them.

    This becomes a pair and a task is set:

    • A shape on two levels.
    • A connected shape with a body base of one leg, bottom and two hands.
    • Contrasts - up/down; curved/straight; heavy/light; strong/weak; free/bound.
    • Create still and moving shapes of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Icons: Kiwi, Hector's Dolphin; Rail; Huia.

    NB: If there is an uneven number of inv the class, have a different group of three each time.

    Suggested music:
    'Nature' by Wayne Mason; 'Te Rito o te Harakeke' by Hirini Melbourne.
    Deep Forest - Pacifique: La Legende Part 2 (2)

Assessing the Learning

All of the Learning Goals have been included in this assessment sheet. Use only the ones that are most relevant for your students.

Dancing for Our Environment

Name_____________________________

Beginning Achieved Developed
LG1 (PK) Students can perform locomotor movements using a variety of different body bases to represent features and actions of an extinct or endangered animal.      
LG2 (PK) Students can perform locomotor and non-locomotor movements with changes of weight to represent a free or trapped extinct or endangered animal.      
LG3 (PK) Students can perform locomotor and non-locomotor movements with changes of flow to represent a free or trapped extinct or endangered animal.      
LG4 (DI) Students can compose movement sequences to communicate knowledge, ideas and feelings about endangered or extinct animals.      

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