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Moving the Layers of the Rainforest Lesson Plan

Author: Tina Misaka

Year: 2015

Artform: Dance

Subjects: Social Studies

Grade: 2nd, 3rd

Duration: 1 - 2 periods, 45 minute each

Overview: Students will discover the mysteries and layers of the Rainforest by dancing the book The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry.

Standards and Objectives

STANDARD 1
Body awareness

STANDARD 2: INVESTIGATING
The student identifies and demonstrates the dance elements of time, space, and energy.

STANDARD 4
Contextualizing
SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARD 1
Students will understand how geography influences community location and development.
  • Students will learn about the layers and animals of the Rainforest.
  • Students will learn and understand the dance concepts of space, time and energy through dancing the layers of the Rainforest.


TEACHING AND TIMELINE

INTRODUCTION

Read the book The Great Kapok Tree

Show a diagram of the Layers of the Rainforest.

DEMONSTRATION

Warm-Up

Introducing Movement Vocabulary And Focus

Warm-up the body using the levels of the Rainforest

  • Emergence Layer: Stretch you body in 8 counts as high as can “emerging from the dark to the sun”
  • Canopy: Curve your back over creating an Umbrella over the forest.
  • Understory: Hang upside down - curling your legs around a tree limb
  • Forest Floor: Lie down and stretch in different directions as if gathering bits and pieces off the forest floor.

Repeat sequence in groups ending in a overlapping group shape with all the Rainforest layers represented.


Investigating

Moving through space, identifying animals in the Rainforest layers Emergence layer, Large birds, leaping, soaring and perching

  • Canopy: Spider monkeys - swinging and playing through the trees
  • Understory: Snakes- slithering and twisting
  • Forest Floor: Army ants and bugs - scurrying about and helping decomposing.
 
 

WORK PERIOD

Create

In groups create a Rainforest dance. Each dance must have:

  1. All the layers and animals of the Rainforest represented
  2. A good beginning and ending shape

Dancers may manipulate their composition by changing the sequence order and manipulating the basic dance concepts of time, space and energy.

CLOSURE/SUMMARY

Perceive and Reflect

Divide the class into groups - have each group perform for each other. After watching perceive and reflect about what they saw and what they liked about how the groups put their Rainforest dance together.
Students will use dance and curriculum to enhance their learning about the Amazon Rainforest. Information and Research will be at the classroom teacher’s discretion.
  • What are the similarities and differences of plants and animals in the 4 levels of the Rainforest?
  • Why is the Rainforest important to our lives?
Teachers may accommodate and adapt by modifying the content (what is being taught), the process (how it is taught) and the product (how students demonstrate their learning), to meet all student needs.
  • Emergence
  • canopy
  • understory
  • forest floor

Dance Vocabulary
  • levels
  • high
  • medium
  • low
  • Axial vs. traveling in space
Pre-assessment - KWL chart
Formative and performance assessment - students will do a peer-peer perceive and reflect after watching each other compositions. Performance based final assessment
Extensions:
 
 

SUPPLIES, EQUIPMENT AND RESOURCES

  • CD/iPod/music source
  • Drum for signaling
  • Poster of the layers of the Rainforest


RESOURCE BOOKS & MUSIC: