Dance units: Middle school levels

These Dance units are for Middle School Level students. Several are aligned with the Common Core and all are aligned with the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance.

Included Resources

In this Dance Unit, Students will gather insight into self and community through improvisation and dance making. Students will create a dance that addresses the concepts of awareness to self and others: Address – others and different body parts; Nearness – relationship to others; Connect – making connections; and Support – the push and pull in the way we interact with others.

This Dance unit is written for the 8th Grade and is aligned with the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance Benchmarks. This unit was written by Edwin Brathwaite.

In this Dance Unit, students will learn how to use an autobiographical literary work (memoir, poem, or story) to develop a solo dance and then collaborate to create a group dance. The students must include a 7th grade student, music, and costumes. This will result in an 8th grade student concert.

This Dance unit is written for the 8th Grade and is aligned with the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance Benchmarks. This unit was written by Sarah Sandford-Perez.

In this Arts and the Common Core Dance Unit, students learn about the history and origin of the haiku. Students work with the teacher to create examples of haikus. Students suggest themes for haiku and create a list of possible themes to use. Students create a haiku with a dance theme and choreograph a short dance phrase that reflects the theme and rhythm of the haiku.

This Dance unit is written for the 8th Grade and is aligned with the Common Core standards and the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance Benchmarks. This unit was written by Carol Lonnie and Traci Hinton Peterson.

This Dance unit will focus on the impact of social dances and how these dances helped to build community. Students will learn about the history of line dances and how these dances originated from the 17th‐century English country dances. The unit will also focus on the present form of line dances performed at social events such as the electric slide, the cha‐cha slide, the Wobble. We will begin with the line dances of the 1970s and ‘80s. The students will learn many of these dances along with their patterns and formations. Small groups will be formed, and students will then create their own line dances using various formations and patterns learned in the class. Students will present their dances for the class.

This Dance unit is written for the 7th and 8th Grades and is aligned with the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance Benchmarks. This unit was written by Carol Lonnie.

In this Dance unit, the students will learn basic flamenco rhythms and movements. They will research the origins of flamenco, and develop a dance based on their research. They will perform their dance, and write a research report.

This Dance unit is written for the 7th Grade and is aligned with the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance Benchmarks. This unit was written by Cheryl Galzur.

This Dance unit includes rich opportunities for learning as it explores strategies for provoking new ideas about dance while making connections to literature and visual arts. The theme explores dealing with the social/emotional challenges of being in middle school, including experiences with individuality, tolerance, and acceptance.

Through movement experimentation, the students explore what it means to be “Free to Be Me.” Students use the knowledge they gain through the unit to inform their movement improvisations, leading to choreographic processes. Student work collaboratively to create a dance inspired by quotes, poems, personal narratives, stories, and visual arts. At the end of the unit, students will share their dances with their class and the school community. This unit will help students understand the meaning of individuality, tolerance, and acceptance so that they may live as leaders.

This Dance unit is written for the 6th to 8th Grades and is aligned with the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance Benchmarks. This unit was written by Kristine Ventimiglia.

In this unit, students will explore the many ways science influences movement. The unit provides opportunities for students to evaluate their range of motion and execution of ballet technique, set personal goals, experiment with scientific concepts in anatomy, kinesiology, and physics (Newton’s Laws of Motion), and apply these concepts to self- correct and to help achieve their personal goals. Since turnout is the foundation of ballet technique and one of the most difficult aspects of the technique to understand and master, the unit will focus on the structure and function of the hip joint. The unit is designed to provide middle school students with the knowledge of how to take care of their body, prevent injury, and avoid physical risks in dance class and throughout their life. This dance unit was created by Nicole Kasbar.

Students will research the following dancers/choreographers and develop choreography to share with the class. Students will research history and find choreographic samples from the dancers/choreographers to share with their group. Choreography inspired by these artists will be generated by the group. Isadora Duncan, Michio Ito, José Limón, Katherine Duncan, Lester Horton, and Martha Graham are the dancers/choreographers of study. This dance unit was created by Jan Ford.

Students will create a short choreographic study that helps them understand and differentiate between longitudinal and transverse waves. Students will research different types of waves and create dances inspired by the waves. They will create a dance study based on what they learned in this unit and their previous classes about the characteristics and behavior of waves. Ultimately, students will create original choreography inspired by phenomena the eye cannot see. This dance unit was created by Cheryl Galzur.

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