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Dance the Beat

Get moving to music and capture the lively motion in the style of Keith Haring.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Show several of Keith Haring's artworks to the class. Note two distinctive characteristics of his style: the use of marks to indicate movement and the way he outlines characters.
    2. Play lively music and let students dance. Have students observe each other as they dance. How do their arms move? When they bend their knees, what does the rest of their body do? How do they hold their head and shoulders?
    3. On construction paper, students use Crayola® Markers to create several line drawings of classmates dancing. Make the drawings seem to move by placing their arms and legs in active positions.
    4. Students fill both the figures and the space around them with active shapes and lines that remind them of the music and Haring's work.
  • Standards

    LA: Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

    LA: Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting or plot.

    LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding word s.

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion.

    LA: Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    VA: Use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner.

    VA; Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources: Dance with Me by Charles R. Smith, Jr.; Drumbeat in Our Feet by Patricia A. Keeler; Rap a Tap Tap: Here's Bojangles - Think of That! by Leo Dillon; Dance by Keith Haring

    In groups of 4-6, students line up next to a wall covered with large sheets of paper. Play a short melody and ask students to move to the music. When the music stops, students freeze! Have other class members sketch a classmate in the frozen position. Repeat this process until all members of the group have been captured in movement. Combine all group sketches into a scene. Students compose an original short story using the life-size figures as their inspiration. Younger students may need adult assistance with documenting their story ideas. Word process the original story and post it on a classroom bulletin board.

    Repeat the activity listed above but use a recording of a sports event in place of the music.

    Experiment with different types of music, such as jazz, mariachi, rock, classical. Students observe and discuss the ways rhythm and tempo affect movement. Have students draw a specific type of movement. Challenge other students to identify which kind of music the movement represents.


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