Richards Middle School
Cowart – Austin Sargent
Learning Objective/Exit Outcomes:
- Students will be able to describe the difference between autocracy and democracy.
- Students will relate those differences into sculpting different frozen pictures using the body positions of their classmates.
- Students will be able to accurately sequence movement principles as the move along a continuum from autocracy to democracy and vice versa.
- Students will work in collaborative teams both as performer, participant, and observer.
Social Studies & Dance
SS6CG1 Compare and contrast various forms of government.
- Explain citizen participation in autocratic, and democratic governments. [i.e. the role of citizens in choosing the leaders of Mexico (presidential democracy), Cuba (autocratic), and Brazil (presidential democracy)].
MSD.CR.2 Demonstrates an understanding of dance as a form of communication.
- Compare and contrast abstract and literal movement.
- Explore the qualities of expression in performance.
- Explore how theatrical elements (e.g. costuming, lighting) contribute to the meaning of the dance.
MSD.PR.2 Understand and model dance etiquette as a classroom participant, performer, and observer.
- Demonstrate attentiveness, focus, concentration, initiative, and self-discipline when participating in the dance learning and performance environment.
- Demonstrate concentration and focus with respect to self and others in the performance of skills.
- Exhibit initiative in modeling appropriate behaviors and skills as an audience member and dance observer.
Open space at the front of the classroom
The PAIR Specialist introduced the lesson by establishing the rules for Sculptor/Clay. That Clay’s job was to wait until molded, and the Sculptors job was to inform the clay how to position their body into one still position.
PAIR Specialist brought up two volunteers as examples. We first molded the dictator, and asked observers for descriptions of a dictator. Based on the answer, PAIR Specialist would think of a way of physically representing that idea (Dictators are violent and strong–PAIR Specialist might mold the volunteer clay into having strong fists.) Pull three or four characteristics of a dictator. Then PAIR Specialist molded the Democratic Leader by following the same process (Democracies are run by the people who vote for their leaders–PAIR Specialist might mold the volunteer clay into a handshake position.) PAIR Specialist checked for comprehension before moving on–both for understanding of Sculptor/Clay and for Social Studies Comprehension.
The PAIR Specialist split the class into halves, and each half was told to elect a sculptor. This sculptor was then instructed to mold the rest of the group into either a democracy or autocracy. Same concept and principle as the example, except this time there was more clay to use. Sculptors now had to think about a complete picture rather than just one leader. Students were given time to sculpt, allot as much time as you see fit.
After the sculptures were complete, Teacher helped students analyze the other’s movements. What could you see in this sculpture that helped you know it was one form of government or the other? What about their body position gave you clues?
After the debrief, a new sculptor was chosen from each group. This time the instruction was given to mold their group into the opposite form of government they just had–but now the sculptors could only give 4 instructions. Instructions could be for the whole group of clay, or individuals, but they only had four changes they could make. The PAIR Specialist and Teacher helped by brainstorming with students and by providing clear structure (First, Next, Then, Last).
After the allotted time, sculptures were again analyzed and groups moved from their original picture to the first adjustment, second, third and fourth. This created a very specific movement sequence that could be analyzed at any step. Students debriefed after each movement sequence and went back to their desks.
This activity very easily transitioned into a writing activity, where students had to imagine they were overthrowing an autocracy, and now having to set up a new democracy. They were asked to think about the point of view of multiple sides and analyze how their new system of government would change the preexisting structure.