Except as noted, the standards in this section describe the cumulative skills and knowledge expected of all students upon exiting grade 8. Students in grades 5-7 should engage in developmentally appropriate learning experiences to prepare them to achieve these standards at grade 8. These standards presume that the students have achieved the standards specified for grades K-4; they assume that the students will demonstrate higher levels of the expected skills and knowledge, will deal with increasingly complex art works, and will provide more sophisticated responses to works of art. Determining the curriculum and the specific instructional activities necessary to achieve the standards is the responsibility of states, local school districts, and individual teachers.

Visual Arts

DANCE (5-8)

Through creating, performing, and responding to dance, middle school students can continue to develop skills and knowledge that enhance the important development of self-image and social relationships. Cooperation and collaboration are emphasized at this age, fostering positive interactions.

Dance education can offer a positive, healthy alternative to the many destructive choices available to adolescents. Students are encouraged to take more responsibility for the care, conditioning, and health of their bodies (both within and outside the dance class), thus learning that self-discipline is a prerequisite for achievement in dance.

Students in grades 5-8 develop a sense of themselves in relation to others and in relation to the world. As a result, they are ready to respond more thoughtfully to dance, to perceive details of style and choreographic structure, and to reflect upon what is communicated. The study of dance provides a unique and valuable insight into the culture or period from which it has come. Informed by social and cultural experiences, movement concepts, and dance-making processes, students integrate dance with other art forms.

Content Standard #1: Identifying and demonstrating movement elements and skills in performing dance

Achievement Standard:

Students demonstrate the following movement skills and explain the underlying principles: alignment, balance, initiation of movement, articulation of isolated body parts, weight shift, elevation and landing, fall and recovery Students accurately identify and demonstrate basic dance steps, positions, and patterns for dance from two different styles or traditions (e.g., ballet, square, Ghanasian, Middle Eastern, modern) Students accurately transfer a spatial pattern from the visual to the kinesthetic Students accurately transfer a rhythmic pattern from the aural to the kinesthetic Students identify and clearly demonstrate a range of dynamics / movement qualities Students demonstrate increasing kinesthetic awareness, concentration, and focus in performing movement skills Students demonstrate accurate memorization and reproduction of movement sequences Students describe the action and movement elements observed in a dance, using appropriate movement/dance vocabulary

Content Standard #2: Understanding choreographic principles, processes, and structures

Achievement Standard:

Students clearly demonstrate the principles of contrast and transition Students effectively demonstrate the processes of reordering and chance Students successfully demonstrate the structures or forms of AB, ABA, canon, call and response, and narrative Students demonstrate the ability to work cooperatively in a small group during the choreographic process Students demonstrate the following partner skills in a visually interesting way: creating contrasting and complementary shapes, taking and supporting weight

Content Standard #3: Understanding dance as a way to create and communicate meaning

Achievement Standard:

Students effectively demonstrate the difference between pantomiming and abstracting a gesture Students observe and explain how different accompaniment (such as sound, music, spoken text) can affect the meaning of a dance Students demonstrate and/or explain how lighting and costuming can contribute to the meaning of a dance Students create a dance that successfully communicates a topic of personal significance

Content Standard #4: Applying and demonstrating critical and creative thinking skills in dance

Achievement Standard:

Students create a movement problem and demonstrate multiple solutions; choose the most interesting solutions and discuss the reasons for their choice Students demonstrate appropriate audience behavior in watching dance performances; discuss their opinions about the dances with their peers in a supportive and constructive way Students compare and contrast two dance compositions in terms of space (such as shape and pathways), time (such as rhythm and tempo), and force/energy (movement qualities) Students identify possible aesthetic criteria for evaluating dance (such as skill of performers, originality, visual and/or emotional impact, variety and contrast)

Content Standard #5: Demonstrating and understanding dance in various cultures and historical periods

Achievement Standard:

Students competently perform folk and/or classical dances from various cultures; describe similarities and differences in steps and movement styles Students competently perform folk, social, and/or theatrical dances from a broad spectrum of twentieth-century America Students learn from resources in their own community (such as people, books, videas) a folk dance of a different culture or a social dance of a different time period and the cultural/historical context of that dance, effectively sharing the dance and its context with their peers Students accurately describe the role of dance in at least two different cultures or time periods

Content Standard #6: Making connections between dance and healthful living

Achievement Standard:

Students identify at least three personal goals to improve themselves as dancers and steps they are taking to reach those goals Students explain strategies to prevent dance injuries Students create their own warmup and discuss how that warmup prepares the body and mind for expressive purposes

Content Standard #7: Making connections between dance and other disciplines

Achievement Standard:

Students create a project that reveals similarities and differences between the arts Students cite examples of concepts used in dance and another discipline outside the arts (such as balance, shape, and pattern) Students observe the same dance both live and recorded on video; compare and contrast the aesthetic impact of the two observations


The Curriculum Guide
  Constructing History
  Educational Standards
  The Curriculum Activity
  Beginning the Unit
  Exercise One
  Exercise Two
  Exercise Three

  History Standards
  Arts Standards
    Visual Arts