"Eyes on Progressive Education" Blog

A Green Acres School journal that chronicles progressive education in action, the research that supports and informs our practice, and ways in which we live out our mission each and every day.

 

Exploring India through Dance

Mary Sing, Creative Movement Teacher

The 1st graders are learning about India this semester, and the dances, music, and children’s games provide amazing opportunities to find connections with another culture using one’s whole self. Through explorations based on the essential question “What can songs and dances tell us about what people care about?” the 1st graders recognized similarities and differences between themselves and Indian children and culture. The 1st graders have started to learn dances, songs, and games that are part of Indian childhood. Learning a traditional folk dance of Gujarat and Rajasthan, India, “Dandiya Raas” is an exciting activity for all the students. After the students learn several dance steps, we will add the “dandiya” sticks to accompany their foot work. It is very challenging to incorporate stepping patterns with sticking patterns while dancing as part of a group. We hope to work collaboratively to choreograph a dance for the India assembly based on different sticking and dance patterns. 

For many of the 1st graders, the India assembly will be their first time performing in front of the Lower School. Students have varying degrees of comfort with performing, and we will work with children to figure out what works for them as individuals to ensure that is it a positive experience. Their hard work on the dances, as well as the games “Kokla Chapaki” and “Akar Bakar Bombe Bo,” reflects the goals of this semester: to develop body awareness and mechanics, explore rhythms, movement games, dances, and songs related to the India theme, and practice working collaboratively. 

Posted by Mrs. Sara Kendall Huneke in Lower School, Early Childhood Unit on Monday March, 11

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