Friday, September 13, 2013

Differentiation-Inspired Performances


I am currently taking a classed called "Instruction for Diverse Learners."  It addresses the importance of and practical ways to modify instruction to benefit all students.

My readings for this course inspired a lesson I used for 3-5 grades this week.  These classes have been doing a patriotic music unit.  Using performance ideas from an arts academy I attended a few summers ago, students chose an "artful patriotic performance."  Students had the following options:

1. "Symbols and Movement": Choose patriotic symbols to portray through movement (example: waving like a flag, posing like the statue of liberty, etc.)

2. "Photo Tableaux": Choose a photo that has at least one character (animal or person).  Create a story or poem about the character in first person.  Begin the performance in tableaux (posed like the photo) and read or recite the story or poem about the character(s).
These are the books students were able to choose from for the Photo Tableaux project.
3. "Old and New Songs": Choose a patriotic song we have learned in class.  Using the same melody, write new lyrics for the song.

4. "Choreopoems": Use the Japanese haiku poem form (5/7/5 syllables) to create a poem about America or an American symbol.  Add movements to be performed before, during, or after the reading of the poem.

5. "Hand Games": Create a hand game with new lyrics that celebrate America.

Students worked in groups of four (sometimes 3-5) and chose one project.  Some groups combined elements of two project options.  For example, some groups created a hand game with the melody of a patriotic song but with new lyrics.  These options gave students to do things they were comfortable with but they were also able to add more challenging aspects if they desired.

As you can see from the photos, the Hand Games option was very popular.  We have creative students, that's for sure!  It was a fun week, to say the least.