Native American Music and Dance Activity
Grade Level: Lower Primary
Lesson Time: 45 Minutes
Subjects: Music/Steady Beat (Focus Rhythm) and Dance
Artistic Perception: The students will demonstrate keeping steady beat through practice exercises and stepping to the beat. By using instruments such as conga drums, tambourines and rhythm sticks, student will demonstrate several different beat and rhythm patterns.
Creative Expression: As a class, the students will demonstrate how to keep the beat in many different body positions, heights and movements in high, medium and low spaces. They will invent a dance using and expressing their knowledge of Native American heritage.
Children today need to be aware of cross-cultural differences. They also need to be aware of cross-cultural similarities. By using the Native American-style music and dance moves, they will not only see the "normal" Native American customs, but also start to build a bridge over the gap of their differences. By creating the dance themselves, the students will get learn aesthetic value and practice their creativity.
Leading, encouraging, direct instruction
Music and Dance Vocabulary
Tom-tom small drum
Tambourine a jingling bell-studded drum
Rhythm Sticks sticks to whack together
The teacher (specialist) will come into the room dressed as a Native American. Children will more likely identify with the traditional local tribes. He will learn legends of the local tribes and will tell the stories accordingly. The stories will be true, as they are known, about bears, eagles and other image-invoking legends. After these are over, the teacher will turn on a tape of Native American music and ceremonial chanting.
Ask students what they learned from todays lesson. See if they noticed anything in their dance that worked well or didnt work at all. What should they change for next time? How do the children feel after doing their Native American dance? Going over movements in the different spaces would also be beneficial as the students are starting to figure out how their bodies work. Ask the children if they knew why brainstorming was a good idea for this exercise. Ask the children why it is important to keep the spirit of Native American ways of life "alive."
Children will return the instruments to proper receptacles, while teacher collects CDs and tapes and puts them away.
Teacher will observe how well the students are keeping the beat and moving in time with the music. Are the students able to stay in synch with the music?
Teacher will observe the students dance through three different spaces with low, medium and high-body movements. Are their movements correlating with the instruments and the music?
Native American CDs or tapes
Native American Outfit
References for myths and legends will vary with local tribes