Kelly Riley's Online Classroom


Learner, teacher, reader, writer, gifted coordinator, ed tech geek, music ed evangelist

Using Student Choreography to Teach Form

August 31, 2012

Last year's fourth graders created their own choreography to some of the dances from Act II of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker ballet. We used and/or created listening maps of the dances first, paying close attention to the forms of each piece. (Download the SMART Notebook file here.) As the students shared their movement ideas, I served as a facilitator and occasionally an editor. I was especially impressed with Mrs. Stephens's class. They chose the Spanish Dance which has a very distinctive castanet part. I pulled up a video of a flamenco dancer demonstrating castanet technique. This inspired the kids to request more flamenco videos, and they used some of the steps from those videos in their own choreography. While the Spanish Dance might not be the most exciting of the three classes, it is certainly the most authentic and inspired. Watch all three videos below!

Mrs. John's Class


Mrs. Stephens's Class


Mrs. Triplett's Class