No matter their age, students love music and dancing. In this handout, "Language Arts Activity - Characters Just Keep on Dancin," Middle and High School students will select characters from the literature that they have studied throughout the year for a dance competition.
They are to reveal their comprehension of these characters’ personalities, emotions, and moral fiber in their writing and speaking.
This activity should be introduced when the characters have shown enough depth to analyze. Students will flesh them out by showing their understanding of the element of character as well as their analytic and critical-thinking skills.
Here are the Students' Directions:
Students- for this activity, you are to
1. Choose three pairs of characters (6 characters, total) to team up for a dance competition (Based on the Dancing With the Stars Television show).
2. These characters may be from any stories that you have read in class this year. Do not be concerned that the dancers in each pair are from the same setting or historical period. Also, the characters in each pair do NOT have to be from the same story.
3. Each pair will compete against the other two pairs, so your choices for each duo must have similar dancing skills and abilities.
4. Once you have chosen your pairs, you must explain the reasons for your selections, and defend your explanations with details from the stories that support your thinking. Be sure to analyze each duo’s competitive dancing strengths and weaknesses.
5. Next, choose the type of dance (Ballet, jazz, hiphop, disco, fifties-or any decade, etc.), and the music for each pair’s competition dance. The music must fit the dance genre as well as each dancer’s skills and abilities.
6. Choose three criteria that the dancers must meet-examples: Technical Merit, Difficulty of Routine, and Showmanship. Ten points should be allotted to each of the criteria, and the pair that wins must earn the highest score out of 30 points. NOTE: You will have to go back and score each pair’s dance routine after you select the three criteria.
7. Select the winning team. Here you will have to justify your choice by determining how each pair met the set criteria. Write each analysis in sentence form.
8. When you are finished, the teacher will divide you into teams of three. Here, you will read the analysis and decision of your two team members. Finally, you will show whether you agree or disagree with that peer’s choice by writing an explanation on that student’s paper.
9. Finally, write a brief news item for the Entertainment Section of an online or print newspaper revealing the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of this dance competition.
10. Teachers will collect the papers and grade them according to their pre-set criteria, i.e details, supporting material, analytic depth, grammar, spelling etc.
11. Teachers should have you orally share your choices and justifications.
12. At the end of this part of the activity, the teacher will collect the papers.
This product supports Common Core Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy. Use the given standards as guidelines, adapting them to the benchmarks that your state follows.
Students' brains will boogie to the learning beat with this activity. When the music flows and the characters dance, students will be engaged and motivated.
Other Character Analysis Activities
Comprehension A Trio of Activities - Everyday People
Comprehension & Writing Activity - Road Trip Time
Comprehension & Writing Activity: Making Memories- A Yearbook Spread
Comprehension and Writing Activities: Falling Into Character Analysis
Comprehension and Writing Activity: Picture This! Zooming in on Character
Comprehension Character Activity - You & Me: Mirror Images or Polar Opposites?
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