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Meteorology in Motion

Arts Infused Science Residency
Elementary students work with dancer/choreographer Barbara Pearson to reinforce the scientific study of the weather through movement. Using their bodies with space, time, and force, students will enact phenomena such as the water cycle, cold and warm 

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fronts, and air pressure. In groups students will depict events such as a hurricane or a thunderstorm, receive feedback, then revise and refine their movements. Students also look at the profound effect of weather on ancient and modern culture as depicted in legends, poetry and music. The residency culminates with all performing their original works for an audience, using props and costumes as needed. Students learn teamwork and the importance of sticking with a project through its completion. Through dance they learn to take responsibility for their own bodies and to present themselves appropriately in front of others.

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Newspaper Article on "Meteorology in Motion":
"It's a Blizzard in the Works - of Science and Art, that Is"

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Curriculum Connections:

This residency integrates dance and science. Music, literature and visual arts can also be integrated into the process. Students will develop their visual-spatial, kinesthetic, and interpersonal, and natural intelligences.

Daily lesson sample:

  • Day 1 - Introduction to dance
    The artist will introduce basic concepts of dance and movement - personal space, high medium and low levels, and locomotor and axial movements. Ground rules will be established

  • Day 2 - 3 - Basic science concepts expressed through dance
    Students will use movement to depict various science concepts such as the water cycle, warm and cold air masses, thunderstorms and hurricanes.

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  • Day 4 - Cultural Expressions of Weather
    Students will be exposed to some examples of dances and legends in ancient cultures showing how people relate to weather. They will also review music compositions inspired by weather such as the Rossini's William Tell Overture or Ferde Grofe's The Thunderstorm .

  • Day 5-6 - Creation of Original Choreography
    Students will select a weather topic of interest that has a major cultural impact and work on choreography in small groups. They will receive critiques, revise and refine their movement. The artist will combine the students' ideas into a dance, selecting appropriate music, and poetry or props as desired. Students will learn the steps of the creative process as well as performance techniques.

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  • Day 7 and 8 - Rehearsal of Original works
    Students will rehearse their dances as a class, add costumes, music and props as needed, and give and receive constructive criticism.

  • Day 9 - Performance
    Students will perform their works informally in the classroom or for a larger audience. Performance will be video taped.

  • Day 10 - Evaluation and Students Reflection
    Students will watch the video and self-critique. The artist and the teachers will decide on a method of assessment and students will write what they have learned. Artist will lead a discussion with the students on the creative and performance process.

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