Learning About Laos: Cultural Values Through Dance (3)

Last changed: 05/19/2023 8:07pm
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3 Visual Art Dance
Dance Social Studies
Both Grade Level and Arts/PE Program Alignment
1 45 min
1 45 min
In-School Workshop
All year In-School,
$10 0
yes Email , Phone , In-Person
Costumes, taped music, material for sashes; illustrated study guide
Open space, boombox, smartboard or computer/projector
Tables and chairs for students
Parking spaces for 2 visitors (artist and facilitator)
Open space for dancing
Tables and chairs for students to work on a craft project (second visit, if booked).
I can find Laos on a map.
I can describe the climate and geography of Laos.
I can understand information on Southeast Asian society and explain how cultural values are expressed in dance.
I can perform a social dance from Laos and describe hand gestures in the dance and what they represent
The program uses art (music/dance/visual arts/costumes) to teach the culture, geography, and history of Laos in Southeast Asia in an authentic and engaging way that will resonate with the heritage of many students in Hartford schools. Laotian dance educator Manola Sidara will demonstrate dance along with stories, costumes, and cultural information about Laotian social dance. She will engage students in trying dances that will be new to them, encouraging first-hand learning about a different culture. Manola will tell the stories behind the dances to teach about Southeast Asian geography, Buddhism, language, and history, with a focus on social values such as gracefulness, collaboration, and respectful behavior. Artist and facilitator meet with teacher before the visits to pre-plan. Teacher has presented some information to the class prior to the visit. Teacher is expected to be present throughout and actively engaged in helping students to participate. Manola offers a traditional greeting in words and gesture. She plays Laotian dance music. Using a discovery process, she first demonstrates the dance with hand gestures and movement in a circle, wearing her traditional costume and performing to music. She then asks the students to comment on what they observed, with guided questions such as: What did you see? What did you hear? What does this dance remind you of? What could the dance mean or represent? Is there something in your life like this? She fills in some information about the dance and its relation to cultural values. She asks the students to perform the dance with her. Then she asks them to reflect on what they felt, and if they experienced anything new (such as gracefulness, collaboration with others, calmness, respect). She invites questions. Before leaving she asks them to find out some information about Laos and its culture. For Grade 3, there is a short discussion of Asians/Laotians in our community. Group performance is for all grades.
Manola will leave a CD of dance music for class practice; this will be donated to the class for future use.
Parents or caregivers or community members are welcome as volunteers, to help hand out supplies or assist with making the sashes and helping to organize the students for the group dance.

Grade 3

Grade 3: Geography: Human-Environment Interaction: Places, Regions, and Culture: 3.4: Explain how culture influences the way people modify and adapt to their environments
Grade 3: Geography: Human-Environment Interaction: Places, Regions, and Culture: Geo 3.6: Describe how environmental and cultural characteristics influence population distribution in specific places or regions.
Grade 3: Dance: Responding: Anchor Standard 9: Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
A. Select dance movements from specific genres, styles, or cultures. Identify characteristic movements from these dances observed or performed in a specific genre, style, or cultural movement practice.
Grade 3: Dance: Connecting: Anchor Standard 11: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
A. Find a relationship between movement in a dance from a culture, society or community and the culture from which the dance is derived. Explain what the movements communicate about key aspects of the culture, society, community.