Mapas Bailados: Creating Visual Representations of Dances Using Maps
Ana Inés Rubinstein, PS 89—The Cypress Hills Community School
|Lesson Topic: Using symbols to notate locomotor movement in a
Standards to Be Addressed
New York State Learning Standards for the Arts
Standard 1: Creating, Performing and Participating in the Arts
- Students will know and demonstrate a range of movement elements and
skills (including such locomotor movements as walking, running, hopping,
Standard 2: Knowing and Using Arts Materials and Resources
- Students will demonstrate knowledge of how to access and use dance
resources (such as choreography charts and maps).
New York State Learning Standards for Social Studies
- Standard 3: Geography: Students will draw maps and diagrams that serve
as representations of places, physical features, and objects
ACTFL Standards for Foreign Language Instruction
- Standard 1.2: Students understand and interpret written and spoken
language on a variety of topics.
- Standard 1.3: Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an
audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics.
- Standard 3.1: Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other
disciplines through the foreign language.
- What are some of the ways that we can remember the dances we make up?
- How could we use maps to remember the elements of a dance and how a
dance uses space?
Content Area Skills and Concepts
- Demonstrating where a movement begins and ends in space
- Demonstrating changes of direction in space
- Demonstrating a sequence of movement patterns in space
- Using consistent symbols and a key within a map to create a
- Reading a map in order to decipher and perform a dance
- Ordinal numbers: primero, segundo, tercero, etc.
- Phrases: Hay que phrase followed by an infinitive (e.g., Hay que caminar), Este
símbolo significa que... (e.g., Este símbolo significa que hay que brincar)
- Prepositions that relate to spacial use: hacia, desde, hasta, al lado de, a la
izquierda de, a la derecha de, etc.
- Vocabulary: correr, caminar, dar vueltas, menear, brincar, clave, mapa, al
comienzo, al final, empieza, termina, aquí, allá
- Making and recording observations
- Creating two-dimensional representations of temporal, three-dimensional events
- Using symbolic representations to convey information
- Stage, gym, or large open space within a classroom
- Butcher paper, markers, and masking tape for filling in and hanging class
- An easel if no wall space is available for hanging experience chart
- Sidewalk chalk and/or tape for marking floor patterns on rug or floor
- A Spanish translation of Robert Graves’ “Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted To
- Blank sentence strips
- Large scale map of a dance
- Copies of checklist for student homework assignment
Whole Group Activity
The teacher asks students to talk about what a map is and to share what they
know about maps, eliciting information that they have learned in their social
studies classes, such as the use of symbolic notation, the use of keys to convey
the meanings of these symbols, directionality, etc.). The teacher then
introduces the idea of a dance map through the read-aloud.
Whole Group Activity
Read “Frank the Monster...” and show students the dance map on the inside cover
of the book. Ask, “Could we create our own dance map? What would we need to know
about the symbols on the map to use it?”
Using sentence strips to record the actions and their corresponding symbolic
notations, create a key with the students for the following types of movement:
caminar (walk), correr (run), dar vueltas (turn), menear (wiggly pathway), and
Using chalk (on a rug) or masking tape (on a floor), create a large-scale dance
map using the symbols you have just agreed upon. Invite children to follow the
map by dancing through it.
As a class, transfer the floor map to chart paper.
Small Group Activity
Divide the children into groups of four (with varying
levels of language proficiency in
each group) and give each group a piece of chart paper and a marker. Ask each
group to create a dance map that incorporates three movements and uses the
agreed-upon symbolic notations for those movements.
Whole Group Activity
When the groups have completed their maps, have each of the members in each
group present their map to the class. One group member (the reporter) will
explain the map using key vocabulary and the hay que constructions while the
other members perform the dance.
Review key vocabulary and symbols for use in homework.
Assessment is through informal observation and through the use of a rubric
designed to measure the following abilities:
- Ability to understand the correspondence between a specific movement and
- Ability to communicate a sequence of movement patterns in space using
- Ability to interpret symbolic notation on a dance map and perform the
corresponding dance correctly
- Achievement of the language objectives in correct use of key vocabulary
and the hay que constructions
For homework: With his or her permission, follow a family member at home for
five minutes and use symbolic notation to record the movements on a map. In many
cases, it will be necessary to create new symbols to express these movements. Be
sure to include a key that provides the meanings of your new symbols. As an
example, you could map how someone in your family moves around when they are
cleaning up or making a meal. After you have done mapping, use your map to
answer the following questions:
- What kinds of locomotor movements were used? What symbolic notations did
you create to express these movements and why?
- Was there a lot of movement in those five minutes or not very much?
- Was the movement repetitive or varied?
- Did all of the locomotor movement stay in one small area or did it move
to different parts of your home?
- Extra Credit Question: Did the movement pattern imply anything about how
the person felt in those five minutes?