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ERIC Number: EJ1113623
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1529-0824
Dancing with STEAM: Creative Movement Generates Electricity for Young Learners
Simpson Steele, Jamie; Fulton, Lori; Fanning, Lisa
Journal of Dance Education, v16 n3 p112-117 2016
The integration of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) serves to develop creative thinking and twenty-first-century skills in the classroom (Maeda 2012). Learning through STEAM promotes novelty, innovation, ingenuity, and task-specific purposefulness to solve real-world problems--all aspects that define creativity. Lisa Fanning is a fifth-grade teacher at a public elementary school with school-wide arts integration at the core of its vision. Fanning participated in a district-wide professional development project through which she partnered with a dance teaching artist. Together with her partner, she engaged in a 12-hour workshop to develop common understandings about curricular intersections, practiced co-teaching structures, and devised essential questions to guide their lesson planning. They subsequently engaged in 24 hours of additional professional development during a summer institute to learn specific methodology in dance integration, including elements, strategies, and facilitation techniques. During the summer institute, Jamie Simpson Steele (a performing arts specialist) and Lori Fulton (a science educator) provided a framework for thinking about STEAM intersections and examples of art and science integrated experiences for teachers and teaching artists. Next, Fanning and her teaching artist partner co-planned and co-taught a semester-long inquiry to investigate this question: How does energy transform? This inquiry engaged students in hands-on activities, field-based experiences, interviews with experts, science notebooks, creative movement improvisation, dance choreography, and a call for social activism. The collaborations consisted of ten sessions of planning time and ten co-taught lessons in the classroom. Fanning's unit focused on the properties of wind and how its energy could be stored, transformed, and transferred for use. The science objective required students to describe how later when they engineered turbines). To explore the relationship among the earth, sea, and sky, students connected to their personal experiences at the beach and did further observation and research. Students converted these ideas into a model by expanding, rising, and pushing their bodies through space. Finally, students responded to the work of their peers, practicing artistic thinking by observing, describing, and interpreting each other's movements (Harris 2013). The unit culminated in a public performance with invited parents and community members. During this sharing, students performed original choreography, exhibited wind turbines, led station activities to inform their guests about the wind as a source of energy, and engaged in a mock demonstration advocating for renewable energy.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A