Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

World History Vocabulary Flashmob

Subject Area

Arts Education
Social Studies




Students will make artistic choices in movement and vocalizations to connect and share the essential vocabulary in describing the beginning of civilization in the Indus River Valley as a "flashmob" for other students within their school. Through this method, teachers will front load tier three vocabulary instruction to support literacy in reading informational text. 

This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit.

    Arts Education (2017) Grade(s): 8 - Dance


    Sculpt the body in space and design body shapes in relation to other dancers, objects, and environment, using kinetic sense during complex floor and air patterns.

    Unpacked Content



    • space
    • Kinetic sense
    • dance phrase
    • tempo
    • use of breath
    • energy
    • dynamics
    • embody
    • technical dance skills
    • spatial designs
    • healthy practices
    • injury prevention
    • performance goals
    • Nutrition
    • Self-assessment
    • leadership qualities
    • production elements

    Essential Questions

    EU: Space, time, and energy are basic elements of dance.
    EQ: How do dancers work with space, time, and energy to communicate artistic expression?

    Skills Examples

    • Explore mirroring with a partner, both locomotor and stationary.
    • Use flocking to begin a warm up; each facing change brings a new leader to demonstrate or lead the next step of the warm up.
    • Perform dance phrases of different lengths that use various timing.
    • Use different tempos in different body parts at the same time.
    • Inhale on the descent of the plie' and exhale on the rise.
    • Demonstrate kinesthetic awareness of technical skills including: body alignment, coordination, balance, core support, clarity of movement, weight shifts, flexibility/ range of motion.
    • Discuss nutritional choices made in relation to energy efficiency, the effects experienced, and methods for making improvements.
    • Create and maintain a rehearsal schedule, journal, video portfolio, or timeline, noting personal areas of improvement and strategies for future improvement.
    • Demonstrate leadership qualities such as: commitment, dependability, and responsibility.
    • Discuss and identify production elements that would successfully enhance the audience's experience of the artistic intent of the dance. Implement a plan to accomplish that in a performance either for class or other venue.

    Anchor Standards

    Anchor Standard 4: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.
    Arts Education (2017) Grade(s): 8 - Music


    Generate rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic phrases and harmonic accompaniments within expanded forms, including introductions, transitions, and codas, that convey expressive intent.

    Unpacked Content



    • Tension and release
    • Phrase
    • Notation (standard, iconic, technological)
    • Tension and release
    • Phrase
    • Notation (standard, iconic, technological)
    • Texture
    • Tension and release
    • Sequence
    • Notation (standard, iconic, technological)
    • Arrangement
    • Song structure
    • Expanded forms
    • Introduction
    • Transition
    • Coda
    • Style
    • Genre
    • Structure
    • Timbre
    • Balance
    • Sound sources (instruments, voices, found sounds, & technology)
    • Age-appropriate audience and performer etiquettes

    Essential Questions

    EU: Musicians' creative choices are influenced by their expertise, context, and expressive intent.
    EQ: How do musicians make creative decisions?

    Skills Examples

    • Perform, on classroom instruments (ukuleles, guitars, mallet instruments, etc.), created accompaniments for musical products including student created, Folk Songs, and/or children's songs.
    • Create a YouTube video to teach the chordal accompaniment for a song.
    • Perform alone and with others middle level literature on a variety of classroom instruments.
    • Sing alone and with others middle level literature with proper technique.
    • Compose an introduction for an original piece of music and/or a children's song and/or teacher provided example and be able to use appropriate vocabulary to discuss expressive intent.
    • Compose music to transition between two pieces of music or sections of a song.
    • Create musical products that show tension and release melodically and/or rhythmically, and/or harmonically.
    • Create musical pieces that demonstrate various musical textures (e.g. monophonic, homophonic, polyphonic).
    • Compare and contrast how composers arrange musical products for various ensembles.
    • Examine how current events influence the creative process.
    • Improvise melodic and/or rhythmic phrases vocally, with instruments, or with technology.
    Reading/ Writing
    • Use standard notation and/or iconic notation, and/or technology to document the development of musical ideas.
    • Create a YouTube video or PowerPoint to explain the composition process using traditional notation.
    • Provide feedback to peers, citing specific examples and using appropriate vocabulary, and ideas for refining musical products (compositions, arrangements, improvisations, and performances).
    • Critique musical products of self and peers applying appropriate musical vocabulary, specific musical examples, and discussion of originality and craftsmanship.
    • Respond to critiques of musical products through multiple means, using appropriate vocabulary, and specific musical examples to support your response.
    • Identify the structure of composite forms of music.
    • Sight read melodic, rhythmic, and/or harmonic passages in composed music.
    Responding/ Evaluating
    • Create a composition journal (physical or virtual) to document development of musical ideas.
    • Create a rubric to evaluate personal composition products that include application of compositional techniques, style, form, and sound sources.
    • Develop criteria, in collaboration with peers and teacher, to evaluate and refine musical ideas.
    • Refine musical ideas based on predetermined criteria and feedback from multiple sources (peers, teacher, self, audience) and explain reasons for refinement.
    • Compare and contrast selected composers and their work.
    • Identify careers in music that are non-performance based.
    • Identify and describe ways that technology is used to create music.

    Anchor Standards

    Anchor Standard 2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
    Alternate Achievement Standard - Social Studies (2010) Grade(s): 8


    Locate India and China on a world map; recognize at least one accomplishment of classical civilizations in India and China including the Great Wall, gunpowder, fireworks, and the Taj Mahal; recognize major landforms and climate patterns including monsoon season, the Himalayas, and the Yellow River.


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    Learning Targets:

    I can create a pattern of movement using my body, space, and energy paired with vocalization phrases using rhythm and tone to communicate the development of civilization of India by connecting essential vocabulary.

    Activity Details

    Review tier three words from class text for Indus River Valley (example word list). Words may be on a handout or projected for class to see.

    Use Call and Response, to repeat after the teacher, checking pronunciation, emphasizing phonics and syllabication. Teacher models "playing" with words by changing rhythm, tone, and dynamics.

    Review Elements of Dance handout and listen to examples of each.

    Offer suggestions to students in using one or more of the elements of dance to communicate the first three words.
    For example, "monsoon" could be communicated with hands over the head with a swirling action. Then, the teacher asks, "If this is a summer monsoon and is blowing water from the ocean onto land for the wet season, then how would we communicate that the winds shift and creates a dry season?"

    Work in small groups to continue using movement to communicate their tier three vocabulary words, making choices about movement and vocalization. Students are encouraged to rearrange words and connect them in a way that tells a story. 

    Practice their choreography and vocalizations and share with the class. 

    Cooperate as teacher facilitates combining ideas from the small groups into a single performance piece. Student leaders may lead the class in practicing in unison. 

    Listen as teacher covers the procedure for class flashmob:
    --Students walk in a line quietly and enter a room on the teacher's signal.
    --Student leader begins and all students join performing their movements and vocalizations which use the essential tier the vocabulary for the Indus River Valley Civilization.
    --Students reassemble into a line quickly and leave quietly and return to their own room.

    Participate the as teacher leads students in self-evaluating with the Flashmob Checklist.

    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    Evaluate student progress towards stated learning objectives and standards by completing the Flashmob Checklist.

    Variation Tips

    The teacher can facilitate choreography instead of using small groups.
    Guest dance teacher can coach students in using Elements of Dance.
    Student leaders can lead the exercise.
    Only a portion of the words can be addressed.
    Vocalizations can be used instead of both vocalizations and dance.

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    Essential Tier 3 Vocabulary words list from current chapter of study
    (Handout, list on board, or PowerPoint slide) 

    Elements of Dance handout
    (laminated for multiple uses)
    Organizer for Elements of Dance by Perpich Center for Arts Education