Typhani Harris | May 2016

Week 11: Viewing Ballet & Modern Dance


Welcome to The Art of Curriculum Design. In this six month series we explore the fundamentals of curriculum design, via an Arts Appreciation course created through arts collaboration.

–The first few weeks were devoted to the “how and why” of the curriculum design process.
The Art of Curriculum Design
The Art of Curriculum Design: The “Why”
The Art of Curriculum Design: The “How”

accelerator membership

–We then looked at applying the Plan Like an Artist method of Curriculum Design to create a secondary level Arts Appreciation course.
Arts Appreciation: Planned Like an Artist

During the current portion of the series we look at weekly objectives, outcomes, and assessments designed for the Arts Appreciation course (links to the entire series can be found below). The full curriculum, including daily lesson plans, handouts, and assessments, will be available at the completion of the series.


-When Planning Like an Artist, everything is designed with the end performance in mind. So, as the course was designed, we remained focused on our ultimate aim of the course and the final assessment/performance task, which is how the students are going to demonstrate the aim.
-Aim: After this course, it is our hope that students have the capability to articulate an appreciation of all art forms, while defending artistic preferences.
-Final Assessment/Performance Task: Students will design an arts company and create a performance season utilizing a common theme, based on their personal artistic preference. They will then present their performance season to a board, in the form of a proposal, for funding as a way to articulate an appreciation of all art forms.

Arts Appreciation Weeks 1-5

The first 5 weeks of the Arts Appreciation course provided the foundational information for students to participate in viewing and discussing art, in preparation for building their own arts organization. Week one built a class definition of art, while the second week focused on applying the class definition to artistic work. The third week helped students to identify artist intent. Students should be able to identify the intent, defend the intent, and determine the effect of artist intent on the emotional landscape of the art as viewed by an audience, and as viewed through the lens of the class definition of art.

By viewing controversial art, students are continuing to defend what they believe art “is” and “is not,” and acknowledge the emotion behind the art, as well as identify the artist’s intent. By taking a look at theme, students concluded the fourth week with the foundational information needed to actively view art. The ability to identify the theme behind the art will help students to create their final project.

The goal of the fifth week was to start helping the students profile their arts advocacy, by brainstorming the ways in which they want to showcase art for their final assessment. This involved composing an artist statement, determining the theme of their performance season, developing their artistic brand, and drafting the mission and vision for their arts organization.


The next portion of the Arts Appreciation course takes an in-depth look at Theatre, Dance, and Music. Through analyzing these three performance arts, students will begin to develop their final project, which is a theme-based performance season for their arts organization.

As a dance educator, this section is near and dear to my heart.  Similar to the Theatre section, we will introduce dance as art and then break it into four codified styles, ballet and modern dance, jazz and contemporary hip hop/street dance.

Week 11: Viewing Ballet & Modern Dance

At the culmination of week 11, students will be able to:

  • Analyze ballet and modern dance articles via 4-read strategy
  • View and analyze multiple ballet and modern dance pieces
  • Identify historical pieces and their relevance to ballet and modern dance today
  • Analyze contemporary ballet and modern dance

Week 11: Viewing Ballet and Modern Dance

At the culmination of week 11, students will demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the historical relevance of ballet and modern on contemporary dance
  • Determination of artist intent
  • Proper decorum for class discussion
  • Clear articulation of personal preference for ballet and modern dance
  • Determination of pieces that will fit the theme for their arts organization

Week 11: Viewing Ballet and Modern Dance

At the culmination of week 11, students will be evaluated on:

  • Discussion of ballet and modern both historical and contemporary
  • Incorporation of the class definition of art, personal preferences, theme, and artist intent of pieces viewed
  • 4 Read strategy of articles
  • Defense of personal preference and possible pieces to be included in arts organization


History of Ballet Article
History of Ballet Lesson Plan PDF

History of Modern Article
History of Modern Lesson Plan PDF

Series Links
The Art of Curriculum Design
The Art of Curriculum Design: The “Why”
The Art of Curriculum Design: The “How”
Arts Appreciation: Planned Like an Artist
Week 1: What is Art?
Week 2: Talking Art
Week 3: Artist Intent
Week 4: What is Theme?
Week 5: Profiling Yourself as an Arts Advocate
eek 6: Introduction to Theatre Arts
Week 7: Understanding Theatre through Scripts and Structure

Week 8: Viewing and Discussing Theatre
Week 9: Designing the Theatre Performance Season
Week 10: Introduction to Dance

Next Week: Week 12 Viewing Jazz & Hip Hop Dance
Week 12 of the Arts Appreciation course, including lesson plan objectives, outcomes, and assessments.

About the Author

Dr. Typhani Harris, author of Putting the Performance in Performance Task and Stop Teaching, brings over 2 decades of educational experience to The Institute. Originally a high school English Language Arts teacher, Dr. Harris transitioned into a dance educator who cultivated an award-winning collegiate style dance education program at a public school in California. Prior to joining the Institute, she was an educational leader and instructional coach specializing in preparing new teachers in secondary urban schools.  As the Chief Academics Officer, Dr. Harris maintains courses, conferences, and the accredited certification program at The Institute.