Social Studies and World History through Music and Dance

Expand/Collapse Social Studies and World History through Music and Dance


Social Studies and World History through Music and Dance: When students are learning about world cultures and global issues, infuse some engaging art content into your lessons with this collection of videos that focus on folk music and dance from around the globe that either maintains a tradition, or adapts customary traditions with contemporary styling.

KQED Arts collections have been created to help educators find the best arts-focused PBS resources to enrich learning experiences and integrate the arts into classroom curricula of all subjects.  

 

  • Kei Lun Lion Dancers Find New Meaning in Ancient Steps

    There are several lion dance troupes in the Bay Area. What sets Kei Lun apart is the group's dedication to passing on ancient Chinese stories, told through the art of lion dance. In the traditional lion dance, props are used that represent different meanings. For example lettuce and tangerines, which are often hung for lion dancers to pluck (along with cash), represent prosperity; tangerines with stems represent the unity of the family. The props help tell the tale and present a puzzle the lion must solve for the dance to be successful.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Cambodia's Dark Past Behind Her, A Dancer Steps into the Light

    Charya Burt trained in and taught classical Cambodian dance in Phnom Penh, where her family suffered oppression by the Khmer Rouge. Now in the Bay Area, she's passing on her art -- and pushing it in new directions.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Laurie Lewis Brings Berkeley Roots to Bluegrass

    Laurie Lewis is a San Francisco Bay Area bluegrass legend. The Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist continues to craft a unique sound of her own while helping to guide the next generation of Bay Area roots musicians.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • We are the Music

    Explore the music and dance sequences of 11 cultural groups who have settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico over the past 700 years. These diverse communities include the Native Americans, Spanish, Mexicans, Crypto-Jewish, Celtic, German, Greek, Japanese, Tibetan, Sikh and the Central Americans. All performers and narrators in these segments are of school-age.

    Grades: 3-9
  • Cherokee Singer | Native American Culture

    Cherokee singer Paula Nelson performs a learning song that teaches a greeting and farewell in Cherokee and then asks the audience to sing with her in a call and response conversation. In the second part of the segment, Nelson says that the Cherokee people are a “water people” and performs a song called “It’s Going to Rain.” Her performance was taped at the 2006 Festival of Native Peoples in Cherokee, N.C.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Choctaw Dances

    This video, adapted from material provided by the ECHO partners, illustrates some of the traditional activities that connect the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians to their past. Activities include traditional dances, the use of traditional instruments such as the Choctaw drum and dance sticks, and participation in games like stickball.

    Grades: 4-6
  • Kou Kou | African/African-American Culture

    In this video Moha Dosso, a professional stilt dancer and musician, performs the Kou-Kou dance from the Ivory Coast. Kou-Kou is a communal recreational dance, often used to teach kids how to dance. Moha Dosso performs with the Kyene Drum Ensemble.

    Find additional arts resources for your classroom at the KET Arts Toolkit website.

    Grades: 5-12
  • American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawai'i

    Few American icons are as well known for their popular kitsch as the hula dance. From old Hollywood movies to entertainment for tourists, the hip-swaying girls in grass skirts and colorful lei have long masked an ancient cultural tradition. After years of being shadowed by stereotypes, the hula is experiencing a rebirth that celebrates Hawaiian culture across the American mainland.

    Grades: 10-12
  • Ledoh Salt Farm: Performance Art (Butoh)

    In this Spark video produced by KQED, the dancers of the Salt Farm Butoh Dance Company and their artistic director Ledoh work on a new piece called "River of Sand," an exploration of Ledoh's birthplace, Burma. As participants in the HCA's resident artist program, the Salt Farm members have been working on the costuming, set design, lights and music and sharing the activities of their daily lives.  

    Grades: 6-13+
  • West African Music and Dance with Kwesi Anku

    Kwesi Anku, Kwaku Manu, and Selasi Morgan are performing artists who teach at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond, CA and are members of the Bay Area's West African Music and Dance Ensemble. Originally from Ghana, they came to the US to study dance with their professor at UC Berkeley, Dr. CK Ladzekpo. They stayed in the Bay Area to spread their love of music and dance and to provide opportunities for young people in their community to express themselves, using music and dance as tools for positive change.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Healy Irish Dance Studio

    In this Spark video produced by KQED, learn how five generations of the Healy family have taught thousands of people at the Healy Irish Dance Studio.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Shri Krupa Dance Foundation

    Follow choreographer Vishal Ramani as she teaches classical Indian dance and brings together the larger Bay Area Indian community at the Shri Krupa Dance Foundation, in this Spark video produced by KQED.

    Grades: 6-12

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