In this lesson, students choreograph a dance that honors their natural environment and inspires sustainable living.
Step 1 - Inquire: Students discuss the various functions of dance in society.
Step 2 - Investigate: Students explore ways in which dance can help people reconnect with nature and live more sustainably.
Step 3 - Inspire: Students observe their natural environment closely, reflect on the impact of climate change, and create a dance to honor and reconnect with nature.
This lesson aligns with Hawai'i's Nā Hopena A'o HĀ-BREATH Framework.
Uninterrupted time spent outdoors in the presence of nature, in quiet observation, helps to cultivate a reconnection to nature.
Students employ the often underutilized medium of dance to connect with nature and impart the importance of nature, ultimately enjoying an experience that is impactful and memorable.
Students learn about Indigenous cultures and pay homage to ancestral knowledge.
Students are granted creative freedom and can utilize their own musical, poetic, and choreographic skills to explore an important issue.
Students walk away with a heightened sense of our dependency upon nature, our indebtedness to nature, and our responsibility to live harmoniously with nature in order to combat climate change.
Students should have a basic understanding of climate change. Students can use this link from the State of Hawai‘i to learn about local impacts prior to the lesson.
Teachers need a classroom device and a connection to the Internet to view the videos and conduct any research.
Teacher may need to identify outdoor spaces around the school for students to use.
If assigned for homework, students may require transportation to visit specific local natural sites. Teacher may need to ensure accessibility to these sites for all students in advance.
If live performances outdoors are not an option, students may make a video of their performances and use videographic techniques to convey the beauty of the space.
Students can read the article What Can Dance Teach Us About Our Relationship with Nature to further explore how dance in and about nature can lead to a more environmentally-conscious mindset.
Students can explore these resources to learn how climate change is directly affecting Dayak and Native American people:
Students can learn how to choreograph in this lesson and utilize dance to communicate with the natural world. It highlights the inventiveness, feelings, subtleties, ancestry, cultural identity, and excitement that go along with traditional dancing and aims to evoke ancestors' memories of protecting the environment while inspiring the Indigenous peoples of Hawai'i today to be good stewards of their surroundings and live in harmony with nature. All the materials were fact-checked, and the lesson passed our science review.