Student Task

Musical Movement Showcase

Do Something
Grade Level


Students create and perform a music or dance piece related to themes in the central text.

Estimated time

Two to three weeks


Music and movement can be powerful modes of expression, particularly for young students who have a lot of energy. This kind of comfortable creative expression helps students process and reflect on their understandings. They also benefit from the experience of performing for others.


Get Ready

  1. Determine the kinds of music and dance your students are familiar with and their preferences for creating either a song or a dance.
  2. Assign work groups based on student preferences. Allow students to work individually if they prefer.
  3. If possible, enlist music and physical education teachers to support the groups’ Work.
  4. Assess for space and materials. Students will need space to rehearse and perform, props and costumes for dancers and instruments for musicians.
  5. Adapt the sample rubric into a visual checklist. Refer to the rubric to define expectations and components of the musical movement showcase before students begin working. Define expectations for equitable collaboration .

Get Set

  1. Verbally introduce students to the preparatory steps included in the Do Something Planning Guide. Instruct them in the process of mapping the steps necessary to prepare for the musical movement showcase.
  2. As a class, brainstorm topics that connect to central text themes.
  3. Have students or groups consider how they will use their chosen art form to communicate information and ideas related to social justice or diversity themes .
  4. Give students time to choreograph or write, produce and practice their song or dance.


  1. Determine an audience for the showcase. Consider including:
    • Other classes
    • Other grades
    • Families
    • Other members of the school community
  2. Host the showcase. Songs and dances can be performed in succession for the whole group. Encourage the audience to share feedback with students.


Facilitate a discussion or have students journal about how their artistic expressions communicated themes present in the central text. Possible questions include:
  • What topic or theme from the text was the basis for your piece?
  • What important message did your piece express to your audience?
  • Do you think you were successful? Why or why not?

English language learners

The showcase offers students ways to demonstrate learning using modes of expression that are not solely language based. Communicating ideas and feelings through movements or music can empower students and help them engage deeply with a topic or theme. The project engages linguistic, musical, kinesthetic, interpersonal or intrapersonal learning modalities (depending on whether the students work individually or with others).

Connection to anti-bias education

The showcase allows students to share their individual thinking around various social justice and anti-bias topics. Through song or dance, students can express a meaningful connection to the content explored throughout the other phases. Because student’s creations are shared, they can inspire and learn from one another.

Add to an Existing Learning Plan
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