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  • The butterfly was fun and the way that Elizabeth changed it for a seasonal slant was extremely fun.  I liked how eye contact was emphasize during the Jump Jim Joe song: a good skill for our kids to learn. I love the thought of using this at a Family Night. There are so many things that seem to be tearing our families apart in our world.  This would be an opportunity to bring families together.

    It is sad that family dances have mostly gone out of style.  My parents talked about growing up and attending community/family dances.  When I was starting high school the local Lions Club still had a community dance but it was soon stopped due to the fighting and the drinking going on. 

  • In the past I had borrowed the Jump Jim Joe book and cd from a teacher at another school to teach my kindergarteners the Jump Jim Joe dance and they loved it.  Experiencing that dance again in this class inspired me to by my own set to use at my leisure.  Here in Bethel we have a couple of live fiddle groups that play at several dances throughout the year.  They also travel to villages for fund raisers.  I think it would be great if I taught my students to dance to that type of music so that they may participate.  One thing that concerns me as a PE teacher is that there is a possibility that we could lose our gymnasium due to reasons I won't go through now.  Dancing will be a great and fun way to teach physical education in a smaller space.  Learning these dances will also help them build background knowledge for when they study the Westward Movement Era in American History.  In my students own ancestral history they can learn about movement throughout Alaska and make comparisons to the migration across North America.

  • All I can think about is having a Community Dance Night at our school...I really don't know how the community would respond but it sure would be worth trying.  I can also see doing the Jumping joe and the butterfly (aka Turkey) as warm ups at the beginning of the day.  I have wiggle worms and they are not even Kindergarteners!  I often do Brain Gym when they are feeling too much but this would be so fun and I am sure this could be considered Brain Gym, too! I am thinking about how we can make these same musical, dancing connections with Alaska History for my young ones.  I am thinking about the fiddle dancing and other dance forms that are out here.  Pamyua has incorporated the Gospel sound into their Yup'ik songs and dances so what other influences can I find.  The Scot Irish were here with the mining as were the Scandinavians...I am sure they had an influence I just have to make sense of it. 

    At the summer Basic Arts Institute I learned an Inupiaq song and dance and I think I need to stop being shy...here, that is cross cultural because of the vast distance. 

    Maybe it is not so much that I am shy as that time is such and issue.  My day is broken into smaller parts because of our dual language light approach this year.  I need to figure out this piece...

  • Check out this children's book on barn dances!  I'd love to see it!7314556070?profile=original

  • I really liked the sense of community found in this period.  Life was hard and neighbors needed to stick together to help each other survive in the harshness of life in the West.  I can see relating this strong sense of community and family with village life.  That is something my students can connect to on a personal level, and because of this, the interest level of my students will be higher.  There will be more buy-in.

    I like how the reels and country dances place emphasis on working together.  People needed each other to survive in their daily lives, and I find it so interesting that it is reflected in their dancing.

  • I use Jump Jim Joe a lot with my students and am excited to have learned another couple of dances to throw in my repertoire.  I also think the resource shared "Traditional Barn Dances with Calls and Fiddling" will be a great addition to my teaching tools.  I am going to make it a goal to have a family dance night this year.  That will motivate me to get the dances into my classroom so that the students can help teach their families.  I find it interesting learning the connection with the different time periods and the influence the history at the time had on music and dance.  With the westward movement, just the thought of which instruments would be most used.  Students would enjoy making those connections, and would understand even more if shown pictures of the wagon trains and how people traveled during that time.  I like the idea of adapting songs to fit the season, and just to change things up a bit, like the turkey dance.

  • Fun!! I forgot how much I enjoy this kind of dancing. 

    Jump Jim Joe--start the day movement, transition time, when kids are sleepy after lunch.  A good way to get energized.  Plus, it's non-threatening and a good way to mix kids up. Would also be a fun way to end a class with a unified feeling.

    Westward movement: look at lyrics of some songs for visual connections, connect to literature pieces in reading/writing, bring in visual art (landscapes of western region).  Connecting with the dance rounds out a good unit of study as it uses math, patterns, and symmetry in some of the steps.

    This would be a great family night for all ages. 

  • I love the music of this era, square dancing, contra or round dancing (as we called it back in my day- 1950's)!!  I used to go to square dances with my parents and would pretend to have my own partner and the other 6 partners in a square.  And once in awhile, my dad would let my mom sit out a dance or two and he would let me dance in her place.  I loved it.  (And yes, I scandalized lots of the older folks in their square dance club because I was a 5-6-7 year old girl, dancing like a woman with my dad!!!!) 

    I realize how bringing these dances and this music into the class along with studying this period in history would help students get a better picture of what the time and the feeling of that time might have been like.  Realia to the maximum.

    It also reflects openness of thinking, creating and recreating that went on with this era.  The pioneers were starting over, a new, unknown country with new challenges, new experiences and new opportunities.  The freedom, opportunities, possibilities of that situation, and the hope, is reflected in the music and the adaptation of the dances.  It relates to the combinations of cultures, ideas, idealogies and languages the settlers were bringing with them and encountering in the western United States.

  • The Westward Movement / Pioneers tempo of music suddenly changes from a mellow blues tempo of the Negro Spiritual Era to a more upbeat tempo of here we come beat, lets have fun. This type of music is something the children of all ages will enjoy. 

  • I think these will be a great era to incorporate music into, since it is a more lively kind of dance.  I thought that I could also teach "Jump Joe Brown" in my study skills class when we talk about written vs. auditory directions and how they learn best.  Usually I have them dance to the Cha-Cha Slide, and I probably still will, but I think I'll add the Jump Joe Brown too, since I am guessing many kids have not heard this one and the directions are clearly stated in the words of the song. 

    I also liked reading the lyrics to "Home, Home on the Range", and thought this would be a get anticipatory activity to do when we got to the Westward Expansion unit.  I think I may have the kids listen and read to the lyrics, and then write their own to the song "Home, Home on the Tundra".  We may also make the connections between a fiddle dance and a community/barn-raising, and I was so glad that "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" was mentioned, as the barn raising scene would be a great visual for students.

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