Tapestry of Music and The Spoken Word

Educator: Celeste Cruz - Music Teacher

Teaching Artist: Oya Bangura - African Dance | Adriana Devers - Poetry | Thomas McKenna - Drummer

School: Turtle Hook Middle School, Grades 6-8

District: Uniondale Union Free School District https://data.nysed.gov/profile.php?instid=800000049792


This project involved a diverse group of students collaborating with teaching artists to create their piece called “Poetry In Motion,” a collection of work inspired by African Dancing and Drumming and written in their own native languages. This mixture of music, art and spoken work was shared with peers as a performance for the whole school.

Big Idea/Guiding Question(s):

How do learners with different educational and cultural experiences find ways to belong through languages of movement, music, visual, and text-based art?

What learning goals/standards did this meet?

Arts: Students from each grade will attend a grade level assembly. Each group will be able to experience African Dance, African Drumming, and their impact on music.

CCCR Several students have expressed an interest in pursuing a career as a music educator or performer. In addition, some students have expressed an interest in attending colleges with strong music and/or dance program.

CR-SSIFE students will have an opportunity to work with the cultural partner, creating and preparing “poetry in motion,” in their native language and presenting at the assembly.

The objective of including the SIFE students in this manner is to give the students a sense of belonging

Anticipated Outcomes

We will know that student learning is expanded when they demonstrate that they…

KNOW… and identify African drum patterns, what various African dance moves mean

UNDERSTAND… cultural difference as an asset to their own development and progress

ARE ABLE TO DO… demonstrate African drum patterns, African dances, and SIFE students will be able to create and recite poetry in their “native language.”