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Exploring Cultures Through the Arts By Jacqueline Kahan and Christina Ramsay Ed200 Curriculum Project ‘06 Trinity College Introduction

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Exploring cultures through the arts l.jpg
Exploring Cultures Through the Arts

By Jacqueline Kahan and Christina Ramsay

Ed200 Curriculum Project ‘06

Trinity College

Introduction l.jpg

  • Our curriculum is a month long unit on cultures through the lenses of language, music and dance. Each week the students will study one culture, the culture’s music, and a dance from the culture of the week.

  • The lesson plans we will focus on are from the second week of the unit which is on merengue and the Dominican Republic.

Context l.jpg

  • Who? 5th graders

  • What? The Exploration of Merengue and

    the Dominican Republic

  • Where? Hartford public classrooms

  • When? 2-3 hours per day

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Bloom’s Taxonomy

Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences





CT Framework

Under The Arts

Under Social Studies

Cooperative Learning


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  • Students will be exposed to a variety cultures.

  • Students will compare and contrast the different cultures, music, and dances in the unit.

  • Students will express themselves through movement and music.

  • Students will collaborate with each other and hone their interpersonal skills

  • Students will construct a dance performance

    (with teacher’s assistance)

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Day 2 – Music Day!

  • Folk Song

  • Sing-a-long

  • Discussion comparing merengue folk song to songs students know

  • Create their own folk songs in groups

  • Presentation on merengue music by ethnomusicologist/musician

  • Main Objectives: Students will develop an understanding of merengue music

  • Students will demonstrate cultural understanding by using linguistic, musical and interpersonal intelligences

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Day 4 – Let’s Dance!

  • Learn the basic merengue steps (together) from merengue expert

  • Practice basic steps in pairs

  • Students will be evaluated based on participation and effort displayed

  • Main Objectives: Students will demonstrate bodily-kinesthetic intelligence through learning merengue steps.

  • Students will learn to make connections between dance and music.

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  • Students develop “acceptable” ways of releasing energy and expressing themselves creatively

  • Interdisciplinary learning integrates different academic subjects, which fosters higher-level thinking

  • Our curriculum project employs several learning approaches and intelligences that takes into account different learning styles.