Author: Lorraine Bias
Lewis C. Cassidy Elementary
Grade Level: 5
African rhythm and African dance forms are intertwined in our students’ everyday life.
African customs and traditions are still reflected today, nurturing our communities and
enriching our way of life. Distinctive traditions of African dance and African music have
transformed to survive in mainstream society. African derived dance movements play a
fundamental role in the development of popular culture. African American music and
dance have evolved as art forms. Dance can be an art form of individual expression and
this unit will give students an understanding of this art form, from slavery to the present.
It will also explain how African American music and dance are significant. This unit will
help students visualize a timeline of African American music and how it still has a
powerful impact in the new millennium.
The purpose of this unit is to explore how African American music has manifested in
its transformation from Africa to America. This unit is written for fifth and sixth grade
students but may be adapted to upper grade levels. This unit is designed to use the
Pennsylvania State Standards and the Philadelphia Health and Physical Education Core
Curriculum. The School District of Philadelphia Dance and Music Core Curriculum is
used as a supplement.
Download Unit: 11.05.09-1.pdf