ART is to get people talking!

Class: Grade 8                                                 Date: TBD

Topic: Social Issues                                         Subject: Music

Lesson Plan50 Minutes 
Content: Students are introduced to Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring by watching a YouTube video by Ballets Russes. Students are asked to describe, analyze or interpret an arts expression they are interested in. Teacher explains how the audience interpreted Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring 107 years ago. Students are asked to create their own work using the call and response format, within a drumming circle. Students document how their response was influenced by Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.
Outcomes and Indicators:
(Arts Ed) CR8.1 Respond to professional dance, drama, music, and visual art works through the creation of own arts expressions. Describe, analyze, and interpret arts expressions of personal interest. Analyze and discuss how dance, drama, music, visual and interdisciplinary arts are expressions of individual or collective perspectives. Create own work (e.g., visual or performing arts) in response to a professional arts expression, and describe how own work is inspired or influenced by the original work.
Assessment: Students document/ journal: A description, analyzation, or interpretation of an arts expressions of personal interest that they have found/ think of.Describe how their own work (the response on their drum within the drumming circle) was inspired by Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.
Prerequisite Learning: Students should know how to carry and handle drums as well as know how to use their hands to drum a drum. Students should know how to follow the drumming circle conductor (teacher).    
Lesson Preparation Equipment/Materials Computer, Audio, Internet, YouTube. Access to drums for drumming circle Advanced Preparation
Set: (4 min) This sold-out premiere ballet, The Rite of Spring, caused a turbulent uproar causing arguments and fist fights to break out during the performance!  

Development: (36 min) In 1913 (107 years ago) in France, 31-year-old Igor Stravinsky, a law school dropout, had composed a composition for the elite traveling Russian dancers known as The troupe Ballets Russes. The performance continued, as rehearsed, but so did the uproar, ending in fist fights! Display/ show/ imagine/ find an arts expression of personal interest to you. Imagine attending its formal performance and arguments erupt in the audience! Describe, analyze, and interpret your chosen arts expression in writing (assessment for teacher). Would there be reason for an uproar? To this day, no one is exactly sure why there was such a turbulent response to the ballet’s performance, The Rite of Spring, but it could be the story line, the unconventional choreography, or the dissonant and inconsistent rhythms. Create your own response within a drumming circle in a call and response format. Students respond by creating a 4-beat response to Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Help students understand and analyze that all of our individual responses are indeed individual but also contribute to the collective perspective.  

Closure: (10 min) Describe how your own work is inspired or influenced by the original work.          
Classroom Management Strategies   Show YouTube video from 7:45-10:45. Show a picture of the Theatre des Champs Elysees, where the uproar occurred. This is not meant to be a lengthy research project. The students may quickly access their personal electronic devices to find but encourage students to use their imaginations. 


  1. Some students may become comfortable learning to be the drumming circle conductor.
  2. Students may have additional percussive instruments added to the drumming circle such as maracas, shakers, etc.
  3. Students may enjoy learning new parts within the drumming circle. 
  4. Students may want to research an arts expression that has deeper meaning to them rather than just imagining one.

Adaptive Dimension:

  1. Students may need to slow down their response in the drumming circle: a 4-beat response may be to fast to begin, give them 8 beats.

EXTRA NOTES, after having met with Denise:

  • To display art work have an art walk as a response to a piece of art. Example: I did this in Valerie Trigg’s visual art class.
  • 6-part process considering why one likes/ dislikes something. Cannot just say “I like it”, “I hate it”.

Allow for unconformity because The Rite of Spring is unsettling. How can they manipulate the drum!?

Was 8 beats constraining? Did Stravinsky feel constrained?

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