Driving Question

How will you organize a dance flash mob?

Students create dance routines in small groups that they perform in a “flash mob” for their whole class. Then as a class, students divide into committees to organize and perform a flash mob at a local mall. Students design the dance routine, recruit additional participants from outside their class, organize practice sessions, and participate in the performance.

For Students:

Grades 9-12

Unit Title:

Dance Flash Mob

Length:

At least 2 weeks

Course:

Dance or Physical Education

Unit Launch

The teacher shows students one or more videos of flash mobs (several are available on Youtube or other platforms – flash mobs in a store, train station, mall food court, etc.). He or she might also ask students about flash mobs they have heard of or seen.

The teacher asks for student ideas about what would be required to organize a flash mob, and records their input. He or she guides the conversation to help students recognize various aspects of organization – designing the dance routine, selecting a location, recruiting participants, rehearsal, and possibly documenting the event.

Midpoint Check

Since the center of the flash mob is the dance itself, students begin by designing and performing routines in small groups. The whole class could process what was successful about the various small group routines, and select moves and/or music from them to adopt into their whole group flash mob.

flash-mob-dance-worksheet – organizer to help students record their dance routines

After the small group performances, the class divides into committees to organize the larger flash mob. One committee takes the lead on designing the routine (although all class members participate); one committee takes the lead on organizing logistics of location; one committee takes the lead on arranging documentation of the event; etc.

At this point, the flash mob organization could become a long-term project that is revisited regularly while other units are being taught.

flashmobtodo – list of tasks to be completed

Culminating Experience

The students perform and document their flash mob in a public location. Students who are unable to attend complete an alternate assignment.

Differentiation (e.g. Special Education, English Language Learners)

The committee structure allows for a wide range of students to participate where they feel most comfortable and/or have specific strengths. At our school, this unit took place in an elective dance course, so we did not have challenges with students who were physically unable to participate.

This is a great opportunity for students who are learning English to be involved through music and movement, which have lower language demands than many of their other class tasks.

Students completed a self-assessment out of 100 points, taking into account their effort, participation, and performance.

flashmob-selfgrade – self-assessment sheet

Teacher Reflection

Here’s what I really enjoy about this unit:

The first time I taught this unit, it worked great! The class was super supportive and worked well as a group.

Here’s what I’m still working on making better about this unit:

Kids really have to buy in to the flash  mob idea, and if they don’t it is extremely difficult.

Student Reflection

Here’s what I really enjoy about this unit:

 

Here’s how this unit could help me learn more effectively:

Authentic Problem

A dance flash mob is something that kids can relate to and have seen, but they probably have not been put in the position of organizing one. This is authentic in the sense that it relates to student lives & interests, as well as requiring them to use their knowledge and skill with dance to design a routine that would be shared publicly.

Authentic Assessment

Performing the flash mob in a public place (local mall, park, etc.) gives a community audience that motivates students to invest in the project and do their best.

Student Voice

This project has a great deal of room for student voice. Students select the location of the flash mob and the music and moves for the dance routine. As long as the routine is school appropriate, there is wide latitude to create the flash mob as students want.

Expertise

Students build their expertise as dance routine designers. If available, a professional dancer or dance company could be brought in to help to design and/or give feedback on the routine.

Culturally Responsive Instruction

Music and movement provide avenues for students from a range of cultures, language abilities, and interests to participate. The structure of small group dance creation, followed by whole class organization, allows for all students to participate and share music they like and dance moves they relate to.

Collaboration

Students work in teams throughout the unit, first in small groups to create their dance routines, and then in committees working towards the whole class flash mob.

Academic Discourse

Students are encouraged to use the language of dance moves they incorporate. In order to communicate with each other about the routines they create, they must be able to share their ideas and make them understandable to themselves and the larger group. Students could also be encouraged to research names of different moves that they want to use, so that they are generating and sharing the language they will use.

This unit was done in an elective dance class. Creation and performance of a dance routine, however, could fit in with various standards for physical fitness and education.

About the Authors

Amara Edwards

Mrs. Edwards teaches PE, health, and dance.


The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish Peoples. We honor with gratitude the land itself and the Coast Salish Peoples of our region, past, present and future.