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Poetry Dance
2nd Grade, Expressions Learning Arts Academy
Gainesville, Florida

By Sharon Kuchinski
Our school is a public elementary charter school for the arts. In addition to the regular elementary curriculum, our students study dance, drama, music and art.

One of my goals is to insure that my students understand the creative process that includes the stages of inspiration, creation, collaboration, rehearsing and performance.

The combination of poetry and dance provides a perfect vehicle for the young student to experience this process. I know that every time my students watch a dance performance they will appreciate the dancer's journey because they made that journey personally.

In this particular poetry dance, I choose the poem. It is very meaningful to my students as we are birders and follow the Whoopers every day on their fall migration to Florida. Our school is located near Paynes Prairie Preserve and we watch Sandhill Cranes fly over our campus from Thanksgiving to Valentines Day.

After a few readings students identify words and phrases that spark images of movement. They share ideas of how they might interpret these words and phrases into dance movements.

Song of the Whooping Crane is a collaboration of my choreography, students improvisations and knowledge of the cranes. My students love sharing their bird sightings with me every day. I hope this year is just the beginning of a life-long interest in and appreciation for the natural world around them. I may be their teacher but they are my inspiration.

I would like to recognize Suzanne Wynn for her participation in our Poetry Dance. It was Suzanne who made the arrangements for the video and contacted Journey North.

Whooping Crane Poetry Dance


After a few readings, students identify words and phrases that spark images of movement.

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