Teaching Artist, Asma Feyijinmi, led the students at MS 353 in drawing upon a dance called Ibo from Haiti to create tableaux. Ibo is a dance that embodies the struggle against slavery and the feeling of freedom that it encouraged. Dance vocabulary that accompanies this is “bound and free movement.”
This work is in conjunction with the class’s reading and discussion of Maya Angelou’s poem “Africa,” an extended metaphor describing the landscape and history of the continent. The students were taken to the hallway to do the tableaux work in front of a Black History Month fact wall, which helped provide context and also give some scenery to this “performance.”
This movement module of the lesson enhanced student comprehension of the poem and inspired them to do some focused writing when they returned to the classroom.
CWP programming at MS 353 was made possible in part by The New York Community Trust