2nd Grade Benchmarks for Arts Learning
Dance / Music / Theater / Visual Arts

2nd Grade Dance Benchmarks
Dance Making
Through movement exploration, observation, replication, and recall, students develop kinesthetic and self-awareness; understand dance concepts; and build fine and large motor skills. They invent dance movements to create their own short dances; learn basic vocabulary of various dance forms and simple dances; reflect upon their own and others’ work; and understand the purpose, routine, and behavior of a dance class.

Developing Dance Literacy
Students learn and apply dance vocabulary and symbols to respond to and make observations about dance. They are introduced to the many ways people dance around the world, and discover dance’s unique expressive power.

Making Connections
Students understand the significance of dance in their own and other cultures, explore creativity in dance in response to other arts and subject themes, use video technology for reflection, and relate dance to personal health.

Working With Community and Cultural Resources
Through school partnerships with dance institutions, teaching artists, colleges and universities, and local, borough, and city dance venues, children extend and enliven their experience as dance learners.

Exploring Careers and Lifelong Learning
Children are introduced to a variety of careers in and related to dance, and understand that they can continue dancing and enjoying dance throughout their lives. They realize that being a dance artist involves processes that they are already practicing.
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2nd Grade Music Benchmarks
Music Making
Through exploration and discovery, students will be able to express themselves as thinking, feeling musicians and develop their musical imaginations through speaking, singing, playing, moving, and composing.

Music Literacy
General Music
Making use of a variety of styles and genres and the repertoire being studied, students will become musically literate.

Making Connections
General Music
Students will make connections to the music they are performing, creating, and improvising.

Community Resources
General/Choral/Vocal/Instrumental Music
Students will gain knowledge and make use of community and cultural resources in order to support the Music Making (I), Music Literacy (II), Connections (III), and Careers (V) portions of the curriculum.

Careers In Music
General/Choral/Vocal/Instrumental Music
Students will gain awareness of the variety of careers available in music; set goals and career plans with attention to personal, social, and professional values; and gain an appreciation of music as a source of personal enjoyment and lifelong learning.
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2nd Grade Theater Benchmarks
Theater Making Benchmarks
Imagination, Analysis, and Process Skills
Students activate and use their imaginations as well as the analytical and process skills associated with acting.
Students participate in group activities, including creative play, storytelling, pantomime, and improvisation.
Performance Skills
Students explore the physical, vocal, characterization and staging components of acting by developing the actors instrument: the body, voice, and mind.
Students participate in group activities, including creative play, storytelling, pantomime, and improvisation.
Playwriting/Play Making
Understanding Dramatic Structure
Students recognize and understand the dramatic elements of a story prior to putting pen to page: playwriting is preceded by play making.
Imagination, Analysis, and Process
Students imagine, analyze, and understand play making processes by listening, retelling, and creating stories and dramas.
Designing and Technical Theater
Understanding Design
Through sequential activities, students begin to understand the process of moving from design to the creation of production elements.
Students explore various design roles in theater and how design choices influence the mood of the production.
Using Theatrical Space and Elements
By defining the playing area of a stage or classroom, students use and respect theatrical space and elements.
Knowledge and Understanding
Students experience cooperative learning by taking and applying direction from the teacher.
Imagination, Analysis, and Process
Students take leadership positions in theater activities as they explore the role of the director.

Developing Theater Literacy Benchmarks
Understanding Dramatic Texts
Students develop an understanding of dramatic structure and theater traditions.
Understanding Theater History
Students develop an understanding of dramatic structure and theater traditions.
Responding to Theater Performance
Students articulate responses to theater performance.

Making Connections Through Theater Benchmarks
Connecting Theater to the Arts and Other Disciplines
Students extend their understanding of theater by connecting it to learning in other disciplines.
Students explore how other art forms are incorporated into theater.
Connecting Theater to Personal Experience, Community, and Society Through an Exploration of Themes, Culture, and History
Through an exploration of theme and context, students connect personal experience to an understanding of theater.

Working With Community & Cultural Resources Benchmarks
Partnering With Theater Organizations Outside of School
Students expand and invigorate their theater learning through school partnerships with theater organizations and teaching artists.
Working With Theater Professionals in the School
Students expand and invigorate their theater learning through partnerships with theater organizations and teaching artists.
Use Theater Archives, Online Materials, Libraries, Museums and Other Resources
Students expand and invigorate their theater learning by using theater resources.
Performing in the Community
Students demonstrate their theater learning by sharing and performing for others in the community.

Exploring Careers and Lifelong Learning Benchmarks
Awareness of Careers in Theater
Students are introduced to the variety of careers in theater, onstage or behind the scenes.
Set Career Goals and Develop a Career Plan
Students explore the collaborative processes of theater production.
Theater for Enjoyment and Lifelong Learning
Through speaking about and sharing theatergoing experiences, students understand they can enjoy and participate in theater throughout their lives.
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2nd Grade Visual Arts Benchmarks
Art Making
Through an exploration of art materials and techniques, students exercise imagination, construct meanings, and depict their experiences; work in two-dimensional and three-dimensional art forms; use basic art tools; and gain knowledge of media and compositional elements.

Developing Art Literacy
Students hone observation skills and discuss works of art; develop visual arts vocabulary to describe art making, the tools and techniques used to produce art, and the elements and principles of design; read and write about art to reinforce literacy skills; interpret artwork by providing evidence to support assertions; reflect on the process of making art.

Making Connections Through Visual Arts
Students recognize the societal, cultural, and historical significance of art; connect the visual arts to other disciplines; apply the skills and knowledge learned in visual arts to interpreting the world.

Community and Cultural Resources
By working with a variety of school staff, students access primary resources in the community, the borough, and the city to extend their learning beyond the classroom.

Exploring Careers and Lifelong Learning
Students gain an awareness of careers in visual arts; recognize personal, social and professional goals; develop a career plan; learn to work independently and in teams; gain an appreciation of art as a source of enjoyment and lifelong learning.
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New York City Department of EducationOffice of Arts and Special Projects • 52 Chambers St, Rm 210, NY, NY 10007 • 212-374-0300 • Fax: 212-374-5598

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