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8th Grade Benchmarks for Arts Learning
 
Dance / Music / Theater / Visual Arts

Dance Benchmarks
Dance Making
Through formal study of a range of styles, techniques, and genres, including their own social dances, students expand their perception of dance and demonstrate a variety of style-specific skills. They apply an understanding of choreographic principles and structures when learning, developing, and performing dances; demonstrate the ability to self-correct in response to suggestions; and develop personal technical goals for improving dance skills.

Dance Literacy
Through critical and practical investigation, students develop the vocabulary and concepts to discuss dances and dance making in terms of style, structure, and design. They expand their understanding of the origins of and connections between dance styles in the ongoing evolution of the art form.

Making Connections
Through research and analysis, students gain a sense of the development of dance styles through history. They increase their understanding of musical structures and qualities in relation to dance, and integrate other art forms in the creation of dance pieces. They expand their use of technology to research and create dance, and relate dance to nutrition and physical development.

Working with Community and Cultural Resources
Students broaden their perspective about dance through school partnerships offering more diverse experiences with professional dance artists both -on and off-site. They cultivate a wider acquaintance with dance performance venues in New York City, and increase their use of libraries and the Internet for research in dance.

Exploring Careers and Lifelong Learning

Students practice various roles in dance production and transmission to understand dance-related careers. They identify goals for personal growth, and begin to look at next steps. As active members of their school dance community, they advocate for dance in their school.
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Music Benchmarks
Music Making
General Music
Through a more expansive set of performance and compositional activities, students will gain a deeper understanding of musicianship and develop personal connections to and a global perspective of music.
Choral/Vocal Music
Through the discovery of the voice as a changing instrument, students will continue to build upon vocal techniques in order to master more challenging repertoire with regard to range, tessitura, and artistry.
Instrumental Music
Through enhanced motor skills and a greater understanding of musical practice and concepts, students will continue to build instrumental technique and personal investment in more challenging repertoire and more advanced creative projects.

Music Literacy
General Music
Making use of a variety of styles and genres and the repertoire being studied, students will become musically literate.
Choral/Vocal Music
Making use of the performance repertoire being studied, students will: respond imaginatively to the expressive qualities of musical works; listen critically through analyzing works of music; understand and apply musical notation; understand and use music vocabulary to become literate musicians.
Instrumental Music
Making use of the performance repertoire being studied, students will: respond imaginatively to the expressive qualities of musical works; listen critically through analyzing works of music; understand and apply musical notation; understand and use music vocabulary to become literate musicians.

Making Connections
General Music
Students will make connections to the music they are performing, creating, and improvising.
Choral/Vocal Music
Students will make connections to the music they are performing, creating, and improvising.
Instrumental 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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Theater Benchmarks
Theater Making Benchmarks
Acting
Imagination, Analysis, and Process Skills
Students continue to develop the processes and the analytical and imaginative skills associated with acting.
Performance Skills
Students enhance and develop their performance skills while learning to work in diverse styles and forms, such as improvisation, theater games, spoken word, physical theater, clowning, puppetry, story theater, or music theater.
Playwriting/Play Making
Understanding Dramatic Structure
Middle school students will increase their range of expression as playwrights through the use of vocabulary and dramatic structure, and by exploring various theatrical styles and forms.
Imagination, Analysis, and Process
Students apply elements of research, imagination, and revision in their dramatic writing.
Working alone and in groups, students begin to recognize and articulate their personal vision and the cultural context of their work.
Designing and Technical Theater
Understanding Design
Students expand their skills by examining and participating in the sequential processes of moving from design to production.
As designers, students make personal and artistic choices to convey meaning.
Using Theaterical Space and Elements
Students experiment with transforming space in order to understand the abstract elements of design.
Communication and Organization Skills
Students develop communication skills and proficiency in the use of theater documents while engaged in the authentic process of theater production.
Directing
Knowledge and Understanding
Students develop a holistic understanding of theater and the diverse skills required of a director.
Students become competent in the basic elements of directing and recognize the work of directors in theater productions.
Imagination, Analysis, and Process
Students develop a holistic understanding of theater and the diverse skills required of a director.
Students express personal vision and demonstrate an understanding of context through articulating directorial concepts.

Developing Theater Literacy Benchmarks
Understanding Dramatic Texts
Students apply an understanding of dramatic text and theater history in their critical responses as they enhance their skills to critique live performance.
Students use vocabulary that is authentic and integral to theater.
Understanding Theater History
Students develop an appreciation of the role of theater in various cultures by exploring eras and personages in theater history and, in particular, New York City theater.
Responding to Theater Performance
Students enhance their ability to critique live performance, and they apply an understanding of dramatic text and theater history in their critical responses.
Students use vocabulary that is authentic and integral to theater.

Making Connections Through Theater Benchmarks
Connecting Theater to the Arts and Other Disciplines
Students broaden their understanding of theater by applying concrete learning from other disciplines.
Students investigate how arts are incorporated in the theater production, and articulate the distinct choices that are made within the art forms to interpret and develop the theater work.
Connecting Theater to Personal Experience, Community, and Society Through an Exploration of Themes, Culture, and History
Students examine the themes and context of theater works to recognize and connect personal experience to universal themes.

Working With Community and Cultural Resources Benchmarks
Partnering With Theater Organizations Outside of School
Through school partnerships, students broaden their horizons in theater and gain an understanding of the mission and goals of theater organizations.
Working With Theater Professionals in the School
Students increase their capacity in Theater Making through collaborations with theater professionals.
Using Theatrical Archives, Online Materials, Libraries, Museums, and Other Resources
Students increase their understanding of theater history, and compare diverse productions and theater companies by using various research resources.
Performing in the Community
Students share their theater learning by performing for others, including their own school, families, and communities.

Exploring Careers and Lifelong Learning Benchmarks
Awareness of Careers in Theater
Students assess and evaluate their own personal and professional skills through the identification and examination of theater careers.
Set Career Goals and Develop a Career Plan
Students become informed, active participants in deciding on a high school career by researching opportunites.
Theater for Enjoyment and Lifelong Learning
Students cultivate a personal response to and affinity for theater as a part of their lives.
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Visual Arts
Art Making
Through close observation and sustained investigation, students develop individual and global perspectives on art; utilize the principles of art; solve design problems; and explore perspective, scale, and point of view.

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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