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The King and the Little Prince (credit: Adrian Brooks)
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Hawaiian Traditions: Dance, Chant, & Culture
Grades: 9-12
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The arts play a vital role in maintaining cultural traditions. The purpose of this lesson is to give students an understanding of the culture of Hawaii through an exploration of "mele oli" (chant) and "mela hula" (dance). The students will watch a video production of DANCE IN AMERICA: HOLO MAI PELE. Students will explore the legends of Hawaii, assess different sources of information on varied topics, and learn about the role nature plays in Hawaiian culture. Through the varied lesson activities, students will be encouraged to examine how culture is preserved through the arts.


1. Students will conduct research on Hawaii and evaluate varied resources.

2. Students will explore the role of myths in Hawaiian culture.

3. Students will explore the role of nature in Hawaiian culture.

4. Students will gain an understanding of the role of the arts in the preservation of culture.

5. Students will create an artistic response after watching a production of DANCE IN AMERICA: HOLO MAI PELE.

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The Arts

Theater standards
Understands how informal and formal theater, film, television, and electronic media productions create and communicate meaning.

Understands how the context in which a dramatic performance is set can enhance or hinder its effectiveness. Identifies and researches cultural, historical, and symbolic clues in dramatic texts.

Understands the relationship between music and history and culture.

Knows various roles that musicians perform (e.g., entertainer, teacher, transmitter of cultural tradition) and representative individuals who have functioned in these roles.

Language Arts
Gathers and uses information for research purposes.
Uses a variety of print and electronic sources to gather information for research topics (e.g., news sources such as magazines, radio, television, newspapers; government publications; microfiche; telephone information services; databases; field studies; speeches; technical documents; periodicals; the Internet).
Uses reading skills and strategies to understand a variety of informational texts (e.g., textbooks, biographical sketches, letters, diaries, directions, procedures, magazines, essays, primary source historical documents, editorials, news stories, periodicals, catalogs, job-related materials, schedules, speeches, memoranda, public documents, maps).

Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand.

Working with Others
Contributes to the overall effort of a group.

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