Crossing Borders/Breaking Boundaries IV:
The Impact of Islamic Culture on the Arts of the Renaissance

July 19-26, 2004
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Lesson: Flamenco and its Origins

Name: Shannon Plantholt

School: Cherry Hill Middle School-Cecil County

Grades taught: 6th-8th grade

Grades suitable: Lesson Suitable for all grades

Discipline: General Music

Length of lesson: 1 day-80 minute class (I meet every other day) possibly part of another class

Big Idea: The transference of ideas from the Islam: Are the origins really what we think they are?

Maryland Learner Outcomes:

  • Expectation #2-HISTORICAL, CULTURAL, AND SOCIAL CONTEXTS. The student will demonstrate an understanding of music as an essential aspect of history and human experience.
  • Expectation #3-The student will identify the relationship to dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, and other disciplines.
    • 2.3.2-The student will discuss fine arts as a unique means of individual expression.
      • 9-The students will identify the origins of Flamenco music by reading an article and creating a poster about its origins. Students will also discuss their views on the accuracy of the article and explain their opinions to the rest of the class. Students will also create an Islamic design in a paper cutting activity.

This lesson is intended to challenge students’ beliefs about the origins of Flamenco music. The lesson is also intended to show how the Islamic influence on Spain led to Flamenco music and its development.

Materials: Flamenco music CD, Gregorian chant CD, Video of Belly Dancing, Video of Strictly Ballroom, Islamic designs worksheet, construction paper, glue, scissors, small poster board, markers, colored pencils, and the following websites:

Lesson Components

Warm-up/opener: Discussion and writing in journal about Flamenco.

Discussion: little background on history, but not too much

Break-up class into groups-Each group receives a different article about the history of Flamenco.
Each group will read the article and determine whether or not they think they it is in accordance with what they already know. They are to create a poster about the origins of Flamenco after reading the article.
The teacher will show an example poster to give the students an idea of what to do.
Teacher should wander around the room to help students
Once the groups are finished, they will present their poster and explain the origins of Flamenco to the rest of the class.
Final discussion on the Islamic influence on Spain.

Paper cutting activity: create a design or coloring of Islamic designs on handout.

Final assessment: poster of Flamenco history, verbal questioning; Possibly a pop quiz next class.


Sponsored by
the Center for Renaissance & Baroque Studies
and the Maryland State Department of Education