Teaching Children's Literature

“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” ~C.S. Lewis

Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring


Bibliography: Written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, Illustrated by Brian Floca, Flash Point: Roaring Press, New York, 2010, 48 pgs.

Reading Level:  AD710L (Adult directed)

Synopsis:  The dancer and choreographer Martha Graham, composer Aaron Copland, and artist Isamu Noguchi work together to create a ballet about the American life in the pioneer days called “Appalachian Spring”.  The book explains the hard work and dedication which leads to the creation of the music, the dance moves for the ballet, and the simplistic yet artistic set.  “Appalachian Spring” was first performed on October 30, 1944 and became a famous ballet despite being a different type of dance than traditional ballet.

Classroom Rationale:  Students can explain the key details in the formation of the “Appalachian Spring” ballet and figure out the main idea of the text.  Students can create a sequence of the events in the creation of the ballet.  Students can use a graphic organizer to record the key details and the main idea of the book. 

Common Core:  Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details (of the “Appalachian Spring” dance) and explain how they support the main idea (RI 3.2).


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This entry was posted on June 20, 2013 by in Informational Texts and tagged , , , , .

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