Students have really embraced our Creative Reactions Inquiry this term. The focus of the first five weeks has been Dance in readiness for the Summer Festival of Movement.
Before we started the lessons, the students came up with expectations when working in their dance group.
The students were organised into six groups. Each session they worked with the same group building from one lesson to the next. Each session started with a dance warm up followed by a learning game, a group activity and then Show Case.
This is when the students had an opportunity to share back to the rest of the class. Students gave one positive feedback comment then something to work on.
Hunter said: Niklaus used his arms like a robot. Next time maybe look at more levels.
Niklaus said: Hazel did great twirls. Next time maybe the group could do something the same.
I have also used Show Case, as an opportunity to introduce theatre terms. We have a ‘stage’ where the ‘performers’ perform. The rest of the class is the ‘audience’. We unpacked what a good audience looks and sounds like. We practised these skills when our peers were showcasing their latest dance.
By doing this it has allowed me to introduce the Big Ideas of:
Audiences have responsibilities
Be a Risk Taker
Participate and share ideas as part of a group
Props and costumes help to tell the Dance Story
Performers take on a role
As with any Inquiry, Big Ideas are central to the learning and the activities that teachers plan. Our main Big Idea is to ‘Create Movement through Change’. Change can mean many things. For example, change position and levels of our body, change in music tempo and style, and change in performers in relation to the stage. The lesson plans use a variety of musical styles. Some days the students also had ideas of what they wanted to dance to. Train music and dragon music were favourites and encouraged risk taking and inclusion of everyone.
Students have learnt about the dance elements of body, action, space, time and energy and how these elements of dance are used together to create a message through dance. They particularly liked the levels and mirroring activities.
An important part of any performance are the costumes and props. As part of Writing the students described the props we made. Students were really happy with the Yellow choice of colour. We brainstormed lots of things that remind us of yellow and this helped us decide on our sun streamer hand props. Our headbands were decorated with Summer flowers and patterns.
Grayson: I am making props. I drew two butterflies on my headband.
Olive: The sun streamers were fun to paint.
Manaia: We made headbands and sun streamers.
Theo: I drew a sun on my headband. I used a sponge to paint my sun streamer.
As part of Math, we looked at repeated patterns and how our body can also repeat a dance pattern, for example the chorus part of our dance. By our Inquiry topic students developed a greater sense of the topic and had multiple opportunities to make links across the curriculum. We even found a Big Book that looked at the Wonders of Our Body and how we use it in different ways, including Dance.
Conner: Breakdancing was fun.
Jett: Mirroring was fun with my buddy Xavier.
Niklaus: I loved dancing on the stage and being the leader.
Phin: Mirroring and breakdancing were really fun.
Theo: Break dancing was the best part.
Key words: Dance, props, performers, audience, movement, change