Our last week music inputs were focused on our assignment. Julie guided us through a lesson plan and sign pointed the information that should be under specific headings. We are free to set a lesson plan for any of the art forms we have been looking at. I feel contented that I can be successful with this task. I have learned so much from the workshops so far and I am beginning to get a sense for the style of lessons I would like to achieve.
In the second part of the music input we had a look back at the classroom resources we have used; ABC, Sounds of Music and Music Express. We noted how they are set out for appropriate levels from early to second level pupils and had a look at the curriculum experiences and outcomes and how they can be linked with the components of the lessons. From this I began to formulate some ideas for my lesson plan. I am surprised how much my confidence has grown in my ability to teach music I am looking forward to creating a fun and engaging lesson.
Introduction to primary dance (anybody can dance)
My opinion of dance is that it is fun, exhilarating, social, and emotional. I think like the other arts our own idea of our ability to dance is through having positive experiences and I was lucky enough as a child to have experienced and benefited from dance classes but not in school. I wondered how could dance be brought into my primary class and how could I ensure that it was a good experience for my pupils? Zara explained that dance in primary school should be a child led activity. It should be safe, meaningful, and fun and there are many ways to use it cross curricular. It is an excellent way to bring health and well being into class, it could be used to enhance topic work and make subjects like maths fun. Zara described how to introduce a dance lesson to children by engaging them in a warm-up game. The physical activity will help the children to get their body ready for moving and relax into dancing together. The following are dance game warmups we looked at:
- Height order game
- Chinese dance whispers
- Giant knot
- Shape game
- Follow the leader with dance moves
- Dance circle
- Highland tig
A warmup is very important before any physical exercise so a five-minute cardio game should be included or even some exercises focusing on our muscle groups. Zara demonstrated how this might look showing us some stretches and movements we could do. Because of the physical activity we are doing in dance it is crucial it is done safe and children should be familiar with how the body is responding to the movement. Zara explained an activity to teach the children about this could be getting the children to draw around a friend, we give them the names of the muscles, bones and organs and ask the children to place them on the outline they have drawn. We were able to have a go although as we could not be in class, we used a doll to draw around and placed the names on that. A great way to integrate a lesson on science. The final part of todays input was learning 10 basic dance skills that a teacher should know to be able to teach dance in primary. These are defined by Dance in primary by Education Scotland and should be demonstrated to the pupils.
It is then possible to make a routine using a combination of the numbers. Before you know it you have the start of a dance routine.
I have really enjoyed my first input to dance it has opened my eyes to the possibility of bringing this art form into primary school. I can already see how dance education could help to break down the barrier’s children face in participating in dance. I understand that dance should be something to be enjoyed and appreciated as part of our cultural background and this can be done by infusing it with other learning. It should also be taught to allow children to express their creativity. If dance can be integrated with other curricular areas in primary it will not only benefit health and wellbeing but will enhance learning in those other areas such as maths, science, and history.
YDance Scottish youth dance, Education. Available at: www.ydance.org (Accessed: 10 January 2021).
Education Scotland, Parent zone. Available at: Expressive arts | Curriculum areas | Learning in Scotland | Parent Zone (education.gov.scot) (Accessed 10 January 2021).