Recently, we were given the opportunity to experience a one hour workshop on dance and how to construct a lesson plan ideal for children in both middle and upper stages of primary.
Firstly, we were shown a number of videos on a variety of different styles and cultures of dance, such as hip-hop and ballet. This is an ideal way to begin the lesson as children are able to begin to express their own ideas through creative work in dance from the inspiration of a range of stimuli; some of the learning outcomes of dance in the Curriculum for Excellence (EXA 0-09a, EXA 1-09a, EXA 2-09a).
After a warm up, we were then asked to get into pairs and find as many ways as possible to travel across the room. By doing so, this already built up confidence, as well as enabling us to think of create multiple solutions to the task given. After sharing our ideas with the rest of the group, we were then asked to pick our favourite idea created by another pair and try it out. By doing so, this enabled us to learn from each and work together, as well as being able to give and receive positive and constructive feedback (EXA 0-11a, EXA 1-11a, EXA 2-11a, EXA 3-11a).
Lastly, we were given the task to get into groups of four, teach the other pair your own travelling step, experiment with how many ways you can spin and choose your favourite, then make a start and end pose. We were then asked to put it all together and share what we created with the rest of the class. As a result, this allowed us to experience the energy and excitement of both presenting and performing in front of an audience, as well as being a part of the audience for when other groups were presenting (EXA 0-01a, EXA 1-01a, EXA 2-01a).
Overall, experiencing this dance workshop not only increased my understanding on how I would approach constructing a lesson plan on dance, if I were required to teach a lesson on this area of the expressive arts, but also raised my understanding on just how important dance is as an area in the school curriculum and for each child’s journey through education.