Teaching within and through the Arts provides wonderful opportunities for all students to engage and connect with the chosen learning area, topic or concept on a deep and meaningful level. Open ended activities promote inquiry and inspire on a personal level. Students are able to explore creative possibilities and experience innovation. In a supportive and safe classroom, students are able to share their stories and creations and speak confidently and clearly using their own unique voice. Within this space, diversity is celebrated. With clear outcomes and appropriate support based on a range of assessment strategies, students are supported to grow as creative individuals.
I believe that I have met the criteria of standard 2.1 Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area by doing the following:
- As a keen singer and dancer, I really enjoy sharing the Performing Arts with students. At a range of schools, I have taught new and practiced dance steps, songs and Drama skits. I introduce the lesson with enthusiasm and joy and model expectations confidently. I support individuals to have a go and always celebrate diversity. My enjoyment of teaching and learning within and through all Arts areas inspires students and encourages participation.
Above is a clip of one of the dances I have taught students at a range of schools.
- I have taught students simple songs using musical instruments such as the recorder, drums and xylophones. I have also facilitated learning beat boxing. This is a favourite for students in upper primary.
The above clip is an example of one of the beat box sounds I have taught. Students love to try and create the same sounds they see being made on this little clip.
- Painting, particularly water colour, encourages freedom of expression. It has a calming effect on students and allows for students to explore control. I have not had a lesson yet where students do not enjoy painting, particularly with water colour.
Above are examples of students water colour paintings based on the ocean. Students looked at a clip on the IWB of fish swimming and used laminated sea creature pictures I provided to draw as a basis for their paintings.
- Art has the power to heal. At a number of schools, I have introduced students to Buddhist mandalas. Whilst creating the mandalas, students were relaxed, settled and calm. As an introduction to the lesson, I showed the clip below.
Above are examples of early years students’ mandalas.
- I was fortunate to be able to help facilitate workshops with children of all ages as part of Womadelaide. Children created with large foam blocks. Collaboration was encouraged however, my role was as facilitator. Children were left to explore, play and build independently. The results were amazing. The free nature of play with occasional input in terms of team work strategies, supported children to build amazing sculptures. There were stories being told by children of all ages. Occasionally the stories connected which was incredible to watch. There was a lot of oral interaction and joy experienced by all involved. A very inspiring project.
Above is a photo of the large blocks in action at Womadelaide.
- At a range of schools, I have shared my passion and interest about Street Art. We discussed the differences between Street Art and Graffiti (if any) and viewed a powerpoint I created about Street Art in Berlin (see below). Students then created their own wall design on an A4 page. At the end of the lesson, we viewed a stop motion animation by Street Artists (see below).
- At a local International Baccalaureate primary school, I planed and implemented a highly engaging Visual Arts lesson that encouraged students in years 4-7 to explore Surrealism through collaborative activities and independent inquiry. I showed a short clip on the IWB as an introduction to the Art movement of Surrealism. I took notes on the board to highlight key words to help with understanding.
The image above depicts the way the lesson began. Students were supported with the use of clear instructions and key words to highlight learning content and support understanding.
- The next step of the lesson involved a warm up activity. In groups of 3, students played a party game invented by the surrealists.
The images above show examples of the ‘Surrealist Mishmash’ activity the students took part in collaboratively. This activity was designed as a warm-up. Students who were hesitant drawers were supported by working in groups. The relaxed and fun nature of the exercise promoted a sense of freedom and creativity. As a class students shared their drawings and reflected on the experience and results of the activity.
- I then shared a few images of Surrealists works and in particular the work of Salvador Dali. As a class we discussed the main features of the work and generated some ideas for our own collectively.
- The main body of the lesson required students to experience working in a Surrealist way by either ‘juxtaposing’ or creating a ‘metamorphosis’ of two or more objects and/or ideas. Students chose an object from the selection of everyday objects I brought in to the class and drew all or part of it. They then either transformed the object into something else or connected it with another unrelated object. Some students placed the new object/idea in a unrelated place to create a Surrealist image.
The images above are examples of students’ works in progress and finished Surrealist drawings. Students were confident in sharing their work with the class and enjoyed drawing as the Surrealists would have in the 1920’s. The lesson was a great success with all students engage.
Where to next?
I am really looking forward to the opportunity to teach all of the Arts in an integrated way. l seek to continue to learn and develop, particularly in the areas of Music and Dance as I have had less experience teaching those areas.