Just before our winter break, our KG students started their Movement Composition unit, with the three weeks before the holidays we used this time for students to work on a dance that they would perform for their parents during their winter show, which showcases their work for the year to date, specifically in music, art and PE.
I teach KG with another teacher, Mr. Sota, and we had decided to use 'A night before christmas' as our provocation for the dance, we read this story to the students two times, the first time was for the students to familiarise with the story. When we read the story the second time we asked the students to raise their hand if they heard an action word, or a word that sounds like a movement and Mr Sota would note the word down, after discussing this with our students we ended up with the image below.
Students worked in small groups, pairs or individually to show movements that came to their mind when they heard or saw the action word, the book that we had read to the students was also beautifully illustrated which also really helped the students. Alex and myself set the music for each section and students started to put their movements that linked with the action words to the music. As teachers we helped students with linking their movements or providing feedback throughout the process. Students looked at different ways of travelling, changing their levels and speed dependent upon the music. This process lasted two weeks, in the third week, we practiced in the performance space with the other classes. At the end of week 3 we presented the final performances, to the KG teachers, families and other classes as part of our winter show. The students performed with confidence, matching their movements to the music and also communicating expression.
This was the first time that we had run this unit, looking back we were pleased how the students interacted with each other and the book and the created some really pleasing work in a relatively short space of time. For this unit next year, we have discussed how when we present at the winter show we would like to show the process more, instead of just having the final dance and story. We would also like to give the students the opportunity to try different roles that go into a production for a winter show. Although everyone performed during the show, it's hard to think that some students wouldn't have preferred to try different roles, such as creating masks and hats for the dancers, or assisting with the stage production/directions, all of which would have had a beneficial impact on the performance and more importantly for the students involved.