Arts Based Lesson Sequence Supporting An Inquiry Unit on Light
The Arts can be a fantastic vehicle for students to grow, collaborate and learn together. They provide a rich landscape to bring learning to life. An educator’s ability to see links during the delivery of units of work that lead to unique opportunities for cross curricular experiences is a valuable skill. Anne Bramford (2008) suggests that children start cultivating and storing visual memory from 12 months old and in extension Visual literacy is implicit across all curriculum areas. Bramford (2008) also states that we are in our 6th communication wave where imagery online has never been more easily accessible. The tools students need to cultivate a deeper understanding of the information they are consuming can be cultivated through rich and purposeful Arts based lessons.
The following lesson sequences are a part of larger Inquiry unit on Light and Sound. They will be utilising the information students learn throughout the unit and the Arts based lesson will be the student’s response to the learning that they have experienced.
Dance and Drama
The first lesson in the sequence uses music, dance and drama to respond to the learning happening in an Inquiry unit on light. In Sir Ken Robbinson’s book ‘The Element’ he explores stories of people who have bravely followed their passion and became experts in their fields. In his Ted Talk “Are school Killing Creativity,” Sir Ken tells the story of dancer who was compelled to dance. I wonder what would have happened to that dancer if she had never had the opportunity to experience a dance class or have her passion validated? By giving students a variety of ways to respond to learning we as educator open up the door for students to explore learning in new and engaging ways. These first steps may lead to a life filled with dance and for some may finally validate how they respond best to learning.
Visual and Media Art
The visual and Media Ars lesson have been inspired by the idea explore in Linsey’s article which discusses the importance of students being exposed to the Arts from an early age. Lindsay (2015) seeks to inspire teachers to or prevent students from cultivating the belief that “I’m not artistic’ . Lindsay (2015) and Sir Ken Robison (2006) share the belief that by schools focusing heavily on, what is perceived as, the main curriculum areas students’ creativity is being snuffed out. There is a messiness to artistic pursuits that is invaluable and demonstrates to students that there is more than one way to be creative, solve a problem and become a 21st Century Learner. The Visual Art lessons, there are three mini lessons, are supported by the picture book “The Beautiful Oops” (Salzberg, B 2010). This picture book supports students to cultivate a growth mindset around creativity while also trusting and allowing a mistake to open up new possibilities. The artwork created continues to connect with the Inquiry unit on light. Light while introducing students to Surrealism and a new artist, Vicent Bal.
Music can add value in many cross curricular experiences. In the final session students create chants that demonstrate what they have learned throughout the Light unit, in groups. The session will focus on the musical elements of beat, pulse and pitch. Student will work together to choose how they will use the different musical elements to convey the learning cultivated in the unit while working together with heir peers to create and perform a chant. This will be the final summative assessment in the unit. Often in schools a finally assessment is in writing, however this may prevent students who do not have strong literacy skills from sharing what they know. Arts based assment task give a variety of student the opportunity experience success and by being able to convey their understanding in a powerful way.
Arts Based sessions may happen in different parts of the school. Therefore, it is good to have specific rules that are set to ensure all students feels safe and supported to engage in the lesson. 1. Be kind, to each other and your self. 2. Be brave and following your creative ideas fearlessly. 3. Be safe, move with care and consideration for your fellow classmates. 4. Try your best, use this time effectively using a growth mindset when facing each task.
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Salzberg, B 2010, Beautiful Oops, YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fZjMYdQjGM
Bamford, A. 2003, The visual literacy white paper. Commissioned by Adobe Systems Pty Ltd, Australia
Boone, L. M. (2008) ‘Robinson, Ken with Lou Aronica. The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything’, Library Journal, 1 December, p. 145. Available at: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsinc&AN=edsinc.A191513722&site=eds-live&scope=site (Accessed: 3 June 2022).
Lindsay, G 2015 But I’m not artistic: How teachers shape kid’s creative development, theconversation.com https://theconversation.com/but-im-not-artistic-how-teachers-shape-kids-creative-development-34650
Dinham, J. (2019). Delivering Authentic Arts Education. Melbourne, AUSTRALIA, Cengage. Lorenza, L.M.(2018) Curriculum change and teachers’ responses: a NSW case study. University of Sydney
Portis, A That’s Not A Stick, 2008 Youtube https://youtu.be/jwqxd4SfNcw
Robinson. K. Do Schools Kill Creativity 2006 TED Talks https://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_do_schools_kill_creativity
Queensland Government DOE, 2010 Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy Retrieved 2017 Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy Queensland Department of Education
Stevens. K, Easy Ways to Introduce the Elements of Dance in the Primary Curriculum. Dance Teacher Ideas. Last assessed May 30 2022., https://danceteachingideas.com/easy-ways-to-introduce-the-elements-of-dance-in-the-primary-curriculum/
.Victorian Department of Education and Training (2020). HITS (High Impact Teaching Strategies) online assessed 15 April 2022
DET (Victorian Department of Education and Training) 2019 Amplify: Empowering students through voice, agency and leadership Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority https://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au