Helen Pritchard

Art Session 2 Directed Task – Early Years e-book

After our second art session we were given the directed task to create a book for use in the Early Years classroom. The creative stimulus I have chosen is hand drawn pictures which have been enhanced through the use of digital media. Last week on placement 1b my mentor and I noticed that many of our class were struggling with descriptive writing and needed much guidance to create full sentences with rich vocabulary. For this reason I decided that I would create an e-book to aid this development in the Early Years.

 

Here is my e-book simply titled “White”.

Early Years Outcomes: communication and language suggests that a child between the ages of 40 and 60+ months “Extends vocabulary, especially by grouping and naming, exploring the meaning and sounds of new words”. The current national curriculum also requires that children should have access to “stories and poems that are challenging in terms of length or vocabulary” and the new national curriculum for 2014 says that pupils should be taught to “give well-structured descriptions”.

This book aims to start with simple vocabulary that the children may have come across before and then begin to challenge and engage them with new words.

It also touches on the use of grammar and punctuation to create full sentences as each description develops. these can be discussed with children who it is appropriate to do so and even ask children before reaching those pages how the sentences can be improved. I have also varied the format of the sentences to the children can become aware that there are different ways of writing or using descriptions in spoken language and that adjectives extend far beyond colour and other physical features i.e. emotions.

Children could be asked to substitute one adjective with another, giving them a sense of synonyms in the English language.

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Art session 1 Directed Task – Eric Carle

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After our combined art and ICT session 1 we were given the task of choosing an artist whose work we could use as a stimulus for combining expressive arts and digital technologies. I decided to focus on the children’s author and illustrator Eric Carle. His most famous work ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ is a childhood favourite of mine and the artwork has always fascinated me as it is so unusual and instantly recognisable.

In researching Mr. Carle’s work I came across his website which is full of resources and ideas for work with children relating to his books. Visit the website here.

The website has resources which explain how Mr. Carle creates his illustrations by painting and printing on to tissue paper and then cutting out pieces for the different parts of the picture, for example the caterpillar’s face and body segments. There is also information about this in the book ‘The Art of Eric Carle’ published by Philomel Books, 2002, ISBN: 9780399240027.

 

caterpillar

 

This technique could easily be imitated by children in the early years and made into pictures from the books or children’s original pictures also. This would link well with the ‘Early Years Outcomes‘ and ‘Development Matters‘ guidance for the EYFS specific area ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ and the National Curriculum (both current and new) which all suggest that children should experience using different materials, tools and techniques for their artwork.

These pieces or artwork could then be added to digital media to create presentations such as e-books or animations. The app puppet pals which I used in my last post could be used for this task also or other software such as ‘little bird tales‘ which is a programme that allows you to upload pictures (so photos of artwork could be used) to create an e-book. These stories could be a variation on the story sequences of some of Eric Carle’s works. Voices can also be recorded so children could record narrative,  dialogue and even sound effects to aid their story telling.

This could be a way to introduce children to some simple software which they can interact with (Early Years Outcome – Understanding the World: Technology) and use to create digital content (National Curriculum 1999: ICT 2d and 2014: “use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content”).

This sort of activity can also develop literacy skills in the Early Years as children should be “beginning to be aware of the way stories are structured” (Early Years Outcomes, DfE, 2013) so they can begin to contribute to creating a story. Similarly those teaching older children can use this sort of activity to encourage children to “participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates”. (National Curriculum, DfE, 2014).

Another idea for story telling with digital media and expressive arts might be to create puppets or masks of characters from some of Eric Carle’s stories using his painting and printing techniques and then children act out the stories in groups whilst the teacher or another child records them. These can then be replayed for the children to watch and share with one another during class or assembly times.

In both the EYFS and Key Stage 1 curriculum  there are requirements or guidance that children should be taught about the use of technology to retrieve information (Early Years Outcomes), share information (National Curriculum, DfEE, 1999) and “recognise common uses of information technology beyond school” (National Curriculum, 2014). Mr. Carle’s website includes a blog and newsletter which, along with the slideshows documenting how to create artwork using his techniques, could be viewed with children (as a class, in groups or independently, as appropriate) so that they become aware of how the internet can be used as a source of information.

The website also offers visitors a chance to sign a guestbook or upload information about lessons linking to Mr. Carle’s work on the ‘Caterpillar Exchange’. These are activities which could be undertaken as a whole class, led by the teacher, to give children an understanding of how they can use the internet to share their ideas and information with others in a safe way.

The tasks I have suggested here are just some of the ways I have thought of to use Eric Carle’s artwork as a stimulus for combining expressive arts with ICT in the early years. For more ideas please visit Eric Carle’s website which has a wealth of ideas from fans of his works.

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Story telling with Art and ICT – Art session 2 and ICT session 3

In our second Art session we explored what it meant to be an illustrator and what skills were needed to communicate a story through pictures. We discussed how expression, mood, environment and even movement can be can be conveyed within pictures. For this reason young children’s ability to be ‘visually literate’ can have a huge effect upon EYFS areas of development, for instance being able to read expressions from a picture and discuss these feelings with one another is a key element of Personal, Social and Emotional Development. Similarly conveyance of natural occurrences, such as weather, through pictures in a story book, is a great way to begin discussions with children about scientific processes and phenomena which they encounter in their everyday lives (Understanding the World).

In my last placement (a nursery) story time was used every day with very young children who were still non-readers to support learning taking place in the nursery in all areas of the EYFS. The books used during this time all included engaging illustrations which would gain children’s attention and prompt discussion (also therefore aiding the development of speaking and listening skills).

Our own task during this session was to print a background for a page of an e-book and create clay characters to add to the background to represent our story.

My group decided to use cold colours and create an icy Christmas scene. Our background was printed using printing ink rolled over cut out shapes and string to represent a tree, ice and the northern lights. Here are the different media we used to create the picture:

 

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And here is our finished background:

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Our characters were made from clay and when dry we inserted them into our background to depict the story we had decided upon:

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The story goes that whilst ice skating the elf begins to show off and as a result falls on the ice. Our wise old owl is unimpressed (which is why he is facing away) but the penguin is watching with some interest. We have tried here to convey all these events and feelings in one single picture and now we are able to see how one picture can spark so much discussion. We could talk more on these subjects, for instance ask why we think the owl is annoyed (perhaps he told the elf to be careful, perhaps he is grumpy because he doesn’t like winter, or sad because he wants to join in). We could also discuss what it would be like to be in the story (what can you feel, see, hear, smell etc.)

From this art session we then moved onto using ICT to animate our story. Along with our background we then took photos of each of our characters:

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We decided to experiment with using and app which could be used by almost any aged child (with some adult guidance) – puppets pals. This app can be found on the app store here. We ‘cut’ around our characters or ‘puppets’ and added them to the background. Then it was simply a case of moving the puppets to tell our story. This app is a simple but effective tool for letting children experiment with their story telling skills and the use of a touch screen on a tablet means that children can animate characters simply by moving them as they would a 3D object.

To extend the task to a slightly more advanced level we layered this app with Windows Movie Maker to add music to our animation. The choice of music was a version of one of Bach’s Flute concertos – chosen because it had a winter feel! We also managed to align flurries in the music with the elf falling over and flipping in the air.

Here is the final result

This programme could certainly be used by Key Stage One children and the use of this programme relates both to the current national curriculum – ICT 2c. “to plan and give instructions to make things happen” and 2d. “to try things out and explore what happens in real and imaginary situations” (DfEE, 1999), as well as the new curriculum for 2014 which states children should be taught to “use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content” (DfE, 2013). 

For more on this session and our story please visit my collaborators’ blogs linked below:

Anna’s blog

Sam’s blog

Fiona’s blog

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Art session 1

In our first Art session we explored the seemingly simple concept of line. What we found however when we began to discuss this was that what seems like an extremely limited area of art actually has plenty of opportunity for children (and adults) to investigate their artistic abilities.

In our first tasks we simply chose a drawing implement and were talked through different scenarios (such as rain, thunder, dancing and looking at stars) which we represented on our page using lines. Here’s what my paper looked like at the end of this activity:

You can probably pick out lines representing some of the events I mentioned earlier. This sort of activity is a very easy way for all children to get involved with art, no matter how much experience they have had in the past or even how they choose to hold their mark making tools. As well as teaching children about using art to express feelings, actions or occurrences this activity also lets children practise listening skills (communication and language and PSED), mark making and the physical requirements of this (physical development and literacy) and the concept of line, which is not only artistic but also mathematical. Therefore this simple activity addresses many areas of the EYFS.

Carrying on with the idea of line we next worked in groups to create a piece which displayed a particular type of line. Our groups chose spirals and wiggly lines. We used many different types of materials for this including pipe cleaners, ribbon, buttons, glitter, paint and many others. Here is the end result:

This activity is a good way of providing children with experiences of using lots of different materials and experimenting with different ways of using them, using their imaginations to create an original piece of work.

Our last task was to think of a word which may be associated with some aspect of expressive arts and design and then photograph objects in our environment to represent the letters of that word. The word I chose was ‘SPLODGE’ and here are my photos spelling that word:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This activity addresses many areas of learning, for example in making my own word I identified that I was:

 

  • experimenting with using ICT to take my photos
  • developing literacy skills through thinking about descriptive words and the formation of letters
  • choosing which words I thought were best to express my activities in the session
  • exploring my surroundings
  • using my imagination to use objects to represent something different
  • thinking about perspective (whilst photographing my ‘D’ I found the hole in the chair I used did not look the same from all angles)
  • using body parts to create the line of the letters I needed.

These are just some of the skills and concepts I was developing whilst spelling one word in our particular environment, so of course the possibilities for an activity of this sort should be near limitless.

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Computing – Bee Bots – ICT session 2

This week in our ICT session we were discussing ways programming can be used in the classroom, but also ideas for unplugged activities relating to this and how these skills can be applied to real-world activities.

I worked with Anna so please visit her blog too for her views on our work.

We began by choosing which media to work with and settled on bee-bots, something which Anna had no previous experience of and my own experiences were quite limited, so I was pleased to have an opportunity to explore them further as I know they are a resource which most schools have access to. Therefore, in my view, it is worthwhile having ideas for a range of ways to use the bee-bots in an early years setting. Also, if you do not have access to actual bee-bots but have iPads in school there is an app which works on the same principles, you can find information about the app here on the apple website.

We decided to try exploring ways to use the bee-bots ourselves. This produced some rather interesting results and gave us an idea of the sorts of problems pupils may encounter when using bee-bots and the strategies they may employ to solve those problems.

 

We set out a map which had been designed especially for the bee-bots as each square on the grid is the length of one move. The map we used included ‘danger’ zones (volcanoes, crocodile swamps) which the bee-bots could not move over. Using something like this can give children the opportunity to investigate programming a robot to move whilst clearly showing how many moves they will need to reach their destinations, enabling better planning to happen.

 

 

 

 

 

We first decided to attach a trailer to one bee-bot, thinking we may be able to use it to transport objects around the map, however we soon found that the trailer was too long and was touching the back of the bee-bot at times, effecting the turning and subsequently the position it reached on the map. We decided that this was not an effective way to use the bee-bots and we quickly removed the trailer.

So tasks of this sort may be good for developing children’s concepts of programming in order to make something move as well as their understanding of directions and giving those directions in correct sequence. However difficulties which may arise can be used to challenge children’s problem solving skills and encourage them to think creatively in order to overcome such difficulties.

 

Next we tried using two bee-bots at once, programming them in a sort of ‘dance’ so that they moved around, staying on the map without bumping into one another.  This was actually more difficult than we had anticipated, at one point we obviously missed out a direction on on of the bots, and as a result we were witnesses to a bee-bot crash!

Perhaps this would not have occurred if we had programmed the bee-bots one at a time after writing down instructions, rather than attempting to programme both at once and simply visualising the movements in our heads. This may be a way to link to unplugged activities, but more on those later.

We also found that one of our bee-bots moved much faster than the other and so we tried some different strategies to remedy this and ensure they finished their ‘dance’ at the same time. We added extra moves to the faster bee-bot and found two was the ideal amount. From this we also decided that instead of adding extra moves we could start the other bee-bot earlier.

Here again we uncovered ways in which the bee-bots could be used to  encourage experimentation and lateral thinking to solve problems.

After this success we started to get a bit braver and decided to attempt some mirroring as well.

 

We started with the bee-bots side by side…

…and after moving away from each other and back together again, they ended their dance with a kiss!

Anna set out to give the bee-bots the same directions but without planning on the map. The results were rather interesting, although they started and ended next to each other this is what happened…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here we can see the positive side – that we were able to programme two bee-bots to perform the same movements, and also the negative side to this approach – that our bee-bots ended up completely off the map!

From all our experimentation we had come up with a few ways to use this resource in the classroom. We then discussed some more ways we could use them such as following someone else’s instructions or even simply finishing off a sequence of instructions started by the teacher to reach different destinations on a map.

Next we turned our attention to unplugged activities in early years settings, which link to the concepts of programming addressed in our work with the bee-bots. We brainstormed these ideas:

  • Directing each other/following instructions to walk (perhaps with eyes closed or masks/blindfolds on if appropriate). This could be planned as part of a PE lesson and even involve markers or other equipment for children to negotiate a way around.
  • Directing each other/following instructions to draw on grids (perhaps gridded white boards).
  • Creating a map and a counter or character and then providing directions for other pupils to follow. These could be in the form of written or even voice recorded directions for older/more able children or simply arrows for those younger or lower ability pupils.
  • Writing or drawing instructions to move through familiar environments such as school or home.
  • Drawing maps to particular destinations.

These activities could all be used to develop skills for real world application, such as:

  • Following maps (directions, visualising what’s ahead)
  • Following a sequence of instructions
  • Understanding  both spoken and written directions (left, right, forwards, backwards)
  • Spatial awareness
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Music and ICT – Music session 2

During our second music session we used ICT as well as instruments to create sounds and explored ways we could use different apps to manipulate sounds to create something new and unique. The app which I chose to experiment with was called ‘Garage Band’ which has a free version for the iPad.

Here is the app’s page on the apple website.

 

We first had a go at recording some sounds using our voices or bodies and then changing them using different tools in the app.

I first made a tick tock sound by clicking my tongue, however after fiddling with the tempo and pitch this was the end result:

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So now the sound was completely unrecognisable as the one I started with.

This app is quite easy to use and with the number of schools providing iPads in classrooms it is a great way for children to be introduced to some of the elements of music such as tempo, pitch, duration and dynamics, all of which are addressed in this simple activity. Then of course pupils will be able to explore ICT by saving and retrieving their work and operating the app. This is a requirement of both the current and new national curricula.

The app also provides the opportunity for sounds to be changed using effects such as in this example where I recorded my own voice then after lowering the pitch I applied a ‘robot’ effect (although I think I sound more like I’m underwater myself).

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Through this pupils can begin to form an understanding of how ICT can be used to make things happen and change things. The app can be used in a very simple way with foundation stage children to record and change their voices. This is in accordance with the non-statutory guidance for Understanding the world: Technology, ages 40 – 60+ months “Interacts with age-appropriate computer software” (DfE, 2013).

 

As well as being able to record your voice Garage Band also has different musical instrument settings. Here you can see a video of me playing on the piano, the normal key sounds have been substituted for another of my voice recordings which have again been manipulated using some of the tools.

Through these tools children can explore the elements of music and have the opportunity to hear sounds of instruments they may otherwise not have access to.

There are also ways to extend this play to include other curriculum areas such as mathematics, through creating a sequence for someone else to follow. Here you can see we created quite a long and complex sequence but it could be made as simple or as complex as required depending on the ability of individual children.

There are numerous apps such as these which can be used in Early Years classrooms to further children’s knowledge of both music and ICT.

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Pattern Display SE1a

As I mentioned in my post about my Elmer activity,  while on placement we were tasked with creating an interactive display collaboratively with our paired students. The focus was to be either maths or literacy and as our placement was currently studying pattern as their topic for the term we decided to create a maths display about pattern. However it was clear as we planned that not only would our display address the area of Mathematics in the EYFS but it was also relevant to many parts of the Expressive Arts and Design area.

Both Jodie and I led our own planned art activities with the whole nursery, mine being my decorating Elmer task and Jodie’s, a printing activity with very effective results. If you would like to read more about this or Jodie’s take on our display please visit her blog. Just to remind you here’s Elmer once again…

 

From these activities we were able to display the children’s work alongside our interactive table which gave the children the opportunity to create their own patterns using different construction materials and objects, thus addressing both Mathematics and Expressive Arts and Design.

Using the ‘Early Years Outcomes‘ guidance within the area Mathematics; Shape, Space and Measures at 40-60+ months, the developing child  “uses familiar objects and common shapes to create and recreate patterns and build models” (DfE, 2013).

The expressive arts and design outcomes relevant to my activity are part of  ‘exploring and using media and materials’.  At 30-50 months children are “beginning to be interested in and describe the texture of things” and at 40-60+ months the developing child “experiments to create different textures” and “understands that different media can be combined to create new effects” (DfE, 2013). For more on outcomes relating to Jodie’s activity, again, please see her blog.

Here is a close up of the activity table in our display:

 

As you can see the children were provided with duplo, threading beads and compare bears to make their patterns. Some examples were left on the table for children to copy or they were able to make their own patterns. We both also spent some time with the children at the table discussing pattern and assisting the children to try new patterns.

The final result when all was combined was this display:

From here you can see Jodie’s fantastic and very effective printing, the decorated Elmer, our activity table and the books relating to pattern we also provided for the children to explore:

‘Elmer’s colours’ by David McKee ISBN – 978-0862644932

‘Bear in a Square’ by Stella Blackstone ISBN – 978-1846860553

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Nursery Music Activity SE1a

 

 

Last week, after my venture into art on Monday, I also had a go at a music activity with a small group of five children in the nursery. Again this is an area which I am not particularly accomplished at although in my job as a teaching assistant I had gained some experience of music sessions with younger children. I decided to try and challenge the children a bit and ask them to come up with their own actions to a song and attempt some instrumental accompaniment too. This required some thought though as I wanted to use a song which was not too long and also one which the children would perhaps already know. I settled on ‘Incy Wincy Spider’ as it fulfilled my criteria. The recording that I used was from the website Sing Up  which is a subscription website offering a wide range of songs to download and use in schools.

I collected an assortment of untuned instruments (bells, shakers, maracas, tambourine, clatterpillar, guiro) for the children to choose from. The children in the group were of varying ability but all were able to contribute something to the performance and all the children were engaged throughout. Again I have been surprised by how much I have enjoyed exploring Expressive Arts and Design in the EYFS and at how much I myself got out of the experience, both in terms of my professional development and on a personal level. I am beginning to feel more confident teaching creative activities and that can only be a good thing!

Here is a copy of my plan for this activity in a word document:

Activity Plan – Music (DT)

 

As you can see in the ‘curriculum links’ section this activity addresses a few of the outcomes from the ‘Early Years Outcomes’ guidance which many foundation stage settings follow. In the area of expressive arts and design the activity serves both aspects, the first two outcomes are from ‘exploring using media and materials’ (30 – 50 months and 40 – 60+ months) and the third is from ‘being imaginative’. You can also see some of the other EYFS areas that are addressed by this activity.

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Exploring Pattern and Texture in Nursery SE1a

Last week gave me my first chance to plan and lead my own creative activity in nursery. As the theme for all work this term is pattern I decided to do an activity centred around Elmer the Elephant (by David McKee) as this is a character that the children have had previous experience of through literacy. I wanted to give the children an opportunity to experiment with as many different materials as was possible and explore the varied textures and effects they could achieve. So I settled on the idea of a giant Elmer collage which all the children in the nursery, both morning and afternoon sessions, could contribute towards (slightly ambitious for me, I can’t pretend I have much experience beyond my own school days with this sort of thing).

The first hurdle I had to pass was drawing Elmer as, try as I might, I couldn’t find a blank Elmer picture I was entirely happy with and anyway, the process of finding one, printing it, blowing it up and attempting to transfer it somehow to card seemed far too complicated so I decided to simply bite the bullet and have a go at drawing him myself!  Now I won’t say I have no drawing talent but it is limited to copying and I’ve certainly never drawn anything the size I was aiming for before (two A3 pieces of card) but I was pleasantly surprised at Elmer’s simplicity and although he was nowhere near perfect I think I did a reasonable job and drew a recognisable image of our patchwork friend. I copied my picture from one of the Elmer books in the nursery but it is easy enough to find pictures on google if you don’t have a book to hand.

After ruling some squares on Elmer I was reasonably pleased with the effect and was starting to become excited about the prospect of decorating him with the children the next day. I collected as many different materials of different colours as I could find and here is a list of everything I can remember

  • Pipe cleaners
  • Feathers
  • Cotton wool
  • Cellophane
  • Felt
  • Coloured lolly sticks
  • Paper
  • Corrugated display border
  • Netting
  • Gauze
  • Buttons
  • Tissue paper

These are just a few ideas but of course you could use anything you can get your hands on to stick to Elmer!

 

So then came the day, I prepared my creative table, Elmer ready and materials arranged around him in every free space and, as is often the way in this nursery, the children children came in and flocked to the creative table. I found that two or three children at a time was enough but this depends entirely upon the children, the teacher, the area and other factors too I’m sure. I was pleased to  see how many children wanted to have a turn at sticking materials to Elmer to create his patchwork skin and I was also occasionally surprised by which children were most keen to help. By the end of the day Elmer was bright and colourful and covered in his patchwork pattern. I had an idea in my head of what I was aiming for, but never dreamt that he would actually look just as I had hoped and better.

 

This activity gave me the chance to interact with many children in the setting and to work with children who I don’t often get a chance to. I was delighted to see one little girl, who seems quite unsure of adults and certainly those she does not know well, spend a good 10 minutes scrunching tissue paper as I had shown her and meticulously sticking it onto one square (it’s the pink one at the bottom of Elmer’s belly between the brown and red squares). Quite ha few of the children left the activity and returned again later and something of this sort gives that opportunity which I think is useful when you have a group of 40 three-year-olds who’s attention is being fought for all the time by the wealth of quality activities which this setting presents.

I have uploaded my activity plan, at the end in the ‘curriculum links’ section you can see some of the ‘Early Years Outcomes‘ addressed for EYFS areas that this activity was designed to develop.

Activity Plan EAD Pattern + Texture

Elmer is now hanging as a part of the interactive pattern display which Jodie (my paired student for this placement) and I created. More on this soon I’m sure, I think it deserves it’s own post as we have explored pattern in both art and maths, but hopefully I have communicated in this post just how much both the children and I enjoyed this activity and the benefits, both to their learning and my own.

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Primary Music – session 1 and Directed Task

Back in September we had one of the best music lessons I have ever experienced with a fantastic lady named Sue Nicholls (look her up she’s written a lot of brilliant books for primary music). We had a chance to experiment with lots of different musical instruments, both manufactured and home-made.

Among other things we experimented with creating a song to the tune of ‘one finger one thumb’ to tell the story of sleeping beauty. This is actually quite easily done and can be used in the Early Years to explore storytelling through music. The simple lyrics and tune mean that the song would be easily learned by young children and when taught alongside storytelling could help them to remember the tale, crossing over the areas ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ and ‘Literacy’ of the EYFS.

A special baby Princess (x3)
Aurora was her name.

A wicked fairy cursed her (x3)
And said that she would die.

They hid her in the forest (x3)
To escape the fairy’s curse.

And then she pricked her finger (x3)
The Kingdom fell asleep.

A handsome Prince did kiss her (x3)
She awoke and fell in love.

And then there was a wedding (x3)
And so our story ends.

For our directed task we were challenged to come up with our own song for primary students using a well known tune. So in our group of four we came up with a song to the tune of one extremely popular Disney song.

So I present for your listening pleasure…

See my Class!!

Here are the lyrics – credit must go to the other members of my group; Anna, Fiona and Sam, who’s blogs are linked to below.

Anna’s blog

Fiona’s blog

Sam’s blog

 

 

 

 

 

As you can hear on the track we were also required to accompany the song with percussion instruments, and feeling inspired by Sue’s hand-made instruments using recycled objects we had a go ourselves at creating some junk shakers and drums, using these everyday objects.

 

 

 

 

This type of activity develops children’s understand of beat and rhythm, giving them a chance to listen for these in familiar songs and develop their own lyrics which fit to the rhythm of the song. They also have a chance to experiment with playing untuned instruments and use their voices expressively, addressing some of the requirements in the current and new national curricula for music as well as the ‘Early Years Outcomes‘ guidance for Expressive Arts and Design.

The song could be easily changed by children, substituting the activities mentioned in the song for the ones that they enjoy in their class, or add more verses about what they have done with their class during lessons or on trips or special days.

The current curriculum for key stage 1 requires that children be taught in music to “use their voices expressively by singing songs…play tuned and untuned instruments; rehearse and perform with others” (DfEE, 1999) and all of these are addressed when performing this song as a group as we have done (the first two of these requirements are still present in the new curriculum for 2014).

In the EYFS non-statutory guidance ‘Early Years Outcomes‘ there are suggestions that children should be able to join in with familiar songs (in relation to the specific area ‘Expressive Arts and Design’) and by the end of the EYFS it is expected that  “Children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them” (DfE, 2013). For the prime area of ‘Communication and Language’ there is guidance suggesting that during the later years of the EYFS children should “Shows interest in play with sounds, songs and rhymes” (DfE, 2013)

I had a brilliant time in this first music session and am looking forward to the next one. I have since had a chance to teach some music in my placement and again was pleasantly surprised by what I experienced. Another post to follow shortly telling you all about it.

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