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>> Back to SpecEd 2019 – Life Skills Stages 4-5 – I see stars

Syllabus outcomes for this unit

Select the key learning area to show the list of outcomes.

English

ENLS-1A: Listens and responds in familiar contexts

ENLS-2A: Communicates for a variety of purposes, audience and contexts

ENLS-3A: Selects and uses language to communicate according to purpose, audience and context

ENLS-4A: Views and responds to a range of visual texts, media and multimedia

ENLS-5A: Recognises and uses visual texts, media and multimedia for a variety of purposes, audiences and contexts

ENLS-7A: Uses strategies to obtain meaning from and interpret a range of texts

ENLS-8A: Writes short texts for everyday purposes

ENLS-9A: Composes texts for a variety of purposes and audiences

ENLS-11B: Composes, publishes and presents texts appropriate to purpose and audience in a range of contexts

ENLS-13C: Engages critically with texts using personal experiences

ENLS-15D: Responds to and composes texts that explore personal, social and world issues

ENLS-17E: Uses individual and collaborative skills in the learning process

Mathematics

MALS-1WM: Responds to and uses mathematical language to demonstrate understanding

MALS-20MG: Recognises time in familiar contexts

MALS-22MG: Reads and interprets time in a variety of situations

MALS-32MG: Responds to and uses the language of position in everyday contexts

Creative arts

Dance

DLS.1.1: Demonstrates a range of movement skills

DLS.1.2: Uses dance technique to communicate

DLS.1.3: Demonstrates an awareness of safe dance practices

DLS.2.1: Explores the elements of dance to create movement and communicate ideas

DLS.2.2: Explores, selects and sequences movement to express feelings and ideas

DLS.3.1: Experiences a variety of dance performances

DLS.3.2: Responds to the elements of dance in performance

DLS.5.1: Engages in dance activities

Drama

DRLS.1.1: A student explores characters, roles, situations and actions through drama activities

DRLS.1.3: A student participates in drama experiences in which role-taking is used to enhance their understanding of ideas and feelings

DRLS.3.1: A student experiences a variety of drama or theatre performances

DRLS.3.2: A student identifies and responds to the elements of drama or theatre in performances

Music

MLS.1: A student uses movement, vocalisation or instruments to respond to a range of music

MLS.2: A student vocalises, sings or plays an instrument:

MLS.7: A student experiences music from a variety of social, cultural and historical contexts

MLS.8: A student communicates responses to a variety of music

Visual arts

VALS.1: Experiences a variety of artmaking activities

VALS.2: Explores a variety of materials, techniques and processes

VALS.3: Explores the function of a variety of artists and audiences

VALS.7: Explores how ideas and interests in the world can be represented in their artmaking

VALS.9: Uses a range of materials, techniques and processes to make artworks

Science

SCLS-13ES: Identifies features of the Earth

SCLS-14ES: Explores features of the solar system, including the Earth’s position and movement

Technologies

Design and technology

DTLS-1: Identifies that a process is used to develop design solutions

Technology mandatory

TELS-1DP: Communicates ideas and solutions to authentic problems or opportunities

HSIE

Geography

GELS-6: Investigates differences in human wellbeing

PDHPE

PDLS-4: Uses appropriate strategies and behaviours to establish and maintain respectful relationships with others

PDLS-10: Develops skills for effective self-management

PDLS-11: Uses appropriate interpersonal skills to engage respectfully with others in a variety of contexts

Vocabulary words

Teaching and learning activities

Select the activity to display its details.

To print out the following activities, please select the ‘Print this page’ button at the bottom of this screen.

Activity 1 – A galaxy of stars

Learning intention

Students can write or verbalise a short explanation of their favourite ‘star’. Students can brainstorm what they know about stars in the sky.  Students use basic art techniques to enhance an image.

Success criteria

Brief explanations of favourite ‘stars’. Brainstorm about stars with added knowledge after the video. Paintings of stars in the sky.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-8A: Writes short texts for everyday purposes
  • ENLS-4A: Views and responds to a range of visual texts, media and multimedia
  • SCLS-14ES: Explores features of the solar system, including the Earth’s position and movement
  • VALS.1: Experiences a variety of artmaking activities
  • VALS.2: Explores a variety of materials, techniques and processes

Resources

Approximate time

90 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Discuss what the word ‘star’ can mean (actual stars in the sky and famous people). Explain that in this activity, students are going to focus on both.
  2. Brainstorm ‘famous stars’ that the students know. What makes them amazing?  Students write the name of their favourite ‘star’ in their book, and a sentence-paragraph about why they are so great. Students can find pictures of famous people in magazines or from the internet.
  3. Watch All About … Stars.
  4. Hand out Attachment 1.1. Give students five minutes to write down (or verbalise) anything that they know about stars.
  5. Hand out Attachment 1.2. Discuss why there might only be one star visible. Would the sky be even more interesting with more stars in it?  Each student uses a sharp pencil or cotton wool, dipping it in white paint, to add lots more small stars to the image.

Reflection

Ask students to look at the paintings and discuss how much more interesting they are with lots of stars. Draw comparisons to life. How much more interesting is it when there are lots of people who get a chance to shine?

Activity 2 – Your star quality

Learning intention

Students will be able to identify things that make them unique and will discuss examples of diversity in their community.

Success criteria

Individual stars with students’ own qualities. Students understand the vocabulary terms – difference, diversity, community.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-15D: Responds to and composes texts that explore personal, social and world issues
  • PDLS-4: Uses appropriate strategies and behaviours to establish and maintain respectful relationships with others
  • PDLS-11: Uses appropriate interpersonal skills to engage respectfully with others in a variety of contexts
  • GELS-6: Investigates differences in human wellbeing

Resources

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review the end of the previous activity and the students’ artworks, which reflected more beauty with more stars. Explain that just like all of those stars, every person in the class, teachers and students, have something that is special about them – their ‘star quality’.
  2. Hand out Attachment 2.1. Each student is to think of five things that they are good at and write each of those things in one point of the star. Students could also find images of things/activities they enjoy doing. They should write their name in the middle of the star. Once completed, these are to be displayed around the classroom.
  3. Discuss some of the similarities and differences that the students have written, glued or drawn on their stars. Focus on the differences and how great it is that we are all different. Discuss how boring life would be if we were all the same.
  4. Have students write down and discuss the following definitions:
    • Difference – something that is not the same about two or more people or things.
    • Diversity – being made up of many different kinds of people, having a lot of variety.
    • Community – a group of people who share a living or working space.
    This could also be introduced by showing real life examples and/or physical objects to represent same/different (for example, different lunch boxes, school bags, pens, and so on).
  5. Read aloud Whoever You Are by Mem Fox or watch Read-Aloud of Whoever You Are by Mem Fox.
  6. Discuss why diversity is important in a community. How does it affect a person’s wellbeing in a school or community? Can you recognise any examples of diversity in your local community or school?

Reflection

Discuss something new that the students learnt about their classmates.

Activity 3 – Star signers

Learning intention

Students will learn about Auslan as a language, how to write a rudimentary persuasive text, how to finger spell and the role of the signing choir at Schools Spectacular.

Success criteria

Students write a rudimentary persuasive text and can sign their name using fingerspelling.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-2A: Communicates for a variety of purposes, audience and contexts
  • ENLS-9A: Composes texts for a variety of purposes and audiences
  • ENLS-17E: Uses individual and collaborative skills in the learning process
  • PDLS-11: Uses appropriate interpersonal skills to engage respectfully with others in a variety of contexts

Resources

Approximate time

90 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review the previous activity and the importance of diversity in our communities. Discuss diverse needs that community members might have (wheelchair access, guide dogs, and so on). Show videos of people signing or using devices to help communication.
  2. Depending on the composition of your class, your students might know a lot about sign language or not much at all. Assuming that they are not familiar with it, watch What is Auslan?
  3. Discuss whether students have ever seen anybody using sign language. What would be some of the hard things about using it? How would it be useful? Watch Signing Class.
  4. Hand out Attachment 3.1. Ask students whether they think that EVERY student in NSW schools should have to learn Auslan. Discuss. As a class write down all the reasons that students can think of about the importance of Auslan. Students are then assisted, as needed, to write a paragraph explaining why they believe it should, or should not, be taught to all students.
  5. Direct students to the Auslan signbank, where they can learn how to finger spell their name. There is also a dictionary where you can search for most English words and find the Auslan sign.
  6. Explain that each year at Schools Spectacular, there is a signing choir who perform a song using sign language.  Show Because You Loved Me - Schools Spectacular 2013.

Reflection

Students demonstrate for the class, how they can finger spell their name and/or demonstrate some other Auslan signs that they learned during this activity. 

Activity 4 – 5,000 stars

Learning intention

Students will be able to read and/or explain the meaning of a short poem and draw an illustration to reflect the meaning. Students will sing/move along with a song.

Success criteria

Pictures that reflect the meaning of the poem/quote. Students sing or move in time to the song.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-5A: Recognises and uses visual texts, media and multimedia for a variety of purposes, audiences and contexts
  • ENLS-7A: Uses strategies to obtain meaning from and interpret a range of texts
  • MLS.2: A student vocalises, sings or plays an instrument
  • MLS.7: A student experiences music from a variety of social, cultural and historical contexts
  • VALS.7: Explores how ideas and interests in the world can be represented in their artmaking

Resources

Approximate time

45 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Discuss: Can everybody be a star? How? For example, taking a chance, having a go, being involved. Should everybody get a chance to shine? Why is it important that everybody gets a chance to be involved in events?
  2. Discuss: Are events like Schools Spectacular just about the lead singers? Who else is a part of it (orchestra, choir, signing choir, dancers, circus performers, backstage crew, drama students)?
  3. Hand out Attachment 4.1. Read through the quote/poem with the students. Explain what the quote/poem means.
  4. Explain that there are approximately 5,000 stars in the night sky that we can see with just our eyes. Show some images of stars in the night sky from the internet. In Schools Spectacular, there are approximately 5,000 students. The show is only as good as it is, because of all of the students who take part. This year, the choir will be singing I See Stars from Mean Girls with the signing choir.
  5. Play I See Stars from Mean Girls.
  6. Play the song one more time, but this time students are to draw a picture that combines the idea of stars in the sky shining together, or performers being stars together. They can draw this under the quote or find images in magazines or on the computer that show this idea.

Reflection

Students share their pictures with the class.

Activity 5 – Footloose

Learning intention

Students will create their own simple dance moves using only their feet. Students can provide constructive feedback to each other. Students will be able to discuss a piece of music and how it makes them feel and the techniques used to do that. Students will learn the words to a song and sing along with it.

Success criteria

Two different dance moves for each student. Students join in with the singing of the song. Students can explain how the song made them feel. Students can provide constructive feedback.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-4A: Views and responds to a range of visual texts, media and multimedia
  • DLS.1.1: Demonstrates a range of movement skills
  • DLS.1.2: Uses dance technique to communicate
  • DLS.2.1: Explores the elements of dance to create movement and communicate ideas
  • DLS.2.2: Explores, selects and sequences movement to express feelings and ideas
  • DLS.3.2: Responds to the elements of dance in performance
  • DLS.5.1: Engages in dance activities
  • MLS.1: A student uses movement, vocalisation or instruments to respond to a range of music
  • MLS.2: A student vocalises, sings or plays an instrument
  • MLS.8: A student communicates responses to a variety of music

Resources

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. As the students walk into class, have a very interesting pair of shoes sitting on your desk. Let them wonder what is going on.
  2. Play the opening credits scene from Footloose, Footloose – Feet dance scene.
  3. Discuss with the students what they saw. How were the shoes and dancers different? Show some images of different shoes. Why might the filmmakers have done that (introduce the idea of characters and the concept of diversity). Reflect on the definitions that students wrote about diversity in a previous activity
  4. Hand out Attachment 5.1. Read through the lyrics to Footloose while watching Footloose by Kenny Loggins (lyrics) with the class. Practise singing them.
  5. Talk about how the music makes them feel. Does it make them want to move? Is it happy music or sad music? How do you know? How does the tempo affect the mood that it creates? You may like to show happy and sad visuals to model responses.
  6. Give the students time to work on two different dance moves that they can create, using just their feet. Talk about moving in time to the music and how to make them very different from each other. Demonstrate some examples. Have the music playing in the background. This may require 1:1 work, or you could model/rehearse dance moves as a group.
  7. Discuss with students, appropriate ways to respond to each other’s dance moves. Explain the importance of being supportive of each other and offering constructive feedback. Demonstrate how to do this.
  8. Explain that for the next activity, students will need to bring two interesting pairs of shoes of their own. They are going to make up two different dance moves each, using their feet. Discuss what kind of shoes the students might bring in. You could also supply a few shoes for the students if they can’t bring them in from home.

Reflection

Students show each other the dance moves that they have created using just their feet. Remind students to bring their two pairs of shoes to the next activity. Be sure to bring some spares along.

Activity 6 – Moving to our own beat

Learning intention

Students perform their dance moves in their special shoes.

Success criteria

At least one minute’s worth of video for every ‘pair of shoes’.

Syllabus outcomes

  • DLS.1.1: Demonstrates a range of movement skills
  • DLS.1.2: Uses dance technique to communicate
  • DLS.2.1: Explores the elements of dance to create movement and communicate ideas
  • DLS.2.2: Explores, selects and sequences movement to express feelings and ideas

Resources

  • Recording equipment (iPad, phone, camera)

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review the previous activity and the dance moves. Remind students of some of the moves that they had created.
  2. One by one, have students put on one of their pairs of shoes and film them doing their dance move to the song (at least half of the song for each pair of shoes so that you have room to edit).
  3. Have students put on their second pair of shoes and repeat the process. Whilst waiting, students can be practising their moves. If you have a second adult or competent student, record on two different devices at the same time to speed the process up.
  4. Have students choose their favourite pair of shoes and put them on. Play the song one more time and allow students time to freely dance to the music.

Reflection

After the activity, edit segments of the videos together to form one video clip the length of the song (or class-appropriate length), incorporating all ‘pairs of shoes’. If you are not able to do this yourself, seek a colleague’s assistance or talk to a VET class about doing this for you.

Activity 7 – Don’t dull my shine

Learning intention

Students will be able to discuss and answer questions about the importance of youth voice in schools and communities.

Success criteria

Students are able to verbalise or answer questions on worksheet.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-1A: Listens and responds in familiar contexts
  • ENLS-4A: Views and responds to a range of visual texts, media and multimedia
  • ENLS-7A: Uses strategies to obtain meaning from and interpret a range of texts
  • ENLS-13C: Engages critically with texts using personal experiences
  • ENLS-15D: Responds to and composes texts that explore personal, social and world issues
  • GELS-6: Investigates differences in human wellbeing

Resources

Approximate time

90 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Remind the students that the song that they danced to in the last activity was called Footloose, from a movie of the same name. Explain that they are going to be looking at some scenes from that movie in the next few activities.
  2. Play the start of the movie, until the end of the diner scene, when the reverend turns the music off.
  3. Discuss with the students: What is happening in this town? Who is in control here? What do the students in the movie do when the music is stopped?
  4. Hand out Attachment 7.1. Work through the sheet with the students, answering the first two questions.
  5. Stop and discuss question 3. Have the students ever felt like they didn’t have a say (at home, at school, in their community)? Answer the question on the sheet with the students.
  6. Stop and discuss question 4. Why is it important? How does it relate to the earlier definitions of difference, diversity and community? Answer the question as a class and model the written response.
  7. Stop and discuss question 5. Where can students turn if they feel that their voice isn’t being heard? Perhaps have a guest speaker come to talk to the class about this point. (SRC, principal, counsellor, youth council member, mayor?)

Reflection

Ask what the students think will happen next in the movie. Will they get to dance again? You could provide visuals of students dancing and not dancing to prompt.

Activity 8 – That’s unfair!

Learning intention

Students will learn appropriate ways to voice their disapproval with people in authority.

Success criteria

Students role-play appropriate behaviours and language.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-3A: Selects and uses language to communicate according to purpose, audience and context
  • ENLS-4A: Views and responds to a range of visual texts, media and multimedia
  • ENLS-13C: Engages critically with texts using personal experiences
  • ENLS-15D: Responds to and composes texts that explore personal, social and world issues
  • ENLS-17E: Uses individual and collaborative skills in the learning process
  • DRLS.1.1: A student explores characters, roles, situations and actions through drama activities
  • DRLS.1.3: A student participates in drama experiences in which role-taking is used to enhance their understanding of ideas and feelings
  • PDLS-4: Uses appropriate strategies and behaviours to establish and maintain respectful relationships with others
  • PDLS-10: Develops skills for effective self-management
  • PDLS-11: Uses appropriate interpersonal skills to engage respectfully with others in a variety of contexts

Resources

  • A copy of the movie – Footloose (1984 version)

Approximate time

80 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review the previous activity. What was happening in that town? Show images from the last activity and show visuals of emotions, if necessary, to show how the students felt about it.
  2. Watch the next section of the movie. Stop after Ren gets pulled over by the police for playing music in the car. Discuss what is happening.
  3. Focus on the fact that playing music and dancing is actually illegal in this town. Discuss rules that are followed at school. Talk about what you need to do if you think a rule or law is unfair. Do you still have to follow it? What can you do about it? Review what was talked about at the end of the last activity.
  4. Choose a class rule that the majority of students feel is unfair or they would like to change. Discuss as a class who you would go to, to talk to about that rule. Discuss whether you still have to follow the rule, even if you disagree with it.
  5. Through role-play, explore appropriate ways to talk to adults who are responsible for enforcing this rule.

Reflection

Discuss as a class to consolidate who they could talk to if they think something is unfair.

Activity 9 – I’m so angry!

Learning intention

Students are able to identify things that make them angry and ways to appropriately express anger. Students are able to express different emotions using dance movements.

Success criteria

Effectively representing emotions using dance. Ideas about how to effectively express anger.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-8A: Writes short texts for everyday purposes
  • ENLS-13C: Engages critically with texts using personal experiences
  • ENLS-15D: Responds to and composes texts that explore personal, social and world issues
  • DLS.1.2: Uses dance technique to communicate
  • DLS.1.3: Demonstrates an awareness of safe dance practices
  • DLS.2.1: Explores the elements of dance to create movement and communicate ideas
  • DLS.2.2: Explores, selects and sequences movement to express feelings and ideas
  • DLS.5.1: Engages in dance activities
  • PDLS-10: Develops skills for effective self-management
  • PDLS-11: Uses appropriate interpersonal skills to engage respectfully with others in a variety of contexts

Resources

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review the previous activity. What were some of those rules or laws that make the students angry? What was the law that was making Ren angry? Show visuals from previous activities.
  2. What else makes you angry? Hand out Attachment 9.1 and have students write down all the things that make them angry. Discuss how your body feels when you are angry. What does your face usually look like? Use emotion visuals to assist students.
  3. Discuss the ways to deal with anger in different places (in the classroom, in the playground, out in public, at home). What are some appropriate ways to express anger?
  4. Show the Footloose – Dancing warehouse scene, which shows how Ren deals with his anger.
  5. Discuss: What did he do? What sort of moves did he use to show anger?
  6. Have students come up with some dance moves of their own that show anger (sharp movements, quick). Before starting, discuss ways to ensure that everybody is safe in the dance space. Establish some rules about safe dance space. Make connections with class rules.
  7. Have students come up with some dance moves that reflect sadness and happiness as well.
  8. Discuss the differences in the dance moves. Is dance an effective way to communicate your feelings?

Reflection

Show the Footloose – Final dance scene from the movie. Talk about what sort of emotions the students are showing (use emotion visuals to assist).

Activity 10 – Where’s the beat?

Learning intention

Students learn how to clap, stomp and dance to a beat. They learn about basic time signatures.

Success criteria

Students can imitate body percussion using beats. Students can move in time to a beat.

Syllabus outcomes

  • DLS.1.1: Demonstrates a range of movement skills
  • DLS.5.1: Engages in dance activities
  • MLS.1: A student uses movement, vocalisation or instruments to respond to a range of music

Resources

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Reflect on the dancing scenes that the class has seen from Footloose so far. Ren can obviously dance. Is dancing easy for everyone? Discuss. What about people who find it hard to dance? Often, it is because they can’t ‘feel the beat’. Explain that in the movie, Ren’s mate can’t feel the beat and says that he can’t dance. Show the video again of the students’ feet dancing in Activity 6.
  2. Explain what ‘beat’ is (the basic unit of time or pulse of a song). Demonstrate how to keep the beat by tapping a simple beat on your leg.
  3. Have the students sit in a circle. Start by tapping a simple beat on one part of your body. The students copy that beat. Choose a student to do a beat on a different part of their body (not a rhythm, a basic beat, modelling tapping knees, for example). Other students copy. Rotate this role around the room.
  4. Discuss that most songs use a simple 4/4 beat pattern.
  5. Using a simple 4/4 pattern, demonstrate how to put the emphasis on the first beat.  Have students stomp one foot on the ground in time with your beat. Start to stomp harder on the first beat of every 4. Have students copy this beat pattern.
  6. Use your hands on your knees to demonstrate how to emphasise other parts of the beat (for example hitting harder on 1 and 3 or on 2 and 4).
  7. Standing up, have students try some simple dance moves (for example, moving left leg out on every first and third beat). Concentrate on moving on the correct beats.
  8. Show Let’s Hear It for the Boy by Deniece Williams [Footloose, 1984]. This is where Ren teaches his friend how to dance.
  9. Discuss how he used the beat to teach him how to dance.

Reflection

Play that clip again, and ask students to copy the dance moves or create their own dance moves to the song.

Activity 11 – Now listen here …

Learning intention

Students will respect each other’s ideas and brainstorm as a class.  Students will write a persuasive text, as a class, about an issue that they care about. They will identify features of a persuasive text.

Success criteria

A persuasive text written by the class.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-2A: Communicates for a variety of purposes, audience and contexts
  • ENLS-3A: Selects and uses language to communicate according to purpose, audience and context
  • ENLS-4A: Views and responds to a range of visual texts, media and multimedia
  • ENLS-11B: Composes, publishes and presents texts appropriate to purpose and audience in a range of contexts
  • ENLS-15D: Responds to and composes texts that explore personal, social and world issues
  • ENLS-17E: Uses individual and collaborative skills in the learning process

Resources

Approximate time

120 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Reflect on some of the issues that students had previously raised as unfair in the class, school or community. Explain that they are going to choose one and that they are going to try to make a request to change something about it. This is a teacher-led discussion. Lay down some ground rules for choosing the issue. For example: listen to each other, respect other’s ideas, choose things that they could have some success with changing.
  2. Brainstorm some ideas as a class. Choose one issue to address.
  3. Think about some sensible, actionable steps that they could suggest to be put in place.
  4. Discuss ways that they could present their idea (letters to the editor, emails, presentations or speeches at meetings).
  5. Watch the Footloose – Defending dancing scene, when Ren argues for a dance at the town meeting.
  6. Discuss what he did. Did it work? Who agreed with him? Who didn’t? What did he include (respectful language, dressed appropriately, passion)?
  7. Have the class write a letter, an email or prepare a presentation to ask for the changes that they are suggesting for their issue.

Reflection

Discuss why it is important to plan for things like this, rather than just whinging about changes that you want to see. 

Activity 12 – Letting loose

Learning intention

Students will be able to discuss their learning and attitudes about the final product.

Success criteria

A discussion where all class members participate and are respectful of each other.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-1A: Listens and responds in familiar contexts
  • ENLS-2A: Communicates for a variety of purposes, audience and contexts
  • ENLS-3A: Selects and uses language to communicate according to purpose, audience and context
  • ENLS-5A: Recognises and uses visual texts, media and multimedia for a variety of purposes, audiences and contexts
  • ENLS-11B: Composes, publishes and presents texts appropriate to purpose and audience in a range of contexts
  • ENLS-17E: Uses individual and collaborative skills in the learning process
  • TELS-1DP: Communicates ideas and solutions to authentic problems or opportunities
  • DLS.3.2: Responds to the elements of dance in performance
  • PDLS-4: Uses appropriate strategies and behaviours to establish and maintain respectful relationships with others
  • PDLS-11: Uses appropriate interpersonal skills to engage respectfully with others in a variety of contexts

Resources

  • The final cut of the student music video with shoes from Activity 6
  • Funky shoes from Activity 5

Approximate time

30 - 60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. You will have had the videos from Activity 6 spliced together into a music video clip. As the students walk in, have the same pair of funky shoes on your desk as before at the start of Activity 5.
  2. Let the students speculate about why the shoes are back.
  3. Show the video of their dance moves/feet.
  4. Let the students ask questions or comment about the video. Lead the discussion. Remind them about providing constructive feedback and respecting different opinions and ideas. Discuss what they think they did well, what they enjoyed, what they would do differently if they got to do it again.
  5. Have the students form small groups and work with them to prepare a small speech about their answers to the discussion above (one sentence each). This will form part of the presentation activity at the conclusion of the unit in Activity 21. Note that you may move Activity 21 to follow this activity or leave it as a conclusion to/celebration of the unit of work.

Reflection

Give the students a copy of their music video on DVD or thumb drive to take home and show.

Activity 13 – Vivaldi who?

Learning intention

Students will be able to identify some key features of classical music and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Students will be able to identify different genres of music. Students will be able to recognise similarities between modern music and classical music.

Success criteria

Students can name at least three genres of music. Students will be able to identify examples of repetition in music.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-1A: Listens and responds in familiar contexts
  • ENLS-8A: Writes short texts for everyday purposes
  • MLS.7: A student experiences music from a variety of social, cultural and historical contexts
  • MLS.8: A student communicates responses to a variety of music

Resources

Approximate time

70 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Remind students of some of the songs that they have looked at throughout the unit so far (from Footloose and Mean Girls). You may like to play the clips again. Discuss what sort of music they have all been (Pop/musicals).
  2. Brainstorm other types of music (genres) that students know about (country, rap, classical, and so on). Introduce the term ‘genre’ and what it means.
  3. Explain that in the next few activities, students are going to be listening to some songs that are considered classical. What do they know about classical music? What sort of instruments are usually heard in classical music? You will need to lead this discussion and provide examples for the class.
  4. Introduce the piece that they are going to listen to – The Four Seasons by Vivaldi. Watch Why should you listen to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons?
  5. Discuss the key points from the video.
  6. During the video they talked about Vivaldi repeating different rhythm patterns in the song, so that we remember where we have been. Do modern songs do this as well? Is there any repetition in modern songs? Choose a song, or let students choose a song to listen to as a class and find examples of repetition in it.
  7. Hand out Attachment 13.1 – Technology and music. Read and work through as a class.
  8. Discuss the final question. Would Vivaldi like composing music today? Also, discuss whether a modern singer or musician would like to have been writing and performing back in Vivaldi’s time.

Reflection

Ask students to name at least two different genres of music as they leave the room.

Activity 14 – The orchestra

Learning intention

Students will identify the different families in the orchestra and the instruments that make up those families.

Success criteria

Students are able to list the instruments in the orchestra families and express a preference for one instrument.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-5A: Recognises and uses visual texts, media and multimedia for a variety of purposes, audiences and contexts
  • MLS.7: A student experiences music from a variety of social, cultural and historical contexts
  • MLS.8: A student communicates responses to a variety of music

Resources

Approximate time

40 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Reflect on the previous activity and what sort of instruments the students heard in classical music. Ask if they have ever seen an orchestra perform. What does it look like?
  2. Hand out Attachment 14.1. Have a look at the image at the top and discuss what students see.
  3. Direct students to SFS Kids – Fun with music which they are going to navigate to answer the rest of the questions. On the website, they can find out about all of the different instruments in the orchestra and what they sound like.
  4. If you have access to musical instruments, spend some time looking at them, playing them and classifying them into their orchestral families.
  5. Once students have filled in the worksheet, discuss their answers, particularly to the last question. Which instrument did they like the most and why?

Reflection

Ask students what the orchestra would sound like without one of those families? Would it make a big difference to the sound? Reflect on Vivaldi’s piece. (Listen to an excerpt again). Which family did he use the most (strings)? Explain that in the next activity, the students are going to focus solely on the string family.

Activity 15 – The string family

Learning intention

Students will understand how the string instruments make sound and will be able to discuss their personal response to classical music.

Success criteria

Students ask appropriate questions of visiting guests and discuss the video about the string family.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-1A: Listens and responds in familiar contexts
  • ENLS-2A: Communicates for a variety of purposes, audience and contexts
  • ENLS-4A: Views and responds to a range of visual texts, media and multimedia
  • ENLS-11B: Composes, publishes and presents texts appropriate to purpose and audience in a range of contexts
  • MLS.7: A student experiences music from a variety of social, cultural and historical contexts
  • MLS.8: A student communicates responses to a variety of music

Resources

Approximate time

40-120 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Ideally, this activity would be delivered in the music room of a high school or at a local conservatorium. Alternatively, you could invite a musician, music teacher or senior music student to come to the classroom to support this activity. Optional activities are included that rely on this visitor.
  2. Show the students a completed copy of Attachment 14.1. Depending on student level, ask students to name the four families /one family in the orchestra and one instrument from each family, as applicable. Ask students which orchestra family Vivaldi focused on (strings).
  3. Show students the video about the string family How do string instruments make a sound. Discuss the instruments that the students liked the sound of the most.
  4. Optional: If you have a musician or teacher there, ask them to show the students a range of string instruments (violin, viola, cello, and so on). They could show the students how they are played and perhaps even let the students have a turn at playing. If you are in a music room or conservatorium, the students could be allowed to look inside the piano to see how the sound is made when the keys are pressed and the strings are hit.
  5. Optional: Students ask the teacher/special guest questions about the instruments.
  6. Play the piece from Vivaldi again and discuss why he used a lot of strings (answer – the instruments were becoming more robust and able to produce more complicated sounds). Ask the students whether they think the violin is always played quietly or gently. Why do they think so?
  7. Play Justine Zhang – Schools Spectacular 2018. This is a video of 11-year-old student Justine Zhang playing at Schools Spectacular. Pay attention to how ‘hard’ she plays her violin (around the 4-minute mark).
  8. Let students discuss the performance. Was it what they expected?
  9. Optional: If you have had a visiting guest, as a class, write a thank you letter or email for their time and expertise.

Reflection

Ask students whether they would ever consider playing a string instrument. If so, which would it be? 

Activity 16 – The four seasons

Learning intention

Students will be able to name the seasons, the months in them, the days in each month and significant dates in those months. Students will be able to use appropriate words to describe each month.

Success criteria

Appropriate words and/or drawings for each season. Students able to name the seasons and the months in them.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-2A: Communicates for a variety of purposes, audience and contexts
  • MALS-1WM: Responds to and uses mathematical language to demonstrate understanding
  • MALS-20MG: Recognises time in familiar contexts
  • MALS-22MG: Reads and interprets time in a variety of situations

Resources

Approximate time

40-60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Play the beginning of The Four Seasons by Vivaldi and ask students if they remember what the piece was called (The Four Seasons). Ask which season this part of the piece represents (Spring). What are the four seasons?
  2. On four large pieces of paper, write the names of each of the four seasons at the top. Ask students to help you put them in order and stick them up on the board.
  3. With students, and possibly using a calendar, decide which months of the year are in each season. Depending on the level of your class, spend some time singing rhymes that teach them the months of the year in order. Write these on the paper under the name of the season.
  4. Find images from the internet or from magazines that represent each of the seasons.
  5. Spend some time teaching students the rhyme which says how many days are in each month (depending on the level of your students). Write the number of days next to the months on the paper.
  6. Look at the calendar and determine if there are any ‘special days’ during those months, for example, Christmas, Anzac Day. Write those on the paper as well.
  7. Hand out Attachment 16.1. Have students add the ‘special days’ to each box. There may be some special events during those months that are specific to your local area.
  8. Ask students to think about all of the things and feelings that we associate with each month, for example, winter – cold, fires, snow; summer – the beach, hot, bushfires. Ask them to write or draw things associated with those months in the boxes.

Reflection

Ask students to discuss their favourite season and why it is so. Quiz students on the months in each season.

Activity 17 – Flip the world

Learning intention

Students will learn about some basic features of Earth and about the way that its orbit creates seasons around the world.

Success criteria

Students can identify the southern and northern hemispheres and the equator. Students can name the opposite season.

Syllabus outcomes

  • MALS-1WM: Responds to and uses mathematical language demonstrate understanding
  • MALS-20MG: Recognises time in familiar contexts
  • MALS-22MG: Reads and interprets time in a variety of situations
  • MALS-32MG: Responds to and uses the language of position in everyday contexts
  • SCLS-13ES: Identifies features of the Earth
  • SCLS-14ES: Explores features of the solar system, including the Earth’s position and movement

Resources

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review what the four seasons are and the order that they come in. You may like to refer to the worksheet from the previous activity.
  2. Ask the question: Do you think that it is winter at the same time all around the world? Why or why not? Explain that in this activity, this is what the students will be investigating. Hand out Attachment 17.1.
  3. Show the students the globe. Ask them what shape it is (sphere). What do you call half of a sphere (hemisphere)? Show how the Earth is divided into the southern and northern hemispheres. Have students label these on their worksheets.
  4. Show the students the line that runs around the middle of Earth. Ask if anybody knows what it is called. Share that it is called the equator. Have students label it on their worksheets.
  5. Ask students to look at the globe and work out whether Australia is in the southern hemisphere or the northern hemisphere. Have them draw a small Australia on their worksheets and label it. Model this for students if necessary.
  6. Using a basketball and tennis ball, demonstrate how Earth orbits the Sun. Explain to students that it takes 365 days for Earth to travel around the Sun. Discuss the fact that this is a whole year. You could also mention leap years.
  7. Ask the students what ‘opposite’ means. Talk about some opposites (hot/cold, old/young, and so on). Explain that the seasons are opposite, depending on which hemisphere you live in. When it is winter in Australia, it is summer in England.

Reflection

Do a quick quiz: When it is winter in the southern hemisphere, it is _______ in the northern hemisphere. Include countries in the quiz.

Activity 18 – Summer

Learning intention

Students will enhance their vocabulary about summer. Students will move in time with a piece of music and analyse features of the music.

Success criteria

Students participate in the dance activity. Students contribute to the word wall activity.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-3A: Selects and uses language to communicate according to purpose, audience and context
  • DLS.1.1: Demonstrates a range of movement skills
  • DLS.1.2: Uses dance technique to communicate
  • DLS.2.2: Explores, selects and sequences movement to express feelings and ideas
  • DLS.5.1: Engages in dance activities
  • MLS.1: A student uses movement, vocalisation or instruments to respond to a range of music
  • MLS.7: A student experiences music from a variety of social, cultural and historical contexts
  • MLS.8: A student communicates responses to a variety of music

Resources

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Remind students of the Vivaldi piece called The Four Seasons from earlier in the unit. Perhaps play The Four Seasons by Vivaldi as the students enter the room. Explain that in this activity, they are going to look closely at one part of it – summer.
  2. Look back at the large sheet of paper from Activity 16 about summer. What sort of things do students do in summer? What kind of clothing/uniform would they wear in summer? Find online images that reflect summer activities if necessary.
  3. As a class, create a 5 senses word wall in reference to summer. What colours do they see, what do they smell, what do they eat, how do they feel? You may use emotion visuals to direct students.
  4. Explain that you are going to play the piece of music by Vivaldi called Summer from The Four Seasons. You want the students to move while the song is playing, expressing the movements that they hear. Do they need to move quickly, sharply, slowly? Do they feel that they need to jump up and down? Perhaps give them some scarves or ribbon to use as well.
  5. Play Summer (3rd Movement) from The Four Seasons by Vivaldi and move with the students.
  6. Discuss the sort of movements that the students used. Why did they use those?  How did the music make them feel?

Reflection

Ask students if their thoughts about classical music have changed at all during this unit.

Activity 19 – Saved by music

Learning intention

Students learn about how filmmakers create interesting characters with different characteristics.

Success criteria

Students are able to add at least 3 things that distinguish each of the main classmates.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-4A: Views and responds to a range of visual texts, media and multimedia
  • ENLS-7A: Uses strategies to obtain meaning from and interpret a range of texts
  • DRLS.3.2: A student identifies and responds to the elements of drama or theatre in performances

Resources

Approximate time

180 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review the previous songs that the students have listened to in the unit. Which ones have been the students’ favourites? What genre have they been from? What sort of music do young people often like to listen to?
  2. Explain that in the next series of activities, the students will be watching and working on a unit of work about a movie called Sister Act 2, where the students use the power of music to improve their lives.
  3. Hand out Attachment 19.1. Explain that during the movie, the students are going to be adding details about the members of the class. The filmmakers have used lots of ways to make each member of the class unique. They might have a different kind of voice, way of walking or sitting, facial expression, way of dressing, that makes them stand out.
  4. Watch the movie as a class. As the movie goes along, stop at appropriate scenes to add details about the characters to the students’ worksheets. Model the answers for the students. This will take a series of lessons.

Reflection

When the film is finished, talk about how music helped to save these students and set them on the right path. Did everybody get a chance to shine in the film or was it all about just one star?

Activity 20 – Joyful costuming

Learning intention

Students understand the importance of costuming in performances and express a preference for costumes.

Success criteria

Students answer the questions on the worksheet with assistance.

Syllabus outcomes

  • DTLS-1: Identifies that a process is used to develop design solutions
  • DRLS.3.2: A student identifies and responds to the elements of drama or theatre in performances
  • VALS.3: Explores the function of a variety of artists and audiences

Resources

Approximate time

40 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Reflect on the film ‘Sister Act 2’. Discuss what sort of costumes were used in the film. Explain why they would have been chosen.
  2. Hand out Attachment 20.1. Watch Joyful, Joyful by Lauryn Hill [Sister Act 2] and answer the first three questions together as a class. Students can write yes/no responses and teacher may model more detailed responses.
  3. Explain that all movies, music videos, theatre productions and concerts use costuming to help tell the story. Watch Schools Spectacular Greatest Moments 2018 and work/model with the students answers to the last questions. You might need to pause or watch it a couple of times.

Reflection

Discuss answers to the final question and have a class vote on the most popular one.

Activity 21 – Check out our ideas!

Learning intention

Students will deliver their presentations and answer questions about the process.

Success criteria

Students take part in a group presentation and answer questions.  Students ask appropriate questions of other groups and demonstrate appropriate audience behaviours.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-1A: Listens and responds in familiar contexts
  • ENLS-2A: Communicates for a variety of purposes, audience and contexts
  • ENLS-3A: Selects and uses language to communicate according to purpose, audience and context
  • ENLS-5A: Recognises and uses visual texts, media and multimedia for a variety of purposes, audiences and contexts
  • ENLS-11B: Composes, publishes and presents texts appropriate to purpose and audience in a range of contexts
  • ENLS-17E: Uses individual and collaborative skills in the learning process
  • PDLS-4: Uses appropriate strategies and behaviours to establish and maintain respectful relationships with others
  • PDLS-11: Uses appropriate interpersonal skills to engage respectfully with others in a variety of contexts
  • TELS-1DP: Communicates ideas and solutions to authentic problems or opportunities

Resources

  • Performance video from Activity 6 (and follow-up in Activity 12)
  • Some morning or afternoon tea

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Prepare students about having visitors in the class and allow them time to rehearse their presentations.
  2. Invite some special guests (parents/carers, other teachers, the principal) to come and watch the presentations. Review with students the appropriate way to behave at a performance or presentation (clapping at the end of a presentation, positive feedback, listening to each other).
  3. Each group takes their turn to deliver their presentation, explaining the process that they went through. Other students and guests can ask questions of the presenters.
  4. Have a viewing of the class performance.
  5. After the presentation, have a morning/afternoon tea with the visitors, so that they can talk informally with the students about what they have been working on.

Reflection

Students might wish to wear their shoes and have a dance/disco with the visitors to the different songs that were covered in the unit.

Activity 22 – Schools Spectacular – Here we come!

Learning intention

Students will understand what Schools Spectacular is and know what to watch for in the I see stars segment. Students will also understand the audience behaviour required at the show.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-1A: Listens and responds in familiar contexts
  • MLS.7: A student experiences music from a variety of social, cultural and historical contexts
  • DLS.3.1: Experiences a variety of dance performances
  • DRLS.3.1: A student experiences a variety of drama or theatre performances
  • PDLS-10: Develops skills for effective self-management
  • PDLS-11: Uses appropriate interpersonal skills to engage respectfully with others in a variety of contexts

Resources

The televised edition of the Schools Spectacular performance if unable to attend in person.

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Watch the Schools Spectacular 2019 promo video and discuss with students what they think.
  2. Talk about other concerts or performances that students have attended in the past. Discuss the expectations of the audience (sit quietly, no eating during the show, applauding at the right times). When would it be appropriate to talk? When could they sing along?
  3. Role-play what it is like as an audience member, when somebody talks during a show that you are watching. Put a popular music video on that the students might want to watch. Interrupt, walking around the room, talking loudly, clapping at the wrong time. Talk about how it made them feel.
  4. Explain that there will be a segment in the show that reflects all that they have been learning about in this unit. They will hear some of the music that they have listened to during these activities, and they are going to see all 5,000 stars of the show at different times.
  5. Explain that you want them to pay particular attention to the way that everybody is included and allowed to shine. You also want them to pay attention to the costuming and how it helps with the overall presentation of the show.
  6. Watch the school’s matinee performance or dress rehearsal of the show, or the broadcast, when it is aired on Channel 7.

Reflection

Students tell a partner what they are most looking forward to seeing at Schools Spectacular.

Activity 23 – Schools Spectacular – STARS!

Learning intention

Students will respond to what they saw at Schools Spectacular and how people helped each other out.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ENLS-1A: Listens and responds in familiar contexts
  • MLS.8: A student communicates responses to a variety of music
  • DLS.3.2: Responds to the elements of dance in performance
  • DRLS.3.2: A student identifies and responds to the elements of drama or theatre in performances

Approximate time

15 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Discuss as a class, their favourite things about Schools Spectacular 2019. Would they watch it again? Would they try out to be a part of the show in 2020? How could they be involved?
  2. Focus on the I see stars segment. Discuss what happened during this part of the show. Did the students recognise any of the songs from their unit of work? Did they notice any string instruments playing during the session?
  3. Discuss the times that they saw lots of different groups highlighted (signing choir, circus, solo artists, orchestra, choir) and whether they liked seeing so many children performing at the same time.

Reflection

Ask students what their favourite part of this unit has been.

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