In March 2022, Georgie, Rachel, Jenny and I headed out for an extremely exciting Book Week… our first since before covid.
Armed with our Educating Dance plans that we’d passionately planned both together and separately, we visited four schools and taught hundreds of pupils. They were inspired by the dance lessons as we brought the books to life through dance.
This blog post is about the lessons Rachel and I taught. There are two other posts about Georgie and Jenny’s Book Week experiences. I hope you enjoy them.
Kingswood Primary School
I was lucky enough to visit my daughter’s school for Book Week. They chose Aliens Love Underpants for their book. All the children were dressed up and their costumes were fantastic. I had some surprises ready for them when they arrived; a washing line of underpants and some giant pants on the floor! We decorated pants, used pingy pants elastic to stretch and played with stretchy lycra too. Although only in Year R and year 1, the dancers created their own aliens in small groups. They were very imaginative and had all sorts of features such as tentacles, one or many eyes, antennae and more.
Thanks for having me Kingswood
Halling Primary School – Spiderwick with Year 6
Year 6 thoroughly enjoyed learning about Spiderwick through dance. A highlight was using tights to create a spiderweb which then transported them into the Spiderwick universe. Children had to weave through the webs and come up with their own mystical creatures. They enjoyed the challenge of not getting poisoned by avoiding touching the web! They explored levels, balances and moving their bodies in very unusual ways!
“Can we stay in the Spiderwick universe forever!?”
“The webs we created were so cool and tricky to move through”
“I enjoyed creating my own creature and working as a group. Ours was the scariest!”
Halling Primary School – Paddinton with Year 3
Year 3 loved exploring Paddington through dance. They embarked on a journey to London just as Paddington did. They used their bodies to create a long train and each child enjoyed leading the train and thinking of creative ways to move. A highlight was creating London landmark dances to represent places that Paddington went, as well as making marmalade sandwiches using bodies!
“Making marmalade sandwiches was the best! It made me hungry” (Children used their bodies in creative ways to make marmalade sandwiches as part of their warm up)
“This has been the best adventure around London”
“It’s so cool how our bodies really do look like the places around London”
“I loved our landmark dances”
Halling Primary School – Mary Poppins with Year 4
Year 4 went on a wonderful, magical adventure with Mary Poppins! A highlight was learning specific Mary Poppins dances such as ‘Step in time’ and ‘Jolly Holiday’. They loved exploring what was in Mary Poppins bag and using those items as a stimulus for movements… that was quite entertaining!
Children then had a wonderful finish, using ribbons as kites for ‘Let’s go fly a kite’
“My favourite part was the mystery Mary Poppins bag and flying kites. I had so much fun!”
“Can we carry on doing this all day!?”
“This has been so much fun, I’ve really enjoyed dancing thank you so much” (From a boy who was a little sceptical at first)
Higham Primary School – Treasure Island with KS2
Treasure Island theme at Higham was fantastic! All classes thoroughly enjoyed going on a treasure hunt and having to do certain challenges using their bodies to gain treasure. A highlight was creating their own dances, thinking about sea creatures that they may come across on their deserted island. Children also enjoyed using treasure island props as a stimulus for movement. They loved sharing their dances with each other and having other groups guess which sea creatures they were.
“This photo sums up my Book Week… so much joy!” Rachel, TRS Teacher
“Children thoroughly enjoyed the session, thank you.” (Teacher)
“Those children who struggle to take part in creative activities joined in throughout the whole session. It was wonderful to see them engage.” (Teacher)
“I’ve loved doing treasure island dances today”
“Moving around the ship and coming up with our own dances was so fun”
“Dancing under the sea with tropical fish was cool” (children used ribbons as tropical fish and danced to ‘under the sea – Little Mermaid’ as a cool down)
Balfour Infants School – Handa’s Surprise with Year R
Handa’s Surprise with Reception children at Balfour was so much fun! They were fascinated by the African culture and loved looking at African props. They enjoyed the challenge of balancing fruit on their heads whilst moving their bodies as animals. A highlight was learning African dance moves and creating a group dance.
“The children loved looking at your Africa props, thank you for bringing those in!”
“I love dancing in Africa”
“Moving like animals is the best”
“This balancing is tricky.. Handa is clever!”
Balfour Infants School – Room on The Broom with Year 2
Year 2 enjoyed their surprise book ‘Room on the Broom’. A highlight was using ribbons to create spells and exploring different ways of dancing with ribbons. Children also enjoyed flying using their magic brooms and working in groups to create their own mud monsters using their bodies as different parts of the monster.
“I enjoyed casting spells with our ribbons”
“Being a kind witch was fun”
“Flying around was my favourite”