Dance in SchoolsEducating DanceSchoolsGuy Fawkes at Greenvale

December 19, 2022by R.Ashton

Written by TRS Teacher, Jenny

This term at Greenvale Primary School, I have been working with year 1 on our Guy Fawkes topic for their Educating Dance lessons. I have loved working with Owl class and have been so impressed with their ideas and enthusiasm.

We started off exploring the preparations and events of the Gun powder plot. We looked at Guy Fawkes’ outfit and what he was wearing and had with him whilst preparing for the gun powder plot. The children got stuck in straight away using their own imaginations and ideas to create a movement for his hat, bag, lantern and cape. We then used a series of pictures to show the events of the Gunpowder plot and the children learnt their first dance sequence.

Then it was then their turn to work in groups. First I showed them a picture of the Houses of Parliament. They had to recreate the shapes on the building as a team – each person was a different part of the building, we had big windows and Big Ben shapes, and on different levels too. They then had to create their own ideas for each stage of the plot. Each group created some really interesting ideas and worked really well together. They particularly enjoyed creating movement for plotting using whispering and close group movement and hiding the gun power.

We then played a game using dance spots on the floor where we had to travel in lots of different ways whilst showing different emotions. This helped the children to explore how Guy Fawkes may have been feeling whilst he was planning and carrying out the plot. Each group then had  to pick 5 key words of how Guy Fawkes may have moved and how he was feeling as he snuck down into the cellars. Some of the words included tip toe, creep, under, shuffle, scared, nervous. The children explored lots of different movements using different levels within their groups.

The next section explored how the king found out and how Guy Fawkes was stopped in his tracks. We used feathers to represent the quill pen to write a letter to the king to warn him. This was one of my favourite sections as it allowed the children to use expression, work with a prop whilst mark making and merging dance with literacy. We started off by learning a short sequence where I taught the children some movements using the feathers. We pretended to dip our feathers into ink to write a letter to the king. We talked about what words might have been included to inform him. We wrote a D on the floor with our feathers for ‘DANGER’ and then wrote a W in the air whilst jumping for ‘WARNING’. The children then created their own movement in their groups with the feathers. There were some fantastic movements with mark making on the floor, in the air and also mirroring with their partners.

We then put all the sections together to give our performance and perform in front of each other. The children worked hard to develop their performance skills and did a great job at giving each other feedback too.

To finish off in our last lesson, the children used some rhythmic ribbons and ribbon rings to do a group circle task where we explored fireworks. This was a great task to get them to explore space and shape in their bodies and expression. They used some fantastic movements using their whole bodies and it was a lovely way to finish our dance.

I have really enjoyed seeing the children develop over the last term and look forward to seeing some of them again at dance club next term.

‘Thank you so much, the children have got a lot our of the classes’ – Year 1 teacher

‘I really enjoyed using the feathers’ – Participant

‘I liked making the boom jump with my legs for the gun powder’ – Participant