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We visit Greenvale Primary School each year to deliver a range of dance activities. Every child in the school gets to have a go and we have a wonderful time.┬áThis term Jenny has been working with reception class and their topic is traditional tales, hence the blog title… Story Time with Year R.

Jenny has written a social media post about the sessions every week and has also written a little blog post here.

Enjoy reading!

To read the weekly social posts see our Facebook and Instagram feeds.

To find out more about Educating Dance for schools in Kent, click here.

This term at Greenvale Primary I have been working with Reception class and their topic has been storytelling. I was asked if I could use a different traditional story each week and explore the story through dance. I loved this idea and couldn’t wait to get started.

Each week my aim was to try and explore and retell the story whilst developing the children’s use of actions and movements in their body and exploring size and shape.

Being Educating dance we used lots of cross-curricular elements including numeracy, literacy and I have really enjoyed linking elements of the EYFS framework into the lessons.

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Each week I started the lesson with a different visual element on the floor so that when the children entered the class they came and sat around it which gained their focus and excitement for the lesson. We started by using our imaginations to think of a movement for the different elements that they saw in the middle. The children created some lovely ideas and it was a great way to build confidence.

We started the term with ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. This was a great one to start with as it really sparked the children’s imaginations and allowed them to use improvisation skills. I taught a phrase of movement based on how the beanstalk got there and then in pairs the children created key movements for what Jack saw in the castle. I was really impressed with how the children took on the challenge and it was a great way to begin the term.

The next few weeks we looked at ‘The 3 little Pigs’, ‘Goldilocks and the three bears’ and ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’. Our focus was looking at the idea of contrast in the lesson with size and shape as well as different dynamics and how we are moving. I used a variety of tasks to vary the lessons and also used some props in the lessons.

My favourite parts were playing musical bears, dancing with scarfs to travel through the forest with goldilocks and making different houses using our bodies for each material for the 3 little pigs and having fun pretending to be the wolf blowing the houses down. We also did an egg and spoon race for The tortoise and the hare – learning that slow and steady wins the race.

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My favourite story that we explored was ‘The Gingerbread Man’. The teacher described this lesson as ‘Magical’ and it really was.

We started the lesson using different movements to make the gingerbread man. I then gave them all a gingerbread man template and some coloured pens and they had to decorate their gingerbread man in different ways. I then gave them a ribbon ring and they recreated their drawings on their own bodies to make their gingerbread man come alive. This was a wonderful moment as it got the children moving in lots of ways that they wouldn’t usually use.

I then taught them a little phrase to ‘Run Run as fast as you can, You can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread man’ and finally we explored the river ride that the gingerbread man had at the end. It was a really creative lesson with lots of cross curricular elements.

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For our last lesson of the term, the teacher asked me to finish with a modern day book that fitted into their topic of the Rainforest so I chose ‘Monkey Puzzle’ by Julia Donaldson.

This was a lovely book to finish the term and after each task I gave the children a piece of a puzzle to reveal the ending of the book. We explored the rainforest surroundings and the different animals in the book and as always the children created some excellent ideas.

I had some fantastic feedback at the end from the class teacher and the children and one child said ‘I loved your lessons can we do them all again?’ This was such a lovely comment to hear and summed up what a great term it has been – I wanted to do them all over again too.

‘I loved your lessons can we do them all again?’

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