Our Lessons

Our programme of lessons takes place once a week for 30 minutes at each of our schools. Each lesson is based around a central theme, such as emotions, numbers and colours.

For a better idea of our lesson structure, below is an itemised description of our introductory lesson.

Introduction Lesson

Duration: 30 minutes

Age group: Three to six years

Equipment Needed

  • Four brightly coloured ribbons
  • Soothing classical music (preferably Baroque)
  • CD player
  • Prestik

Direct Aims

  • Enjoyment
  • Extends Vocabulary
  • Allows children to explore socially acceptable reactions
  • Allows children to explore their individual reactions
  • Promotes the use of imagination
  • Refines balance and rhythm

Introduction

Do not introduce yourself. Start by singing “Everybody do this”. This will get all of the children’s focus and attention. Continue with this exercise until every child has joined in.
Once all the children are focused, get them to be seated.

Introduce yourself using your first name.

Explain the essence of drama. Drama is pretending and playing games in which things are made up (abstract thought). A suggestion is to ask, “who of you likes to play pretend games?” and “what kind of things do you like to pretend to be?” It is the exploration of the self through imagination.

Exercise 1 – Whole Body Listening

Explain to the class that listening is not just an exercise employed by the ears but rather the whole body. Demonstrate how listening is accomplished with each part of the body, E.g. “When we listen, our eyes should look at the person we are listening to. That is how our eyes listen.” Each time allow the children to make their own conclusion about the importance of each body part before demonstrating to them.

Show the children through your movements that when concentrating your body is still. Your hands don’t wave about or fiddle with nearby objects; you don’t squirm in your seat and shuffle your feet.

Allow the children to identify which part of the body is not listening, let them define how moving that way could be a distraction and hinder their listening. Let the children move freely, exploring the act of not listening with each part of the body.

End the exercise with each child seated and practicing “Whole Body Listening”.

Exercise 2 – Silly chairs/ seats (Dramatic Improvisation)

In this exercise, the children are asked to define socially acceptable reactions to circumstances, and through exploration of the environment, children determine their own individual reactions.

The teacher begins by saying that there is something wrong with where she is sitting. The children need to try and identify what could be wrong.

The teacher pretends that where she is sitting is hot, screaming and yelping as she tries to sit down. Once each child has shared their input, they are informed of the true characteristic of where she is sitting. They are then invited to explore various characteristics

Some examples are:

  • Hot
  • Cold
  • Wet
  • Slippery
  • Sticky
  • Stinky
  • Sharp (painful)
  • Bouncy
  • Soft and comfortable

It is often effective to have the music for Exercise 3 playing softly in the background. As the children tend to get very excited with this exercise, classical music can assist in maintaining some calm.

Exercise 3 – Walking on the line (Movement)

This last exercise is to help relax the child, refine their movement, define laterality, and promote auditory acuity. Many elements from Exercise 1 are promoted and assimilated in the exercise “Walking on the line”.

The coloured lengths of ribbon are placed on the floor (the prestik may be used here if surfaces seem slippery). They may either be placed parallel to one another or possibly placed length to length to form a square, or even a triangle.

Explain to the children that they need to listen to the music carefully, with their whole body. As it is classical, they should move slowly to the music. Ask the children to start by gently moving around the room. They should then proceed to walk on the ribbons, balancing as they go. If possible, feed the children gradually onto the ribbons to maintain even spacing and avoid bumping into one another. If they are struggling to balance, explain that they should put their arms straight out to the side as this can make it easier. They should also keep a slow tempo to avoid walking into each other and to balance better.

Variations:
Walking on tippy toes
Walking heel to toe forwards
Walking backwards
Walking heel to toe backwards

Conclusion

Let the children help pack the equipment away. Thank all the children for their input and participation. Ask children to form one long line (‘a train’) and proceed to give each child a stamp.

A fun suggestion: if the stamp is a character stamp, ask them to do something relating to the stamp before they receive it E.g. If the stamp is of a lion, ask the children to roar like a lion before they can receive their stamp.

Note: If there are some children who do not wish to participate but would rather watch until they feel more confident, they should be entitled to do so. No child should be forced to contribute, but rather gently encouraged until they feel more secure about their environment.

+ Equipment

Equipment Needed

  • Four brightly coloured ribbons
  • Soothing classical music (preferably Baroque)
  • CD player
  • Prestik
+ Direct Aims

Direct Aims

  • Enjoyment
  • Extends Vocabulary
  • Allows children to explore socially acceptable reactions
  • Allows children to explore their individual reactions
  • Promotes the use of imagination
  • Refines balance and rhythm
+ Introduction

Introduction

Do not introduce yourself. Start by singing “Everybody do this”. This will get all of the children’s focus and attention. Continue with this exercise until every child has joined in.
Once all the children are focused, get them to be seated.

Introduce yourself using your first name.

Explain the essence of drama. Drama is pretending and playing games in which things are made up (abstract thought). A suggestion is to ask, “who of you likes to play pretend games?” and “what kind of things do you like to pretend to be?” It is the exploration of the self through imagination.

+ Exercise 1

Exercise 1 – Whole Body Listening

Explain to the class that listening is not just an exercise employed by the ears but rather the whole body. Demonstrate how listening is accomplished with each part of the body, E.g. “When we listen, our eyes should look at the person we are listening to. That is how our eyes listen.” Each time allow the children to make their own conclusion about the importance of each body part before demonstrating to them.

Show the children through your movements that when concentrating your body is still. Your hands don’t wave about or fiddle with nearby objects; you don’t squirm in your seat and shuffle your feet.

Allow the children to identify which part of the body is not listening, let them define how moving that way could be a distraction and hinder their listening. Let the children move freely, exploring the act of not listening with each part of the body.

End the exercise with each child seated and practicing “Whole Body Listening”.

+ Exercise 2

Exercise 2 – Silly chairs/ seats (Dramatic Improvisation)

In this exercise, the children are asked to define socially acceptable reactions to circumstances, and through exploration of the environment, children determine their own individual reactions.

The teacher begins by saying that there is something wrong with where she is sitting. The children need to try and identify what could be wrong.

The teacher pretends that where she is sitting is hot, screaming and yelping as she tries to sit down. Once each child has shared their input, they are informed of the true characteristic of where she is sitting. They are then invited to explore various characteristics

Some examples are:

  • Hot
  • Cold
  • Wet
  • Slippery
  • Sticky
  • Stinky
  • Sharp (painful)
  • Bouncy
  • Soft and comfortable

It is often effective to have the music for Exercise 3 playing softly in the background. As the children tend to get very excited with this exercise, classical music can assist in maintaining some calm.

+ Exercise 3

Exercise 3 – Walking on the line (Movement)

This last exercise is to help relax the child, refine their movement, define laterality, and promote auditory acuity. Many elements from Exercise 1 are promoted and assimilated in the exercise “Walking on the line”.

The coloured lengths of ribbon are placed on the floor (the prestik may be used here if surfaces seem slippery). They may either be placed parallel to one another or possibly placed length to length to form a square, or even a triangle.

Explain to the children that they need to listen to the music carefully, with their whole body. As it is classical, they should move slowly to the music. Ask the children to start by gently moving around the room. They should then proceed to walk on the ribbons, balancing as they go. If possible, feed the children gradually onto the ribbons to maintain even spacing and avoid bumping into one another. If they are struggling to balance, explain that they should put their arms straight out to the side as this can make it easier. They should also keep a slow tempo to avoid walking into each other and to balance better.

Variations:
Walking on tippy toes
Walking heel to toe forwards
Walking backwards
Walking heel to toe backwards

+ Conclusion

Conclusion

Let the children help pack the equipment away. Thank all the children for their input and participation. Ask children to form one long line (‘a train’) and proceed to give each child a stamp.

A fun suggestion: if the stamp is a character stamp, ask them to do something relating to the stamp before they receive it E.g. If the stamp is of a lion, ask the children to roar like a lion before they can receive their stamp.

Note: If there are some children who do not wish to participate but would rather watch until they feel more confident, they should be entitled to do so. No child should be forced to contribute, but rather gently encouraged until they feel more secure about their environment.