Wrapping-up How We Express Ourselves

Over the past 6 weeks year 4 have been inquiring into the transdisciplinary theme of How We Express Ourselves, inquiring into how Music extends our ability to create, reflect and express ourselves.

Some of the learning engagements that have particularly supported our inquiry include;

  • We discussed, ‘What is music?’ and found out that silence could also be music.
  • We read non-fiction texts and viewed video clips of different types of music and instruments being played.
  • We learned about the elements of music through listening to a variety of music pieces, playing sound and response games in groups, learning a song about the Elements of music and creating group compositions using instruments and featuring the elements of music.
  • We viewed presentations and had a guest cellist, Mr Alain and two of our year 4 students share a cello and violin performance with us.
  • We learned about making STOMPS. We teamed up with classes and made stomps using classroom materials. Then, we made our own stomp teams and collaborated to create a stomp piece using our body parts and every day materials.
  • We created compositions using the digital music creator GarageBand.
  • We viewed and listened to ‘Peter and the wolf’ and recounted the story using illustrations and captions.
  • We listened to music and responded to how the music made us feel using patterns, colours and images.
  • We learned different styles of poetry and made connections between describing how music makes us feel and choosing specific words to describe an emotion or create an image.
  • We developed our presentation skills and collaborated to present our learning at the year 4 assembly.

  • Students have been wrapping up their summative assessments this past week.


In Math students developed their understanding of pattern and function and made links to musical beats and rhythms, repetition, order and sequences.

Please discuss this unit with your child and ask them about any action they have taken. Please share and comment below if your child has talked about or done anything differently over the last few weeks as a result of their learning in this unit.


Year 4 Assembly!

Thank you for attending our Year 4 assembly! The students developed many of their approaches to learning, such as, their communication, thinking and social skills. They worked hard and did such a great performance! Below is a slideshow of images taken and some videos of various performances. Enjoy!

If you have trouble viewing these videos, please send a memory stick and we will gladly load the videos for you.



Parents and students LETS DANCE!!!

Year 4 assembly preparations

Year 4 students have been working hard this week preparing an assembly to share their learning from this current unit, How We Express Ourselves. 4.2 and 4.4 have been collaborating on a “Stomp” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YhQwsw03yk inspired composition, using classroom materials to produce music. They thought about the tempo, rhythm and structure of their pieces as well as considering how it would look and sound to the audience. Each group worked on 4 bars of 4 beats using different note lengths to change the rhythms. They have also been practicing their communication skills of presenting, projecting their voices and reading with expression in order to share their poetry. Our students have been perfecting some singing performances from year group singing lessons and have learned a song about the elements of music with their class teachers.

Here are some photos of performers rehearsing:

Please join us from 2:10 on Wednesday 7th December in the cafeteria to share in the creativity of the year 4 students.

Visual Arts: Music and Kandinsky

In visual arts class, year 4 students have started working within the same unit as their homeroom classes with the central idea: music extends our ability to create, reflect and express ourselves. 

Students will be assessed with the visual arts learning outcome responding (phase 3): identify and consider the contexts in which artworks were made

Year 4 students are finding connections between music and visual arts. They are learning about about the artist Wassily Kandinsky and about his importance in the abstract art movement. Kandinsky had a special ability known as synesthesia where he could see sounds and hear colors. Therefore, he listened to classical music and let the sounds inspire his artwork. Below is one of his artworks titled Composition IV, which was painted in 1911.


Students will be listening to classical music clips and creating abstract art by drawing lines, shapes, and designs. They will add colors, using oil pastels, based on the sounds they are hearing. Below are some pictures of students experimenting in their process portfolios by listening to music and drawing what they hear.

A week of patterns and shared expressions.

In Math this week Year 4 students have been exploring patterns and sequences that occur in everyday situations. They explored this by taking pictures of patterns found while walking around the school grounds. In class the students have been working on many different patterns and making predictions of what the tenth pattern could be. Next the students will create their own patterns by formulating a rule for the pattern – shapes, colours, numbers etc. and getting others to solve it.

Here are our mathematicians at work.


Students have been practicing their listening and communication skills as they respond to music through dance, art, and words.  They have been creating music using their body parts, voices and everyday classroom objects like books and pens.

Students were asked to give valuable feedback about the units of inquiry they have investigated so far this year.

Students continue to work on musical pieces on Garage band, developing their understanding of musical elements (timbre, pitch, texture, tempo, duration, structure and dynamics).  They have been practicing the writing process as they plan, draft, revise and edit and publish their poems on the student blog. Please check your child’s latest blog post to see what they have been up to in class.

Poetry is a sense of the beautiful.

As part of our new unit, How We Express Ourselves, year 4 students have been exploring different poetry genres this week. We started the week looking at Kenning poems which have a specific structure to describe a given person, animal or object. We unpicked the features of these poems through looking at examples and highlighting things we noticed. Together we wrote a Kenning poem about year 4. We think it describes us very well!  


We then began working on our own Kennings, which can be found on the 4.4 student blog.

The next genre we explored was an emotion poem, using our imagination and creativity to describe a human emotion through our senses. 

Tuning in to How We Express Ourselves

This week year 4 students began tuning-in to our third unit, How We Express Ourselves. So far, students discussed and recorded their thoughts about What is music, they have responded to teacher questions, been introduced to the elements of music and have formulated their first set of questions to investigate. In music, they have started using Garage-band to explore the elements of music and have been asked to bring in a musical artifact or music piece from their culture to share.


HOW WE EXPRESS OURSELVES – Music extends our ability to create, reflect and express ourselves. –  an inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.

Key concepts: Form (What is it like?), Perspective (What are the different points of view?) and Reflection (How do we know?)

Related concepts: pattern, sound and interpretation

Lines of inquiry:

  • Elements of music (form and pattern)
  • Different methods of creating music (perspective and sound)
  • Responses to music (reflection and interpretation)

The approaches to learning/skills the students will develop during this unit are:

Thinking skills: analysis – taking knowledge or ideas apart and seeing relationships.

Social skills: respecting others.

Communication skills: listening, non-verbal (visual and kinesthetic communication), presenting.

Learner profile attributes:

  • Communicator
  • Open-minded
  • Reflective


  • Creativity
  • Appreciation
  • Tolerance

Transdisciplinary connections:

The Arts – Music strand

We are working collaboratively with Ms Betsy to ensure that the knowledge, skills and understandings gained in music classes will connect with the learning engagements in other curriculum areas within year 4 classes. Some of the learning outcomes included for music are:

  • Students will explore the elements of music through instrumental, vocal and digital means.
  • Students will explore vocal sounds, rhythms, instruments and timbres to communicate their ideas and feelings.
  • Students will collaboratively create a musical sequence using known musical elements.

Our language links will include students reflecting on and communicating their reactions to music using musical vocabulary and expressions; Students listening to, reading and writing poems and rhymes; Students developing their knowledge of word choice and figurative language to communicate ideas, feelings and opinions.

Our mathematics links will focus on Pattern and Function including understanding that patterns can be found in numbers, understand inverse relationships, represent rules for patterns and describe patterns in numbers in a variety of ways.

Information and communication technology (ICT)
Students will understand that ICT will provide students with:

  • Opportunities to create and innovate using digital platforms (Garage-band).
  • Collaborate by actively participating in creating and sharing knowledge.
  • A range of tools to store, organize and present learning.

If you have, or know of anyone who has some expertise connected to our How We Express Ourselves unit, please let us know! We would love to have more guest speakers to share their knowledge, skills, learning and experiences with our students.

We look forward to hearing about the action your children may take as a result of the learning in this unit.