Expanding our Understanding of Expression

Dear Prep 3.1 parents,

Our LIS community is filled with skillful individuals who are happy to contribute to the learning experiences of our students. This week Ms. Jasmine Obaseki offered our ELC students a session about African Dance. She described how this medium is often used to celebrate occasions such as childbirth and weddings. Given our immediate context, one of the messages Ms. Jasmine transmitted was that there is a great number of Angolan children who do not have access to many of the perks we are fortunate to have in our homes; for example a Television. Ms. Jasmine explained that many Angolan children gather at the end of each day to dance with their friends, as this is a way of keeping entertained (particularly in rural areas) and passing over cultural traditions. All ELC students had the opportunity to learn particular african dance moves during this large group experience, and there was a particular emphasis on how african dance often involves the collaboration and participation of other individuals.

Throughout the week our learning experiences tended to focus on the kind of materials that can be used to create art. After an eventful past few weeks in which key factual information and the development of generalisations contributed to students enduring understanding of our unit, students confidence was palpable as they shared with great enthusiasm their very own interpretations of what artists do. Read below some of the students comments:

  • “Artists make masks.” (Aydan)
  • “They make baskets.” (Mia)
  • “Paintings.” (Djasmin)
  • “Artist play!” (Bella Lhamo)
  • “Gymnastics.” (Francesco)
  • “My mum makes cakes and I help her. I think she’s an artist…” (João)
  • “They make stuff.” (Molly)

When the students were presented with the question of: “Are you artist?”, they responded in unison – “Yes!”

The rationale for their response lays in their belief that artists make something. Students perspectives are a true reflection of the power their prior knowledge, coupled up with relevant learning encounters, and effective listening from the adults involved, can lead them to their zone of proximal development (what students are able to learn in a socially-constructive environment).

Our week drew to a close with a significant wondering…

Are musicians artists?

Ms. Betsy’s (PYP music teacher) visit certainly steered our learning journey in what seems to be a new direction, as we continue to inquire into different art forms.

From myself and Ms. Joana,

enjoy a fun-loving weekend!

Ms. Jasmine addressing the Prep 3 & 4 students in our Great Room

Creating a circle of ‘trust’ to get us started

Some students opted to dance in pairs as well as independently


I think this is metal! – Isabella

Students scouring through the tuff spot in search for objects made from wood, metal, paper and plastic.

Mia and Francisco inquiring into materials

João and Tomás listening attentively to the melody being played by Ms. Betsy

Isabel and Isabella said that the melody made them feel “funny”.

The children having a go at playing the violin.

Francisco was able to identify the instrument and new it was a violin because “It’s like a small guitar”.

Some of the high-pitched sounds played by Ms. Betsy evoked interesting responses on some of the students

Some students chose to dance to the rhythm of the music whilst others chose to just move their body as they pleased

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