We began our fist class at Southwark this week. Our theme for this semester is music and meditation, as well as combining this with teaching literacy and unity. Music is an amazing way to lead students into the habit of recognizing patterns, following a director, and learning how to work together.
We started out this class by having each student write one word they wanted to describe their year of 2020. After this, we had them draw a pattern around the word at least 20 times. This allowed them to be repetitive and begin an association of the pattern with the word they wrote. Students wrote that they wanted an “amazing” year, a “peaceful” year. “Adventurous, tranquil, active, happy, and exciting” are just some more examples of the many that were written down.
Our goal was that if the students had a pattern associated with that word, every time they saw the pattern or shape they would recall their word for the year. This can serve as an encouraging and motivating reminder throughout the year, and hopefully teach them a method to studying/ learning for the future.
Our classes are full of multi-ethnic students from all over the world. We always want to be able to celebrate this and create a sense of community between the students. For our next project we had each student illustrate something that was all about them. It could’ve been from their cultural background, family, or favorite memory. Using these pictures, we plan to attach them to a colored piece of paper for a background and then, using yarn, connect each piece together to make an unique paper quilt. By doing this, we hope that the final piece will show the connections we can draw from each individual student, even though they’re all so different.
Finally, we brought in a large paper illustrating a music sheet, but instead of notes, we used colorful shapes.We assigned a color and shape to each group of students. The goal for this activity was to practice unison and harmony. Whatever shape we pointed to, we asked that the group that was assigned to it would call out the shape all together. We practiced this a few times, moving down the sheet of music. This is a perfect way to introduce reading music and have the students pay close attention to each note. We hope to be able to continue using this method in the next couple weeks, each time adding more details and difficulty, and music.
Both our classes had a really fun time with these three activities introducing music. We are super excited to be able to continue this theme of music, literacy, and harmony, while combining it with art.