Collaboration is an important skill for students to practise. Children do require some guidance when learning how to work with others though, which is why finding fun ways to get students engaged in group activities is a useful strategy to encourage collaboration skills.
The activity featured in this blog post allows students to work as a group to create their own song, dance or rap. You can use this activity simply as a fun time-filler or to test the students’ musical knowledge, dance technique or ability to work as a team. This activity is ideal for working on collaboration with students as it is highly engaging, easy for all students to participate in – no matter where they sit academically – and it allows you to incorporate the arts into the classroom. The amount of experience that your students have with collaboration will help you to determine how much assistance and support they need with this group activity.
There’s a little bit of background behind how this activity came about. Once, during my early teaching days, I was thrown into doing a day of relief teaching for a music teacher. Having been given very little guidance, I came up with this activity as a back-up lesson, and the results were fantastic!
To begin the activity, you will need to divide your students into groups of about 3-4. Next, give each group a prompt card that features a character and a setting. This helps give the students some guidance and a starting point for their creations. If you’re after some ready-made prompt cards for this activity, you can find my mini-bundle of prompt cards for this task here.
Once they have their prompts, encourage students to do some planning. The set of prompt cards mentioned above also includes the following planning pages:
The first decision the group will need to make is whether they will create a song, a dance or a rap. They will then need to decide which musical elements or dance features to include. If you’ve been working on particular musical or dance elements with your students, you can indicate what you would specifically like them to include. Otherwise, you may just need to give them some examples to get them started.
Once they’ve completed their plans, they can have fun putting their musical and dance-based creations together! Monitor the students as they spend time creating and rehearsing, giving feedback as they go. Then, enjoy spending some time sharing all of the routines that the different groups created with a class concert!
This activity can also be used for assessment purposes. When assessing, I usually grade students on teamwork, synchronisation, creativity and overall effort. Of course, if you’ve been focusing on the musical and dance elements you can assess those components as well.
There you have it. Super simple, highly engaging and fantastic for getting kids working collaboratively.
I hope that you’re inspired to try this activity with your students. Don’t forget that you can find pre-made prompt cards and planning pages for this task in my store.
Do you want some ideas for helping students with their learning reflections while you’re here? Then have a read through my post on How To Help Students Reflect on Their Learning.
Have a question or a request? You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. I love to hear how my tips and resources are helping you in your teaching, so leave a comment to let me know!