And so it is the start of a new term – I hope you had a great Easter break? I went to the Peak District with my little family and had great fun walking and cycling in the glorious weather we’ve been having!
As St George’s Day is fast approaching (Thursday 23rd April) I thought I’d share a dance idea that links in with St George and the Dragon that boys (and girls) will love! This session is aimed at Key Stage 1 children, but it may work with younger / older children too.
- Fierce facial expressions from the Dragon
- Firey clawing actions from the Dragon
- Strong actions from George
- Brave facial expressions from George
Use the idea of ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ but change it to ‘Dragon Hunt’. What are they going to have to do on their journey to find dragons? Choose actions and activities that are physical to get the children warm. Decide where the dragon is hiding and discover it! Make a note of the journey, as this will be needed in the cool down later.
Discuss the story with the group – what are the key elements of the narrative? On their own, get the children to imagine they are a knight like St George, riding around on his horse. Ask them to move in a ‘knightly’ way – strong, tall and proud – and demonstrating brave faces. Then ask them to move like a dragon, with firey, flickering actions for the flames and clawing movements. Work on fierce, scary faces.
In pairs – one of the children is George, the other the dragon. Ask the children to re-enact the fight scene from the story. However, they are not to use any physical contact – merely aim their swords and fire / claws towards each other and react to their partner’s actions.
Once they have practiced this a few times, get them to select 3-4 fighting actions they liked from their re-enactment. Choose some of the pairs who have strong fighting moves with no contact to demonstrate to the group. Once the children have selected their actions and rehearsed them, they will need to add the ending position on – a still image (like a photograph) depicting George slaying the dragon.
Choose a few pairs at a time to perform their St George and the Dragon dances. Ask them to try to remain in character throughout their dance and remember that they should have no contact with their partner.
Reverse the ‘Going on a Dragon Hunt’ journey from the warm up.
The children love getting into the characters of George and the Dragon and they are great at facial expressions!
- Tribal drumming
- World Percussion
- ‘Montagues and Capulets’ Prokofiev (The Apprentice theme music!)
I hope you enjoy using these ideas – let me know how you and your class get on.
Happy St George’s Day!