Here Be Dragons!

January 11, 2022
By
Sara Nguyen
Miles Openshaw

Here Be Dragons!

Creative practitioner: Miles Openshaw

Creative practice: Theatre and storytelling

Camboon Primary School

Teacher: Sara Nguyen

Year group: 2

Main Curriculum Focus

English - Understand that different types of texts have identifiable text structures and language features that help the text serve its purpose (ACELA1463)

Create short imaginative, informative and persuasive texts using growing knowledge of text structures and language features for familiar and some less familiar audiences, selecting print and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose (ACELY1671)

Construct texts featuring print, visual and audio elements using software, including word processing programs (ACELY1674)

Use interaction skills including initiating topics, making positive statements, and voicing disagreement in an appropriate manner, speaking clearly and varying tone, volume and pace appropriately (ACELY1789)

Cross-curricular Links

Digital Technologies - Data can have patterns and can be represented and used to make simple conclusions (ACTDIK002)

Present data using a variety of digital tools (ACTDIP003)

Use data to solve similar tasks/problems (ACTDIP003)

Explore design to meet needs or opportunities (WATPPS11)

Develop, communicate, and discuss design ideas through describing, drawing, modelling and/or a sequence of steps (WATPPS12)

Visual Arts - Experimentation with, and use of materials, media and/or technologies when creating artwork (ACAVAM107)

Experimentation with techniques and art processes such as painting, printmaking and mixed media (ACAVAM107)

Use of visual art elements and techniques, to create 2D and 3D artwork, to communicate ideas and messages to an audience (ACAVAM108)

Presentation and display of original artwork (ACAVAM108)

CONTEXT

Camboon Primary School is an independent public school located in the suburb of Noranda, northeast of Perth’s CBD. Opened in 1971 Camboon Primary School celebrates 50 years this year. The school has an intake from Kindergarten to Year 6 with a student population of 380. The school prides itself on its diversity with learners from 36 different language backgrounds on its roll. The school is friendly and welcoming and provides a nurturing and positive environment for both students and staff. The school's values are courage, perseverance, and respect.  

WHAT WE DID

"We are learning about a rainbow dragon, and we are trying to discover many things about him. We are making different stuff about the rainbow dragon." - Student

After introducing the Rainbow Dragon Model text through a hook where one of the Education Assistant walked in covered in glitter claiming to have seen a Rainbow looking creature in the school, the class went crazy with excitement, and this was the moment we knew that this would become the ‘Interest’ for this project.

Using the information from the model text, we created a map to trap the Rainbow Dragon, leaving clues and drawing directions for it to follow. Students used iPads to take photos of checkpoints, and this was then collated to create their map.

We challenged students to find a way to tell the rest of the school community about this Rainbow Dragon. Students used the model text as their source of information and they included different parts such as physical features, living environment, eating habits and amazing facts.  

Divided into teams each with a part of the Information Report, students created designs, mood boards and prototypes before making 3D representations for each section. Students worked in different environments including the classroom, Room 13 and the Art Room.

The Rainbow Dragon Information Report was displayed to the rest of the school community during the last week of term.

How did we make the curriculum come alive?

This term students were given the freedom to explore ways in which they wanted to represent information; working collaboratively to design and create models using a wide variety of materials.

How did we make the Creative Habits of Learning come alive?

We used our warm-up activities to remind and reflect on our Creative Habits of Learning each session; playing traditional playground games or representing these ‘superpowers’ through body shapes or sounds.

The Information Report task actively engaged students' ability to collaborate, be persistent and disciplined and use their imaginations to the fullest to create impressive models.

How did we activate student voice and learner agency?

This term we have given this group of student’s choices; choice in how they approach their task, choice in their roles within the group and choice in design, implementation, and presentation.

WHAT WAS THE IMPACT?

Student

The students were really engaged with the activities this term. They enjoyed the freedom of planning their work and stretching their imaginations to find new and inspiring ways to present work. Some of the tasks this term has been quite complex (making maps to trap our Rainbow Dragon proved a real challenge for most of the groups) but the students have risen to those challenges and found ways of discussing, negotiating, and making decisions to move forward.

Teacher

The students have really loved working on this project as most felt like that “they weren't doing any learning” By allowing students to work in collaborative groups and making student agency as the focus, I was able to step back and support them when needed, which was a strange feeling. As the term progressed it was wonderful to see students take charge of their learning and become engaged in this project. I can’t wait to plan more projects like this in the future.

Creative Practitioner

I have had a fabulous time working with this group of students. It has been wonderful to see them embrace the activities we have set them with such enthusiasm, curiosity, and diligence. It has given me insight into facilitating sessions with younger groups of students and finding ways of engaging those with learning needs in open learning activities.

What have you noticed while you are doing Creative Schools?

“I’m noticing we are doing different things. We do the 5 Habits of learning. We have more help in Creative Schools. We are doing lots of art that’s different to what we do in art class. In our art class we do one bit at a time. In Creative Schools we do lots of things all together and get it done quickly.” - Student

Have you noticed a change in any of the kids in your class?

“They’ve got more better at learning. They are learning about the 5 Habits of Learning. It’s new stuff that they haven’t learned before.” - Student

What are you learning? What skills are you learning?

“All the 5 Habits of Learning / collaborative, inquisitive… and what they mean. It’s been hard but we keep practising. It will help having the badge that we will get today. That will help us remember them all.” - Student