Developing units of work: Water study


Image by Laszlo Ilyes

The development of our first unit of work integrating dance practices has begun!

In our first unit of work specifically developed for the Australian Arts curriculum, we will use a thematic idea to effectively integrate dance practices. This is one of many approaches to programming that you can take, and we will look at other approaches as we develop more dance activities.

Go to Dancing Capital where you will find the developing unit of work. So far we have done a curriculum mapping of content that will be addressed for Years 5/6, Years 7/8 and Years 9/10; and have developed the first dance activity on the theme of ‘water’.


Is it OK to teach and learn in one dance practice sometimes?

balancing act

Photo by by NazarethCollege

Of course it is!

We would all go nuts if every time we prepared a lesson we had to wrangle with finding connections to other dance practice content.

It’s even OK to focus content for a whole series of lessons on one dance practice*, such as performing. The practice of performing, for example, requires extended periods of time where students are building physical, technical and expressive skills. If students are immersed in this work, they are likely to be more focused and develop deep knowledge, skills and understandings.

But it is a balancing act. And you need to make decisions about ‘integration’ based on your students and their needs. What skills and knowledge do your students already possess? Are there gaps in their content knowledge? What are their interests? What do they need to learn to progress in relation to curriculum content descriptions and elaborations?

So, that was an easy answer! Next: Can different teacher and learner approaches exist? In other words, how many different ways are there to integrate dance practices effectively?

*It’s never OK to just focus on ‘theoretical’ work without including ‘practical’ work.