Celebrating learning through dance
Children at Goodstart Hendra
have embarked on a journey of the world to discover how different cultures celebrate with dance.
The New Zealand Haka, the Aboriginal Corroboree, the Hawaiian Hula, Irish dancing and French and Italian dancing were all topics of investigation and discussion at the centre in an activity designed to engage the kindergarten children.
The activity was a natural extension of NAIDOC week celebration, where the children were inspired to learn more about Aboriginal dancing with the Corroboree.
Goodstart Hendra kindergarten teacher Jackie Morrissey said she came up with the idea to follow the children’s lead to provide an enriching language and literacy experience.
“It’s a great activity to expose children to a variety of words beyond everyday speech and helps them extend their vocabulary,” Ms Morrissey said.
Evidence shows that improving young children’s vocab is important for later literacy. 
“All of the traditional dances we explored related initially to each child’s background and culture,” she said.
“Children were particularly interested by one of our educator’s Indian background and by looking at all of the dances on Youtube, we extended on learning by looking at where the dances originated and finding their locations on the globe.”
The children also had access to an atlas where they learned about traditional dance the costumes the dancers wear.
Ms Morrissey said the learning experience was a great example of how language and literacy learning occurs all curriculum areas.
“This learning experience enriched communications by promoting discussions among children and educators about what they know and sharing their individual experience.”
The learning activity also aligns with the Education Endowment Foundation’s (EEF) recommendation to prioritise the development of communication and language to support children to prepare for literacy.