Facemasks and hand sanitizer? Check. Toilet paper supplies? Check. Online-learning planning complete or you’ve already had weeks of execution? Check. Boredom, anxiety or frustration? Check.
Now all that seems left is to find a way to lift our mood and ease our stress. The faculty at UNIS Hanoi made a ‘crazy hair’ dance to add a little fun to their students’ online learning days. It put a smile on my face and inspired me to create some word inquiry around the base <dance>.
Dancing, like other physical activity, releases endorphins (also called happy hormones), which serve to reduce stress and cause our bodies to feel calm, happy and optimistic. And goodness knows as coronavirus spreads throughout the world we need a bit of calmness, happiness and optimism.
So play the music, let’s dance!
This gorgeous image, “Twelve twigs” (2012), created by the talented Chris Kenny, is a wonderful provocation to project to start a discussion about the meaning of the word <dance>.
It might inspire an art project using natural or found objects to express movement or emotion. It might also inspire a bit of dancing - put on your students’ favourite tunes and get them moving!
Find words in the family
Present your students with some words that are somehow linked to <dance>. Sort to find words related through both meaning and structure.
What’s that <e> doing there anyway?
Show your students the video below for a demonstration of how to analyze the word <dance>. Think about the meaning and structure before deciding which letters are graphemes and whether there are any marker letters. Linking the graphemes to the phonemes in <dance> is bound to lead to the discovery of the non-syllabic <e> and a discussion about what it is marking. If you’re not sure then download the Teacher Resource. Watch to the end to see that even though the focus is on analyzing this free base, it's always important to find related words.
Your students will probably also recognise that this same non-syllabic <e> is replaced when suffixes such as <-ing> are added. That might be the beginning of another investigation. Students can notice and name this convention prior to understanding the conditions by which the <e> will be replaced.
Teacher Resource and Student Sheets
Thanks, in particular, to Angela Brienza from UNIS for the video content.