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Signal It

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Writer: Julie Cadzow  Years 6-8 Level 4 Duration - 8 lessons Dancing the Semaphore System! Students will learn about the history of the Semaphore System, explore different ways to communicate messages and will use selected signals to compose a Distress Call dance. (This unit could be part of an integrated study of Communication).

Key Competency

Using Language, Symbols and Texts Students will explore the signals of the Semaphore System using restricted and full body movements and will combine and use the symbols to communicate and interpret information to and from others through Dance.

Related Learning Areas Activities could include:

  • Social Sciences:
    • Comparisons between modern and historical communication methods
    • Historical studies of The French Revolution and other wars where the Semaphore method was used
    • Maritime signalling systems
  • Mathematics:
    • Timelines from the first forms of communication to the present day,
    • Angles in a circle - 45o, 90o, 135o, 180o, 225o, 270o, 315o, 360o
    • Bearings
  • Technology:
    • Studies of modern forms of communication, such as Skype, MSN, email, text messaging etc
    • Communicating in various ways with schools in another part of New Zealand, or in other countries
  • English:
    • Writing 'messages in bottles' to send to others in the class
    • Composing Semaphore messages
    • Sentence structure - the use of nouns, adjectives, verbs etc
    • Editing techniques
  • Visual Arts: Making Semaphore flags, designing new signalling flags
Achievement Objectives Level 4
  • Practical Knowledge (PK): Level 4 Students will apply the dance elements to extend movement skills and vocabularies and to explore the vocabularies of others
  • Developing Ideas (DI): Level 5 Manipulate the elements and explore the use of choreographic devices and structures to organise dance movement
  • Communicating Ideas (CI): Level 4 Prepare and present dance with an awareness of the performance context. Describe and record how the purpose of selected dances expressed through the movement
Specific Learning Outcomes
  • LO1 Students can use different body parts to form selected Semaphore letters (PK)
  • LO2 Students can compose a sequence using the initials of their names and the Semaphore code. (DI)
  • LO3 Students can work cooperatively with others to compose a dance based on the idea of a distress call. (DI)
  • LO4 Students can comment on their own and other's dance (CI)
Suggested Learning Sequence
Assessing the Learning
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