I came across a really interesting series of posts on the blog of a woman who is a resident artist at a school for refugee children in Australia. She working on a music project there, trying to help improve the children’s literacy through musicality and dance.

Together with the children, she has come up with a “musical alphabet,” with a movement that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet. In this way, by spelling out words and sentences to music, they are creating a dance and also hopefully making connections to their reading and language skills. This is an innovative approach to combining dance and literacy instruction, and I think that for children of limited English proficiency, the use of movement may provide an additional pathway to the brain for learning. It’s unknown if there are any specific literacy outcomes from this work, but I think that the more you can have an integrated curriculum, the more chances you have to reinforce concepts. Another issue she’s looking at is how to most effectively collaborate with the literacy teachers to weave her work and their work together.

The posts are fairly long, but if you are interested in this topic, they’re worth a read. I know I’ll be following along to see how the project goes.

1st post: Musical Alphabets

2nd post: Language school compositions: progress report

3rd post: Collaborative relationships