Integrated Arts Unit Overview and Sample Lesson

“The Peasant Prince” Unit Overview

Week + LessonCreative Arts Strand FocusLesson Content

Week One- 31/3/09 Exploring Emotion

Drama- Storytelling

· Brief get to know you game

· Exploring the key images in the text (reading up to page where Li Cunxin leaves his family)

· Brief drama exploration of emotions in images through small group construction of frozen images.

Week Two-0 7/4/09 Lost in the City

Drama- Improvisation and Mime

Music- Student Compositions


·   Students reflect on and explore an experience where they have been separated from someone in a crowded place.

·   Experience is represented in a dramatic improvisation

·   Small group brainstorm leading into whole class composition of soundscape to reflect the busyness of a city train station

Week Three- 28/4/09 Art Exploration of Freedom symbolised by Robin Red Breast

Visual Arts – Drawing using pencil and oil pastels

·   Read second half of text to provide background information necessary to explore the symbolism of the robin.

·   Compare illustration on front and back cover of book. What is the symbolism of the bird?

·   What is the Robin doing at the beginning and at the end of the text?

Week Four- 5/5/09 Change and Growth

Dance- Dynamics

Music- Listening

·   Exploring the changes that occur in the main character between the beginning and the end of the text

·   Representing Li Cunxin at the beginning and the end of the  story using group ‘shapes’

·   Moving with different dynamic qualities

·   Identifying changes in music and improvising silent movements to reflect each section of music.

Week Five- 12/5/09 Heritage Kites

Visual Arts- Objects and Colour

·   Why is Li Cunxin’s kite red?

·   What colours would represent you in your kite?

·   What symbols could be drawn on your kite to represent you and your family.

Week Six- 19/5/09 Student Reflection and Sharing

All Creative Arts Strands

·   Students select one of the activities conducted over the five weeks and reflect on why they enjoyed the activity and present to the class what they created.

Lesson Two

Key Learning Area/s: Drama, Music              Class: Year 2TW             Date: 7 April 2009

Lesson Outcomes and Indicators

Syllabus outcomes – Creative Arts
Drama: Stage: 1 Making
DRAS1.1 Takes on roles in drama to explore familiar and imagined situations
·         Explores the emotions involved in being lost in a crowd and/or an unfamiliar place
DRAS1.2 Conveys story, depicts events and expresses feelings by using the elements of drama and the expressive skills of movement and voice
·         Walks in-role, improvising dialogue to explain a problem and ask for help

Music: Stage 1: Organising Sound
MUS1.2 Explores, creates, selects and organises sound in simple structures
·         Suggests sounds which can be used to represent an aspect of a scene
·         Works in a group to organise sounds to achieve emotive affects
MUS1.3 Uses symbol systems to represent sounds.
·         Suggests appropriate symbols to represent a sound, including suggested colour
·         Uses symbols, and suggested format,  to represent group composition

·   Using improvisation to reflect on and explore a familiar experience
·   Linking a familiar experience with the experience of the character in the text.
·   Using sounds to represent an imagined scene

·   Using colour and symbols to represent sound effects

Links with previous learning
In the previous lesson, the students were introduced to the story of ‘The Peasant Prince’. In this lesson, students continue their exploration of the emotions in the text through drama and music.
Assessment strategies

·         Observation of students engagement with role walks and music compositions

·         Photos of students expressions throughout role walk

·         Recording on group performance

·         Small group composition work samples

SEQUENCE OF TEACHING / LEARNINGTimeResources/ organisation
Exploring the Stimulus Image
Explain that Miss McNamara will be looking for students who are working well in each activity.
As a class, revise what aspects of the story were covered in the previous lesson.
Show the students the stimulus double page.

Ask the students to suggest how Li Cunxin would feel.

Ask students to reflect on a time when they have experienced feelings of being confused, lost and scared, for example when they have been separated from their parents in a shopping centre, or their first day of school. If students cannot recall a situation where this has happened, they should imagine what it would be like if they were in one of the situations suggested by others.

The teacher should share an anecdote from a time that they have experienced such emotions.
10 minsWhole Class 
Copy of ‘The Peasant Prince’  
Improvisation- Walking in Role
The teacher should guide the class through a role walk. Explanation of refocusing signals should occur prior to students engaging in task, e.g. two claps signals the need to stop talking and return to silent movement.
During this role walk the students should improvise facial expressions and body language of someone who is feeling alone, confused and scared.
Students should be guided to approach others in ‘the crowd’ and:
- explain their problem, for example ‘I can’t find my mum’ or ‘I don’t know where the classroom is’.
- ask for help
The class should once again reflect upon how they think Li Cunxin would feel.
10 mins Individuals  working as a whole class
Copy of ‘The Peasant Prince’
Developing Soundscape Ideas

Explain to the students that, as a class, they are going to use sounds to represent the scene depicted on the double page.


The class should reflect upon the types of changes that occur to your body when you are feeling fear, anxiety etc, and how these can be represented using sounds. For example, a thudding heart beat can be shown by beating rhythmically on a drum. Another sound effect that can be used is heavy breathing. These should be modelled by the teacher and practiced by the class.


Students should be shown the double page again and asked to speculate on other sounds that Li Cunxin may hear in Beijing Station. Students should be asked to volunteer how they could represent these sounds using simple percussive instruments available.

Some suggestions include:

-          the sweeping of the broom
-          clickety-clack of train tracks
-          bicycle bells

These suggestions should be recorded on a piece of butchers paper (the sound effect and the instrument).


Divide the class up so that small groups are formed around each sound effect. Ask each group to devise a symbol to represent their sound effect. Record this symbol next to each sound effect on the butcher’s paper. Symbols should be different colours and simple in design. The class should also discuss appropriate volume, for example, students beating on a drum need to do so softly whilst students inhaling and exhaling need to do so loudly.


The teacher should model the process of conducting the class to create a soundscape. Key signals include:

-          pointing to the sound effect which you would like to start
-          pointing to the same sound effect again to make it stop
A student volunteer should then be called upon to practice the roll of conductor.
15 mins   Whole Class 
Simple Percussion Instruments
Butcher’s Paper
Coloured Pencils       
Using Symbolic Notation to Represent Compositions

The teacher should explain that the class are going to break into small groups to make a composition. The teacher should model the composition format techniques:

-          putting a bar line between each time period
-          drawing symbols on top of each other to show they are playing at the same time

The class should be broken into small groups (groups of 4 are ideal). Within these groups, students work collaboratively to compose their soundscapes.

10 minsSmall Groups
Butcher’s Paper for each Group
Coloured pencils for each group.


Groups reform as a class. Students return to their sound effects groups.
The teacher should select a student from each composition group to conduct the class in performing their composition.
The class should reflect about what they liked/thought needed improving about each composition. For example, students could comment on whether or not each sound effect was heard clearly at some point, and whether or not the composition reflected the emotion of the scene well. 
Miss McNamara should distribute awards for students who have engaged well with different activities.
10minsWhole Class

How did students respond and participate during whole class and small group activities?  

Were the instructions clear and easy to understand?  

Was the timing of the lesson right?  

Were students engaged throughout the lesson? 


NSW Department of Education and Training. (1996) K-6 Creative Arts Syllabus. Sydney: Author.