3rd June 2011 at 01:00



Graphic scoring, stave notation and patterns

This is a collection of activities and lesson plans for pupils' musical composition, as well as graphic scoring and stave notation lessons.

TESiboard resources include an activity for early years and key stage 1 that asks pupils to explore patterns and beats and create a sequence of animal sounds to make a tune.

Blagmusic has uploaded a simple virtual keyboard that can be used to explain chord theory, or used for performance, while resources from NGfL Cymru include an activity where pupils choose instruments to represent different movements for a dragon, before ordering them into a sequence. There is also a series of flash animations to take children through counting and clapping beats to the introduction of musical notation.

BenSandbrook has uploaded SoundJunction free online composing tools alongside videos of instruments from around the world and recordings of about 300 pieces of music.

BrummieResearcher has contributed an introduction to ostinati, or repeated motifs. Pupils are asked to compose a six-layer piece using the names of characters from the Harry Potter books. Another activity sees children read about Ronnie the raindrop and compose music to go with his life story.

In an activity uploaded by marlin that is inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, pupils can work in pairs to invent their own sweet and compose music that describes the sounds of its manufacture.


Introducing drama

Reference, theory and warm-up methods

This collection features resources for drama reference and theory, as well as activities to introduce drama through warm-up activities.

Resources include a booklet on teaching drama, recognising good drama and structuring lessons, uploaded by TES web staff.

A guide to improving behaviour through drama includes practical tips and exercises on how to use drama to help children become more aware of themselves and other people (ruthwinter).

A glossary for play scripts can be displayed on the wall or turned into cards for pupils to use in a vocabulary game (iffatsardharwalla).

An activity uploaded by Hamilton Trust asks pupils to look at a variety of scripts and broadcasts on radio and television, before creating a short audio broadcast from their own work.

Resources on Shakespeare include an education pack looking at Shakespeare for all ages (TESEnglish), a PowerPoint to introduce the Globe Theatre (bubblepink 123) and a scheme of work on Macbeth (jazzster).

Ideas for warm-ups and activities include a variety of drama games covering themes such as miming and improvisation (travel n teach).


Position, direction and movement

Cross-curricular activities for key stage 1 numeracy

This collection can be used as part of the shape and space area of the key stage 1 numeracy curriculum. Many of the resources have scope for cross-curricular links, particularly with geography, ICT and literacy.

Among the TESiboard interactive activities is a series suitable for reception children that focuses on relative position, encouraging pupils to understand and practise using positional language. One activity asks pupils to watch a bear's holiday videos and then choose words and images to describe the bear's position in the scenes, while a treasure hunt asks pupils to follow instructions to find the treasure.

Early movement activities that ignore the concept of taking turns include one where children have to move a dancing bear, an interactive drawing tool, and a cheese-sniffer game, where children work in pairs or groups to work out the route to the nearest cheese.

A boat activity provides an opportunity to introduce simple grid references, as children use compass points and directional arrows to move a boat around a grid.

Control activities involving more precise, programmed instructions separate the control panel from the object, forcing pupils to consider orientation as left and right are reversed. There is also a game in which pupils input instructions to help a chameleon catch flies and games to guide a mole through a maze or a spider to the flies caught in its web.


Phonics app

Mr Thorne Does Phonics, the popular primary school reading resource, is now available as an iPad or iPhone app. The app is a series of webcam videos teaching letters and sounds of the alphabet. Visit for more details.

Primary magazine

Classical languages charity the Iris Project has published the second edition of its magazine aimed at primary children. Iota aims to support key stage 2 material on ancient Greeks and Romans, as well as providing an introduction to Latin. Visit http:irismagazine.orgiota.html

Software adds up

Learning Clip has launched an interactive software package to support primary maths teaching. Learner Clip Plus gives pupils the chance to answer questions at the same time and provides instant feedback to the teacher. Visit

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