Helping primary school students adjust after lockdown
A package for Foundation to Grade 3 teachers that addresses the impact of Covid-19 on children’s emotions (whilst ticking curriculum codes nationwide.)
Musical Sprouts co-founders have drawn on their expertise in children’s development to create a resource that engages the arts as a communication tool. Sharni and Bridget are qualified across the fields of psychology and creative arts. They are developing a children’s musical funded by VicHealth about emotional literacy. The research conducted over the past year has formed the foundation for this Teacher Resource. To see the state curriculum codes this resource addresses, click here.
VALUED AT $500! Don’t miss this opportunity!
What is it?
The downloadable package contains:
A song and videoclip that explains Coronavirus to children
A series of videos featuring the Musical Sprouts and ‘Corona’ discussing topics like feelings, changing school environments and social distancing
Six activities that explore feelings using different expressive tools like language, visual art, role play and bodies.
A 20 second hand washing song and videoclip – simple, catchy and fun
Sharni Page: BA Psych, Accredited Psychodramatist, Performer
Sharni is a qualified psychotherapist and has travelled between Singapore and Dubai developing wellbeing programs for students and teachers. She recently co-authored a paper for UN SDG4 on Education in the 22nd Century. She works in schools and in private practice with children focusing on themes such as friendship, empathy, resilience, body image, bullying. Her knowledge of how children learn experientially forms the foundation of all Musical Sprouts educational and performance work.
Bridget a’Beckett: B Mus, Composer, Writer, Producer, Performer
Bridget has 20 years experience developing arts projects for communities and schools.
Working closely with mental health practitioners, social workers and teachers, Bridget is expert at building important messaging into fun and engaging creative projects for children.
She’s most proud of her work with bushfire-affected children in communities impacted by the Black Saturday fires, leading the creative collaboration of the song ‘Risen From The Flame’ whose lyrics are stamped on the base of the Strathewen Blacksmiths Tree.
As recipients of funding from VicHealth in 2019, Bridget and Sharni have collaborated with a team of childhood development experts to research emotional literacy in children for their new musical. This research has informed the development of All The Feelings Resource.
What does it do?
Gives teachers a creative tool to open up discussions with students about the feelings they experienced during lockdown and now back at school with the changes to their routine and environment.
What age group?
Foundation to grade 3. The activities’ complexity can be modified to suit the age of the participants.
I’m so busy, I don’t have time.
We know. That’s why we’ve designed this program to require minimal input from the teacher outside of leading a discussion and overseeing the craft activity.
As kids go back to school, we know that the focus of schools will be on health precautions and assessing the level of learning students had whilst at home, bringing them back towards the expected level in the curriculum. Therefore we feel we can alleviate some of the pressure on teachers with already full plates, by taking care of the wellbeing of students as they adjust to the new school requirements and restrictions.
What is the relevance?
The program opens with ‘On An Adventure’, a song and videoclip filmed at the start of lockdown and school closures. It explains Covid-19 in a playful, non-threatening manner showing children what they can do to stop the spread.
The interactive video picks up the story post-lockdown and addresses the following topics:
The feelings children experienced during lockdown
How it feels to be back at school
Changes to their school routine and environment
Encouraging hand washing with a fun 20 second song
What are the activities?
A rhyming guessing game – ‘Guess The Feeling’
Make your own ‘Feeling Puppet’ – children choose a feeling and use craft materials to visually represent it. The Musical Sprouts characters lead them in each ‘making’ stage until it becomes a puppet.
Mirror Me – discovering the clues to feelings as they present in the body and face
*The teachers can then use these feeling puppets in their classrooms as an ongoing teaching tool.
Do you provide the materials for the activity?
Yes. They are downloadable PDFs.
What do we need to provide?
Art and craft materials. It is at the discretion of the teacher what materials the children can use to build their feeling puppet, but the minimum requirement is:
How is it interactive?
The video is broken into 2 – 4 minute segments. The characters talk to each other and the children and invite them to participate in the activity. The teacher is prompted to press pause on the video until the activity is completed.
How long does it take?
The process can be finished in a 75 minute block or delivered in segments over days or weeks.
Why does it work? What are the benefits?
Coronavirus is brought to life as a character using a child actor, to take away the fear and uncertainty around the subject. Students can relate to him without being scared, as he interacts with the Musical Sprout characters in a playful, and imaginative way.
The video addresses the feelings that children may have experienced, and invites them to explore, communicate and listen to the experience of their peers. This encourages empathy and helps children understand that their feelings are valid, normal and important to acknowledge.
By turning their feelings into puppets, the children are encouraged to give their feelings a voice (role play) and practise perspective-taking.
The 20 second handwashing song is built on the Soapy Heroes initiative by the Department of Health. It is easy to remember and can be a helpful tool to keep children at the sink for the required time.
Musical Sprouts have been supported by VicHealth to create a musical for children about emotions and self-regulation. They have spent the past year researching the best ways to support emotional literacy in young children.
The Musical Sprouts co-founders are:
Sharni Page: an artist and psychotherapist with expertise in early childhood development and using role play as a communication tool.
Bridget a’Beckett: a multi-discipinary artist with a passion for using arts to assist families and teachers.
Why did you create this program?
We asked ourselves the same thing in the midst of homeschooling 5 children!
In short, we made the On An Adventure video for families as a way to help them explain to their children what was happening without scaring them. The response was overwhelming so we continued to build on the idea.
We know the need for creative communication tools continues as children go back to a changed school environment with staggered arrival times, new handwashing rules and social distancing measures for the teachers and school community.
What people say
“Musical Sprouts, oh goodie!”Camille, Family and Children’s Services, City of Yarra (upon hearing about the resource)
“A terrific piece of filmmaking” John Marsden
“A brilliant number that will help kids feel less anxious about these worrying times”Kinderling Radio.