Based in San Francisco, is an early childhood education blog by Tiva Lee Samaru. HER posts explore; through videos and other resources - original early childhood education curricula and ideas for enrichment classes, as well as, tips and tricks for classroom management and general childcare.

Carnival parade

Carnival parade

There are so many events during the Carnival season and a lot of them are unique in their own way, but nothing is grander than the parade itself.

Masqueraders wait all year for this experience. The freedom of jumping, clapping, dancing and waving with friends, family, and strangers is second to none. The opportunity to don their beautiful, well designed, brightly colored and magical costumes is one they have waited for since the last Carnival season ended. Mesmerizing the spectators as they pass by, masqueraders put on a show in their own right and in their own way. They parade themselves and their costumes up and down streets through different areas of Trinidad and Tobago. Media captures them in their essence, broadcasting for the world to see. It is a joy of its own kind and rightly so. 

When we think about this, there is no true way we can really bring it to life within the walls of our classrooms, particularly because we don't have much time with our students as our enrichment classes tend to be short. That being said, we definitely wanted to try to embody or capture this idea in some way or the other. 

With this as our last dance video for our Carnival theme, we wanted to focus more on the idea of moving together with others, particularly because that is what a Carnival parade is about. It is a bunch of people, dancing together to the same music and for the same purpose.

Relying on choreographed phrases, this activity is one that is meant to be done as a unit and not as an individual. By that we mean, the entire class doing the same movement at the same time in the same way.

The following activity is a parade styled, across the floor activity. Students will focus on several things at one time. The focus of this activity is to teach students three different phrases, all of which involve clapping. Once they have a grasp of each phrase, they will then partake in a parade while collectively doing the movement alongside their peers. The idea behind it all is to help them understand rhythm and how it works within a choreographed piece and when applied to a group activity. 

How did it go?

It was tricky to teach at first, but what good is a dance class without a challenge. The aspect of the activity our students struggled with the most was the rhythm, especially as a group. They didn't get this activity on the first or second try. It took a lot longer than that because a few of the phrases were complex. Totally understandable as our students are young children and even struggle with normal movement on a daily basis like walking in a straight line or jumping. But, like we said, a challenge is always a good thing. This activity definitely challenged them but at the same time evoked a nice sense of joy. The parade aspect went very well and they definitely got the clapping aspect too. It was just the phrases themselves that took a little time to understand and perfect. 

One suggestion is to take your time with this one. Your students will not get it right away and you may want to spend some time working through it. Maybe break it up and work on the phrases one by one. Slowly combine them then put it to the test as a group activity once you feel like your students are ready. Remember, sometimes it's good to have complex activities as they benefit your students a lot more in the long-term. 

Take a look!

So, if you are looking for a challenging group activity that involves the teaching and learning of simple choreography, then don't hesitate to watch our video. You will the three phrases individually and joined as an across the floor activity sequence. 

Parade yourself,

Tiva & Randa

Instruments of Trinidad & Tobago

Instruments of Trinidad & Tobago

Rhythm section

Rhythm section