Enchanted Kingdom eBook – Chapter 2: Brave the Fiery Underworld

Last week we posted the first chapter in our blog serialisation of the Enchanted Kingdom eBook, focusing on the mysterious forests of central Africa. This week we’re back with the second instalment of the educational eBook Microsoft has developed in partnership with teaching school Broadclyst Primary in Devon, using BBC Earth Films’ 3D spectacular, Enchanted Kingdom

Chapter 2: Brave the Fiery Underworld

Chapter 2 - Brave the Fiery Underworld

Africa features some dramatic areas of tectonic activity. Lake Bogoria in Kenya is a volcanic lake, which is extremely alkaline and saline. This water, poisonous to many living things, is home to a species of bacteria which forms blue-green algae. The algae is an important part of the diet of flamingos, who filter it from the water and mud with their specially adapted beaks. They flock to the lake at the start of their dancing flamingo ritual. In this project, students will capture the dancing flamingo ritual in a range of soundtracks created by them using electronic music packages. They will then create a dance to this music as if they are the flamingos. Final work will be performed back to the class.

Learning Objectives: Explore and perform dances using a range of movement patterns, improvise and compose music.
Project Aim/Question: Can students represent the life of the flamingos of Lake Bogoria through performing arts, such as dance and musical composition.
key Language: Dance: Choreography, Unison, Isolation, Mirroring, Improvisation. Music: Pitch, Tone, Tempo and Rhythm

STAGE 1: Web quest into the Dancing Flamingos

Pink flamingos fly to the lake to drink an almost magical potion of blue-green algae. The more they drink, the pinker they become, as if they are blushing. This makes them more desirable to one another. The flamingos then begin to dance with one another until they find a partner.

  • In groups, students should research Lake Bogoria and the dancing Pink Flamingos ritual. Students should think about key themes and emotions the flamingos could be feeling throughout this process, such as: Anxiety, Love, Joy and Movement.
  • Describe the types of sounds they imagine would be going on during this ritual. Encourage them to use words such as pitch and tone. Explain that their task will be to compose a soundtrack around the ritual. Students can use M8 – Mind Maps to help capture their ideas.

STAGE 2: Getting creative falling in love with the sound of music and dance

When flamingos find a partner, these partners will stay together for life. Conditions do not remain optimal at Lake Bogoria for long enough and they fly off to find another lake to nest and have their babies.

  • Using a music editor such as Audacity, students in their groups create a track of around three minutes that captures the character of a dancing Flamingo whilst going through this ritual.
  • To support the soundtrack students choreograph a dance routine as if they were the flamingos. The dance and music composition can be captured through Windows Movie Maker.

STAGE 3: Capturing and performing your Enchanted dance

  • Students can perform their dance and music to the rest of the class. OR published work can be uploaded to a shared area, such as OneDrive, to be evaluated and reviewed. After a track has received comment the composer may wish to further develop it.


Enrichment Activities

Science/Geography: Students could build their own volcano, making sure to identify different heats and types of rock. Leave a space in the middle of their volcanos for a scientific experiment to be conducted using baking powder and coke.

Literacy: There is a number of both visual and ecological stimulus present in this ritual, students have the opportunity to engage in creative literacy and write a script for a documentary for this location.

Suggested curriculum link

Computing PoS: Use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting information.

Differentiation guidelines

Due to the large amount of research, it is key that students with literacy difficulties have access to visual stimuli such as videos and pictures. Encourage independence in students who show an aptitude for musical composition; these learners could take the opportunity to record live tracks and mix them into their compositions.

Useful content resources:

As with last week’s post detailing Chapter 1: Enter the Mysterious Forests of Central Africa, we’re including a short video from Broadclyst Community Primary School, detailing their experiences working through this chapter of the Enchanted Kingdom eBook:

Be sure to check back next week, when we’ll be exploring The Alien Sands, and meeting Tim the lizard – a favourite here in the Microsoft education team!

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