The module focuses on the use of the arts to explore concepts and issues
related to the marine environment. It demonstrates how the arts strands
can be creatively utilised in marine studies.
The arts provide a powerful arena for self-expression and the introduction
and consolidation of concepts and issues in marine education. Arts experiences
can encourage children to use their cognitive, emotional and expressive
abilities in their learning about the coastal and marine environments.
The arts can also develop problem-solving skills that give children the
confidence to deal with problems and issues related to the marine environment.
The module demonstrates how the arts need not be confined to its specialist
areas in the school. Classroom and other faculty teachers should have
the confidence to incorporate the arts into all aspects of marine education.
Why the Arts in Marine Education?
There is power in the way arts convey messages.
Consider how the arts signpost history. Visual images are particularly
strong. A picture is surely worth a thousand words when considering the
15,000 year old paintings of wild horses on the cave wall in Lascaux,
France, or the poster of a fuzzy white seal pup with big black eyes staring
out from the red stained polar ice. Then with only a moment of reflection
each person can bring to mind songs or music associated some special event.
It might be from a first date, war defeat, or sporting victory but that
music will always bring this memory to mind. Dance and drama follow suit
with their own strong persuasive places in peoples hearts and minds.
How can educators compete with the bombardment of colour, music, dance
and drama that are the daily media fodder of our students? Easy, the topic
of the marine environment is exciting in its own right and we have an
advantage in face to face interaction. Each of us has the ability to use
the arts to our advantage.
A primary consideration of this module will be hands on participation.
In the physical act of doing, the topic or subject becomes more personal
to both the teacher looking for professional development and ultimately
to the students. This personal attachment generates a sense of ownership.
What this module offers
||The confidence for classroom teachers and other educators
to incorporate the arts coastal and marine education.
||Demonstration of how the arts need not be taught by
only those who have specialist Arts qualifications.
Focus is placed on using arts to explore concepts and issues related
to the marine environment. It shows how the arts strands and strand
organisers can be creatively used in marine studies for:
introduction and consolidation of concepts and issues
awareness and appreciation of the coastal and marine environment
communication about values related to the coastal and marine
The use of arts experiences in marine studies to encourage cognitive,
emotional and expressive abilities through the development of:
confidence and self esteem
- To promote and understanding of the processes and skills required
in arts education.
- To develop an understanding of the use of arts education in coastal
and marine studies.
- To develop the ability to evaluate and use the arts learning strategies
in the development of activities and units of work related to marine
There are four activities in
this workshop that incorporates the arts strands of visual art, dance,
music, drama and media into coastal and marine studies. In the conclusion
of the workshop, the arts strands and marine concepts and issues in activities
1 to 3 are combined in a final performance.
Nautical But Nice
The workshop begins with an icebreaker, Nautical but Nice. This activity
has two parts. Initially it focuses on the extent to which we unconsciously
include water in daily life through our use of language.
The second part identifies personal experiences and feelings about the
sea. These feelings are then transferred to visual images in the form
of a simple symbol or logo that represents the sea.
Activity 1 Visual Art
Preservation and Human Impact
Participants view and discuss works that relate to the marine environment
created by artists. This is followed by a mini lecture outlining the teaching
of skills, techniques and processes of the visual arts as outlined in
the national statement and its value in marine studies.
Participants are then engaged in creating a large piece of art that works
as an installation in its own right and as a backdrop for a performance.
The work is based on a celebration of the natural marine environment but
is also a statement about the effects of human impact. The participants
work in small groups to create sections of the artwork.
Activity 2 Music and Dance
Sand Dunes and Rock Pools
This activity engages participants in the arts areas of music and dance.
It is introduced by recycling a well known song with new words about coastal
Leaving the dunes behind participants will experiment with a variety of
beach washed relia as musical instruments. They will be encouraged to
discover musical cadences that can stand alone as reflections of the seashore.
As a precursor to a simple improvisation the participants will be introduced
to the nature of a rock pool, some characteristic inhabitants, food webs,
The activity concludes with a discussion about other means whereby dance
and music can be incorporated in marine studies.
Activity 3 - Drama
Getting The Message Across
This activity is introduced by a mini-lecture on puppetry and its use
in teaching about concepts and issues related to the marine environment.
Participants are then engaged in writing a short script for a puppet play
on a marine issue such as rock pool destruction, erosion of sand dunes,
pollution, shell collection, exotic infestation or endangerment of animals
like the Little tern.
Activity 4 - Media
Letting Others Know
This activity outlines the national statement on media studies. Participants
are asked to share ideas that they have used to implement media studies.
Participants are then asked to brainstorm other ideas for the use of media
studies in marine education.
Participants present the music, dance and puppet segments in a final
Participants use flow charts to discuss the integration of other marines
studies themes and the arts.
Review of objectives of the workshop: what worked and what needed work.
In closing participants may enjoy trying their seajelly composition and
perhaps a walk down to the sea to return their natural sea washed instruments
to the foreshore.
To be collected/organised ahead
Ask each participant to bring their own cup and spoon for the day
Photocopied set of resource notes for each participant
| Prints or slides of artwork related to the marine
Large sheet of brown paper, calico or kite making material
Cardboard for puppets and mark making
Various mark making materials - corks, sponges, bottle tops
Plastic and cardboard cartons
- Food dye for spray bottles
- Doweling (approx. 2cm diameter)
- Tables & chairs (how many for set?)
- Stockings and stuffing for them [teachers may need to recruit
students to obtain these]
- Sea Jelly materials:
- 1 bowl, boiling water,
- 1 large shallow plain white or cream coloured tray,
- 2 packets of blue gelatine
- pre-coloured par-cooked pasta shapes,
- multi-coloured fruit sticks,
- seaweed rice crackers
- licorice straps
Audio tape player
Tape of sea-sounds (homemade or commercial)
Things found on the beach that can make noise
driftwood, soil pipes, shells (in a noisy container), rocks, sand
(in a plastic bottle), wave smoothed glass, aluminum cans sticks
recycled objects that might be found as waste on the beach (clean
coke bottles, cans, ice cream containers etc)
Puppet making materials
Homemade or Commercial video tape
||National Profile links - Visual Arts
||Visual Arts excerpt
||Visual Arts Hints
|| Dune Song
||Rock Pool Food Web
||Seaweed, Algae, Sea Grass
|| Puppets Panic Sheet
TO BE PHOTOCOPIED AND HANDED OUT TO ALL PARTICIPANTS
||National Curriculum Profile (Visual Arts, Music)
|| National Curriculum Profile (Dance, Drama)
||Further Reading and References
|| Practical Use of this Module with Children
||Sequence for Performance
||Integrating Arts into Coastal and Marine Education Themes