Module in the Arts
- Sea Expressions
Nautical but Nice
This is an icebreaker in two parts. The object is not just to provide
ease in each others company but to establish a personal link between the
participants life experiences as well as how our language is a testimony
to the influence of the sea in human culture. Begin by having a comfortable
informal seating arrangement.
Part 1 Old Salt Expressions
This is a competition that may continue through the entire session but
a score keeper must be nominated. Each time an old salt expression like
sink or swim or the tide is turning is used in
conversation the participant will be awarded 5 points. (An optional joke
prize can be offered.) Participants are encouraged to consider extending
this activity into a language exercise in the classroom (e.g. A short
story using 5 words or phrases that have their origin in water).
Part 2 Personal Experience
Each person will introduce themselves and is asked to briefly recount
an intense or provocative experience they have had with the sea. Have
each relate their feelings to the incident. How can these experiences
be developed into arts themes?
Participants then engage in a brief activity in designing a symbol or
logo that relates to the sea. Each should use the stories and feelings
expressed in Part 2 as a basis for the designs.
Visual Arts - Preservation and Human Impact
The activity is introduced with a viewing and discussion about artists
work related to the marine environment.
The facilitator should have at least two examples of works of the marine
environment created by practising artists. These could show two dimensional
and three dimensional artwork and represent different styles and/or periods
e.g. Ken Done, Robert Lyn Nelson and Tom Roberts.
These works may be shown in the form of posters, prints, original works
or slides. Discussion may centre around the feelings that are evoked and
what participants think the artist is trying to say through the work.
Participants should be encouraged to say why they hold certain thoughts
and views about a work.
Display OHT 2. Using the overhead define the three
fields in the visual arts of art, craft and design with the participants.
Outline and discuss with participants various aspects of art/craft education.
The areas of art, craft and design require that teachers adapt expectations
to the age and skills of the students concerned.
It is important that art education allows children the freedom to explore
and experiment with art materials and ideas.
Meaningful assistance in developing an idea or concept has its place but
most importantly, children need to feel that their levels of work are
accepted and appreciated.
Facilitators should let participants know that within the context of the
workshop these aspects will be encouraged and that an enjoyment in doing
the activities is very important.
Brainstorm with participants aspects of the marine environment that is
appreciated in its natural form. Then brainstorm aspects of human impact
on this natural environment.
Explain to participants that they will break up into groups to create
sections of the large piece of artwork and that this artwork will represent
the natural marine environment and how humans impact on it.
Group 1: The Open Ocean - a celebration of the natural marine environment
This group is to create a large mural using paint and collage.
The sheet for the mural should be cut so the top edge is wavy. One end
of the sheet should be shorter than the other so that the top edge is
Ask participants to cover the large sheet of paper or calico with background
colours using foam rollers and refillable spray bottles. Rollers and refillable
bottles make it easy to cover large areas and create interesting effects.
Explain that participants will be using mark making rather
than brushes to create the living and non-living aspects of the open ocean.
This is done with squares of cardboard, foam pieces, corks etc and paint
to create shapes and lines.
Collage materials such as coloured and textured papers, fabric, cardboard,
wool, foam off-cuts etc. can also be used to add to the living and non-living
aspects of the sea.
Group 2: Sea Sculptures - the oceans inhabitants in 3D
This group is to create sculptures of the various life forms within
the ocean using stocking and stuffing.
Ask participants to create various animals, sponges and corals using stocking
material, stuffing, dyes and paints.
Group 3: Food Collage - living and eating in a rock pool
This group is to create a food collage that represents the living and
non-living things in a rock pool.
Participants should pour a layer of blue jelly made with only 2/3 the
recommended liquid onto the base of a tray to represent seawater. Various
living and non-living things are then created with other foods, seaweed
rice crackers, fruit sticks, marshmallows, and pasta shapes. These are
arranged on the partially set jelly. Another layer of jelly is then poured
over the top and a rock pool habitat is ready to add to the larger piece
of artwork created by groups 1 and 2.
Group 4: - Cardboard Cutouts - sea animals
This group is to create cardboard cutouts of coastal and marine animals
which are then painted. Coloured paper, feathers and other collage materials
for patterning can then be added. These are to be approximately half a
metre in height. Moving parts such as fins, tentacles or wings can be
added. These can be placed in the foreground of the mural to create a
3D effect. Attach doweling rods to the back of the cutouts so that they
can also be used as the puppets in Activity 3.
Music and Dance
Music is a reflection of theme, mood and attitude. The theme for this
activity is the issue of sand dune erosion.
Along with dance, music expresses rhythm, melody, and harmony as well
as tone, timbre, and texture. Music is composed in different combinations
and variations of these elements according to countries, regions and their
the words to suit the topic before branching out into something more
adventurous. A tune almost everyone would know is "Row Row Row Your
Boat". It is sung in rounds. Try substituting the words with the
revised ones dedicated to Mark Rodrique (Marine Discovery Centre, Queenscliff,
Victoria) and the work he has been doing with schools along the Victorian
Dune Song Display OHT 4
Divide the group into three parts.
Sing the tune using the new words all together once or twice
Designate which group will start first, second and third
Try it once bringing in the second group immediately following the word
Try it again bringing in the third group immediately following the second
groups line ending in "revege"
Do it once more.
Discuss what gestures might be appropriate to give the Dune Song words
more life i.e. pretending to shovel, using palm of hand to pretend to
blow the sand away etc. Try it again with gestures.
Dance is a form of expression that uses body to create patterns of movement
and rhythm. The choice of gestures and movements indicate the message
Examples of symbolic movement:
`Love' is arms crossed across the chest in an empty hug.
`No' is arms outstretched, palms vertical and facing away from the body,
and the head is turned in the opposite direction.
`Walking/running' can simply be one arm outstretched in front and one
in back, similarly with legs but one foot off the ground with head and
Rock Pools refer OHT 6 and 7,
Resources 4 and 5
Rock pools are places where seawater is held back from retreating with
the ebbing tide by formations of rock. They form in the space between
the highest and lowest tides so they are subject to the vagaries of wave
surge, wind and weather.
Enlist a volunteer to assist in demonstrating some possible movement
interpretations for the rest of the group (scuttling crab, sucking and
swelling sponge, pulsing seajelly). Note how each interpretation uses
hands, arms, legs, feet, and so on.
Demonstrate how a number of plastic shopping bags joined together can
combine to create a whitewater shore break.
Ask the group to raise their arms and position their legs in order to
pretend to be a meadow of grass with the wind blowing across them from
the right or left. Have them visualise this meadow as seagrass and the
wind as a current of water. Choose two volunteers to gently drag a long
piece of fabric or blanket over the top of waving grasses.
Explain that the dunes have eroded (remember our earlier song?) and sand
is slowly burying the seagrass.
Organise participants into groups to create movement and eating patterns
of rock pool animals. These animals to be each group's choice and may
be created to the soundscape tape.
MUSIC refer to Resource 1
Listen to the soundscape (optional) and discuss the feelings and moods
expressed by those sounds in the context of music education.
The participants will be asked to make their own instruments and either
use the soundscape as a backdrop or create their own cadences and musical
Making Musical Instruments display OHT 5
Allow each participant to take their choice of objects that might be
found on the seashore.
Ask the participants to then make regular or non-regular rhythms on their
choice of instrument.
Break up into the three or four groups.
Organise each group to work on creating a musical accompaniment to the
soundscape tape or a stand alone soundscape of their own.
Allow no more than 10 minutes then ask for each group to demonstrate their
Ask the other two groups what came to mind as the performance progressed.
Ask the performers what mental pictures they had intended evoking in the
Drama - Getting the Message Across
Explain to the participants that this activity is focussed on drama
and puppetry. Tell participants that the puppet play will relate to a
coastal or marine issue. Discuss the importance of humour and the communicating
of strong messages through puppet plays.
Discuss with participants their experiences with puppetry. Display the
overhead (OHT 8) that outlines the value of the
use of puppets with children. Discuss with participants the value of puppets
in self expression and encouraging both children and adults to become
less inhibited. Explain to participants that due to time limits they will
be using the cardboard cut-outs as their puppets and need to incorporate
this into their play in relation to characters.
Ask participants to brainstorm various issues related to the coastal and
marine environment. Discuss how they effect the marine environment and
possible ways of solving the problems they cause. List these on a whiteboard.
Outline and discuss the structure of a simple skit or play i.e. the story
and its beginning, middle and end, its focal message, the characters and
the final writing of the script. Explain to the participants that the
script may be only an outline and the actual play an improvisation based
Ask participants to break into groups to work on a simple script for a
three to five minute puppet play. Participants should choose one of the
issues listed or select another that they are all interested in. Facilitators
should make sure that they move around the groups to assist with their
progress. Facilitators should also be prepared to offer information on
an issue or help with the structuring of the play.
Allow participants to perform their plays once they are completed. Participants
can perform their plays behind the mural using the artwork as a stage.
Discuss each play and how effective they were in communicating their messages
Media - Letting Others Know
Display the overhead (OHT 9). Discuss the various
areas of media production. Ask participants to explain how their schools
have implemented media studies. Note these ideas on a whiteboard.
Ask participants to brainstorm in groups other ways that media studies
can be used in marine education. Share and discuss these ideas as a whole
Facilitators should organise the performance so that each of the segments
is performed by one of the groups from each of the activities i.e. four
groups created four different soundscapes but only one group will present
theirs in the performance. The same applies to the dance and puppet plays.
This allows for all to participate in the performance and to rotate as
the audience. Use Resource 5.
Which group presents which segment may be decided on a voluntary basis.
Order of Segments
1. One group performs their soundscape.
2. A second group performs their soundscape while the rest of the group
does the improvised movement related to the rock pool animals.
3. A group performs their puppet play.
4. Another group uses the same puppets to sing their song on erosion and
conclude the performance.
5. Discuss the use of the media areas of photography and video production
and how they can be used in conjunction with the performance. Photography
can be a way of recording an event, promoting an event or letting others
know about an event as in a newspaper article.
A video can be used to present information, entertain, make statements
on issues or communicate messages to an audience.
Participants work in groups and use Resource 6 to record other activity
ideas for integrating the arts into coastal and marine education.
Review the objectives of the workshop and whether they were achieved.