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P3 had a fantastic couple of days last week working on their topic of Africa. Mrs Vogelzang came in to talk to us about growing up in Africa and brought in lots of African wooden carvings, a drum and an African tribal dress. The children learnt a great deal about the animals, buildings and different lifestyles of African people.

On Friday the children invited their parents to come into school for an African afternoon. They shared a range of activities, including creating African sunsets with Mrs Ellwood, tasting exotic fruit with Chef Mike and learning African songs and rhythms with Miss Mills. We were treated to some African drumming from Mrs Kerwin and used computers, atlases and non fiction books to find out more facts about Africa. We all had a brilliant time and enjoyed having our parents and grandparents in school to share our experiences.

African Music

The P3 children and their parents arrived in the music room and were transported to Africa where it is nice and warm. They began their session by learning a song called 'Toom bah ee lero' (Welcome) which is a call and response song. Djembe drumming was used throughout to produce a range of percussive sounds. The djembe drum had a story to tell. They expressed the story through creative movement, dancing and paying African instruments (djun, djembe, homemade shakers and rattles). They had to keep the cyclic patterns (ostinato rhythms) going throughout. The beat as well as the rhythm was kept going. Everyone had to think about the tempo (the speed of the music, fast or slow). The piece started slowly and then it speeded up towards the end.

The P3s enjoyed playing the mirroring game with parents, friends and teachers called 'Sorida' which is a term of greeting in the Shona language, similar in use to jambo in Swahili, or perhaps shalom in Hebrew.

'Sorida' is played as a hand clapping game.
(Verse 1)
Sorida, sorida, Sorida, sorida
Ri-da ri-da

(Verse 2)
Da da da, da da da
Ri-da ri-da

Everyone had fun dancing, singing and playing instruments.