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Box of Delights: Feet of Song (1988)
In the Classroom

Some suggestions on how to use this title in the classroom and where it fits in to the curriculum.


QCA Unit 16: Cyclic patterns - Exploring rhythm and pulse (Year 5/6)

The African music in this film makes it a great resource for exploring cyclic rhythm patterns and changes of tempo, and could be used to support Section 1: Introduction: how does some music use cyclic patterns?

Play the film, but cover the screen and encourage the children to move and dance to the soundtrack. Ask some children to demonstrate their movements to the rest of the class and talk about any similarities, how does this music make you want to move your body? Watch the film and compare the movements of the class with those of the animated figures.

Encourage the children to describe the rhythm and tempo of the music, did these elements change? Were there any sections of the soundtrack where one particular instrument dominated? Discuss the use of the African drumbeat and explain what a cyclic rhythm pattern is.

In the description of the film the music is described as 'evocative'. Ask the children what they think this means and check the meaning of evocative in a dictionary. Explain how African music uses cyclic patterns that are repeated constantly, which allows the listener to concentrate on their feelings.

Curriculum links

  • NC Music objectives: 3b, 4a, 5b, 5e


QCA Unit 6A: People in action (Year 5/6)

The animated abstract figures in Feet of Song dance, leap, stamp and stretch, to the musical score and their design was inspired by African masks, sculpture and body painting. This film is therefore a perfect resource to accompany Section 1: Exploring and developing ideas in which children compare methods and approaches used to show figures and forms in movement.

Watch Feet of Song and encourage the children to describe how the figures are represented. Discuss how the animation process works (still images are moved or changed and each time a small change is made the image is captured, when the changes are played back at speed the audience sees movement). Ask the children whether they think that abstract figures made up of shapes and brush strokes are easy to animate; encourage them to explain their reasoning.

Watch the film again and pause it several times to allow the children to study single frames. In these 'still' images, how are media and line, tone, shape and colour used to express the idea of movement (overlapping lines and shapes, blurring the edge of a distinct shape, using flowing lines etc)? Ask the children to record these techniques in their sketchbooks.

Curriculum links

  • NC Art and Design objectives: 1a, 1c, 4a, 5a, 5d