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.


What this unit will give you

Knowledge to guide your students to complete this project

  • In this project, students will capture the dancing flamingo ritual in a range soundtracks using electronic music packages
  • Students will stage a performance at the completion of the project

What this project will give your students

Learning Objectives

Explore and perform dances using a range of movement patterns to 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.

What you can do
In groups, direct your students to research Lake Bogoria and the dancing Pink Flamingos ritual.

  • Suggest that your students think about key themes and emotions the flamingos could be feeling throughout this process, such as anxiety, love, joy and movement
  • Have them 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.

Flamingos feeding on Lake Bogoria
On the shores of Lake Bogoria in Kenya thousands of flamingoes feed on algae in the caustic waters in this amazing YouTube clip taken from the BBC natural history programme Shadows of the Sun.


M8! - Mind Map
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
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/s may wish to further develop it.

Enrichment Activities

Build a Volcano!

A simple guide to construction and the additives to create a lava eruption.


What you can do - 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.


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.