If you’re teaching children, why not think about organising an end of year show? Probably in the class you’re already using songs and poems, chants or rhymes and maybe dramatising the simpler stories from the coursebook. A sequence of these activities can be put together and developed into the show, each class maybe doing two or three short items.
Asking the children to work towards a show has several objectives :
- Repeating the songs, poems etc that you’ve worked on during the year means revising the whole of the course prior to the holidays.
- The activity of organising and performing the show allows each child to contribute depending on his or her own abilities. The strongest student in the most advanced group may be the obvious choice for the announcer or the leading part in one of the dramatisations. But another student who is linguistically weaker may have a lovely voice and be able to sing a solo line in one of the songs. Or may be able to play a short recorder piece as “mood” music during a “silent” scene in a dramatisation. Or do a dance. Or may be a great mask maker.
- General educational objectives : the children have a concrete final product to work towards. They learn that reaching that objective means collaboration and effort – but that this effort can be enjoyable, stimulating and rewarding.
- Performing increases the children’s general self confidence as well as their confidence in their ability to express themselves in English, motivating them towards their future studies.
- And last but not least, because it’s a way of involving the parents and showing them what their children have achieved. Even parents like me who can’t sew a button on straight suddenly become wizard and highly motivated costume makers when it’s a matter of their children’s school shows, and may also well be willing to give up a couple of hours to help produce the scenery and backdrops.