Lights, camera, action!
- If you want students to create something dramatic, introduce it to them in a dramatic way. Simply saying, “Write a dialogue about what happens next.” will not inspire them to be creative
- Get some ideas in the air before they start by eliciting them from the students. Once they’ve started working, if you see pairs who are still staring into space, give them a push in the right direction by going over and giving them the basics
- Encourage students to be inventive and give them some freedom to write what they choose, within your personal comfort zone. Students see sex and violence on the TV everyday and hear and use a wide variety of swearwords but that doesn’t mean they should bring it into the classroom – make it clear to them what you would like their limits to be
- Encourage students to come to the front, but if there are some who crumble at the thought of standing up in front of the class, let them speak from their desks and try again next time
- Give copious amounts of praise to everyone who produces something, even if it isn’t exactly what you wanted. Give words of encouragement to those who produced something too short or didn’t fully understand the task
- Remember that this is a great opportunity to get students speaking and always make that the focus, rather than the ideas or language used
Theatre with Young Learners
The Wandering Woolly Mammoth
Many, many years ago there lived a woolly mammoth named Dave. This woolly mammoth was not like the other mammoths. He didn’t want to hunt pots. Even though he had a really tasty, pink coat of hair, he hated the cold. He dreamed of living in warmer places.
One day, his dream came true. He thought he took a short winter’s nap, but when he awoke, almost all the ice around him was gone, and he was surrounded by grass and hippos. He had hibernated for 2009 years!
Dave decided to go explore his new neighborhood. Where his cave used to be, now there was a million-story building with delicious windows and new doors!
He tried to get inside, but the doorman wouldn’t let him in, saying, “No rabbits allowed!”
He didn’t know what rabbits were, but he knew he was afraid of them.
Feeling a bit confused, he wandered around until he saw a sign that said “Zoo.” It smelled like his friends, so he decided to hop in. He found a section called frogs, and they seemed to be very friendly animals, so he made himself right at home. The zookeepers discovered him, and they were happy to see him. They brought him big buckets of apples, beans, and cucumbers. He finally felt at home!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the story of The Wandering Woolly Mammoth. It’s from a site called Wacky Web Tales – choose the title of your story, then the computer will ask you for some words (verb, plural noun) and create a story for you. A great activity for teens!