Open Forum

Middle School Help!

  • 1.  Middle School Help!

    Posted 20 days ago
    Hi Everyone!
    I'm seeking your advice...I need some suggestions for my middle school classes.  I have been at my school for 19 years.  And, in all that time, I met with middle school, grades 5th through 8th, once a week for 45 minutes.
    This year, our school administration decided to go with a new schedule and now I have my middle schoolers twice a week for an hour each class.  An increase from 45 to 2 hours!!  I feel like a first year teacher all over again struggling to come up with projects and lesson plans.  
    But really, the main thing that I have been struggling to keep them engaged the last 15 minutes of class.  Games are out, they just get out of hand.  And most of the students are not interested in theater to begin's a required class.
    Any ideas or suggestions on how I can keep them occupied and engaged for those last few minutes would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance!
    Be well,
    Bridget DeVivo

  • 2.  RE: Middle School Help!

    Posted 20 days ago
    What about a long-term, collaborative project that ends every class? I recommend small groups meet each day to make a bit of progress that might ultimately culminate in a final project for the quarter. Could be the following:
    -creating puppets and writing a scene together, working on the puppet's biography, voice, etc.
    -re-writing a fairy tale and eventually performing it (could be working it in various theatre styles, changing the ending to make it more modern, adding characters from different fairy tales, etc.)
    -creating your own theatre vocabulary game: using theatre vocab words, create your own crossword puzzle, kahoot, jeopardy game, etc. Then share and play them with the class.

    Some teachers spend the final few minutes of class having the students work in a journal. Not sure if you already do this or if it would work for you. Each day (or week) there is a different topic to write about, maybe work on writing monologues, 2 person conflict scenes, etc.

    Best wishes!

    Rob Duval
    Theatre Teacher/Director
    'Iolani School
    Kaneohe HI

  • 3.  RE: Middle School Help!

    Posted 20 days ago
    Happy Friday Bridget!
    Would love for you to look into!

    I have lots of theatre educators (middle school included) that use daily8count as their bellringer everyday.

    Each week I release a short musical theatre dance combination, broken down into 5 brief videos, resulting in a fun dance combination each week. These are designed for all levels of students! Daily videos are 2-4 minutes long.

    Try out a sample week at
    ~brian curl

  • 4.  RE: Middle School Help!

    Posted 19 days ago
    Edited by Garry Tiller 19 days ago
    I agree with Brian. Gives the kids a chance to get up out of the chair and move! Love these and so do the kids...especially with the popularity of TikTok!

    Garry Tiller
    Theatre Arts Teaching Artist
    Sidwell Friends
    Washington, DC

  • 5.  RE: Middle School Help!

    Posted 18 days ago
    Hi Bridget,

    I would look into Flipgrid! I use it all the time,
    It is a place where the students can go to record answers.
    Foe example, you can have them pretend to be News Casters and record some real or fake news, then you would have an opportunity to record or write feed back for the exercise, their is also a lot of other ideas . go to Flipgrid and see what I am talking about, the kids at middle school love it!



    Laura Rizzo
    Theatre Teacher/Director
    Miami Country Day School
    Miami FL