Open Forum

favorite end of year activity

  • 1.  favorite end of year activity

    Posted 04-25-2019 09:09
    Hi everyone,

    Our testing schedule is really crazy for the month of May. (End of Course and Final Exams)
    I have three days to do something with my two Theatre I classes in between testing days. Normally they would be working on a short character monologue. But I think two class periods might be pushing it for them to get them ready...
    What are you guys favorite end of the year activities???? 

    Erika Trahan
    Kaplan High School
    Speech and Theatre

  • 2.  RE: favorite end of year activity

    Posted 04-25-2019 10:45
    We love watching videos of performances from Broadway, the West End, RSC, Globe, etc. Sometimes I have a worksheets and other times we stop and start and discuss everything from the technical elements used to the acting to the production as a whole. It's a lot of fun and allows the kids to see shows they won't get to otherwise. I do send home permission slips for shows like Victor/Victoria (which is an all time favorite of the kids) because of content and language. Some other shows I have on dvd are Cyrano (with Kevin Kline), multiple shows from the Globe, Nunsense and several RSC options.

    Shira Schwartz
    Chandler Unified School District
    Chandler AZ

  • 3.  RE: favorite end of year activity

    Posted 04-25-2019 17:26
    I always build in a day for catch-up or student's/ teacher's choice at the end of the term.
    I love doing a class period of guided visualization and relaxation, sometimes with a voice component, sometimes without.  My students really appreciate the opportunity to unwind and there is always a tangible difference in their stress levels.  I always tell them it is ok if they fall asleep, which really gives them permission to just enjoy laying on the floor and take what they need from the experience. One of my sections has already requested this.

    Last year, the last day of class before exams was beautiful, so I told my class to review the Shakespeare monologues and sonnets they had presented earlier in the quarter and I took them outside to perform.   They had a great time experimenting with filling a new space with their voices.

    Elana Kepner
    Theatre Instructor
    The Oakwood School
    Greenville NC

  • 4.  RE: favorite end of year activity

    Posted 04-25-2019 18:02
    Going on a week-long bender and - oh, you mean for the kids?

    Depending on the cohesion of each class, do an awards ceremony. Select one or two students to host the ceremony, see if any students want to perform - maybe a song, monologue or short scene (this could be something goofy) and present the awards. The awards should probably be ones submitted by the students and in the spirit of fun (nothing like Best Actor). They could even spend a day creating the certificates/trophies for each student out of whatever material is laying around.

    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA

    Theater kills ignorance

  • 5.  RE: favorite end of year activity

    Posted 04-26-2019 08:20
    I haven't ever done this but what if you arrange some kind of talent show. I'm thinking about teaching a unit on Vaudeville next year as our final exam. Then we can culminate with a variety show in the style of Vaudeville. Just a thought.

    Bernadette MacLeod
    Charlotte NC

  • 6.  RE: favorite end of year activity

    Posted 04-26-2019 11:06
    We watch a couple of quick videos on dance and choreography vs musical staging (West side story, Hamilton, Wicked) and then they select a musical theatre piece to stage (96 counts max). gives them a chance to get up and move which they really need during testing.

    Laura Parker
    Director Cobra Theatre Cmpany
    Bel Air Maryland MD

  • 7.  RE: favorite end of year activity

    Posted 04-26-2019 14:22
    The past two years I have done a murder mystery dinner party where the students brink in snacks and such and I lead the party. They all have to take a part and do a tiny bit of reaserch on the time period for clothing/ accent/ or mannerisms. The kids love it.

    Douglas Addison
    Clover SC

  • 8.  RE: favorite end of year activity

    Posted 04-29-2019 08:41
    Hey Erika!
    We do mini musicals. I give them 3 songs (or you can let them pick). They have to create a 10 minute musical with story and choreography. We talk about typical musical theatre structure. They then have to decide which song is the opening, which is the "I Want" song, the turning point, or even an 11 oclock number! It's fun, and creative, and there's a lesson in there. We just lip sync the songs, but given more time, they could actually sing them. I do it in about 3 class periods, but you can stretch it out if you like too!
    Hope all is well!
    Enjoy the end of your year!
    Cherie Ducote Firmin
    Mandeville High

    [Cherie Ducote Firmin
    Mandeville High School Talented Theatre I/III Teacher
    MHS Drama Club Sponsor
    La. State Thespian Board Member/STO Adviser
    St. Tammany Parish Public School System

  • 9.  RE: favorite end of year activity

    Posted 05-02-2019 09:43
    Cherie Firmin - I like this idea. Do you stick to musical theatre songs or do you open up to other genres of songs?

    Stephanie Schultze
    Drama Teacher/Director
    Russellville AR

  • 10.  RE: favorite end of year activity

    Posted 05-01-2019 10:57
    One of my favorite end-of-year activities has been small group short infommercials on a social ill.  My students brainstorm a list of issues.  Each small group chooses one, a genre and a product (i.e. breakfast cereal that cures promescuity).  They must perform these live, but we do film them to watch later.

    Kathy Siler
    Theatre Educator
    Payson Unified Schools
    Payson AZ

  • 11.  RE: favorite end of year activity

    Posted 05-02-2019 04:16

    One thing I might try this year is a role-playing game called "Dread". It is a pretty great party game for dramatic types and I think it would be fun to teach students. But it probably requires, at minimum, a block period or better yet, a few days. (The actual game when played at full length can take 2-3 hours.) But the nice thing about it is that, unlike many RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons that have these steep learning curves and whole books of rules (I am not an RPG guy), Dread's structure and mechanics are really straight-forward and quick to understand. Basically, there are a number of story outlines that come with the game (and you can pretty quickly see that it would be easy to write your own too), plus others have written new stories and posted them online. It is best to play with about 5-6 players plus the storyteller who guides things, so if I did it, I'd probably want to pick a few of my strongest kids and teach it to them first so that they could guide a group to teach the class. All you need is the game book and a set of Jenga blocks.

    Each player is given a character questionnaire a few days before play, which the leader collects and maybe takes a few notes about to keep potentially juicy details at hand. The game uses a Jenga tower as the basic mechanic (as opposed to dice, cards, or other tools). the storyteller verbally sets up the situation, and most stories have a classic horror film set-up – like a stranded space station that has been invaded by something, or a river rafting trip of college students that encounters werewolves. I did one that used Stranger Things as the central narrative. Anyway, the storyteller puts things in motion, then stops when there is a decision to make or action to take. Then, basically, every time a character is required to do anything outside of their comfort zone (leave the tent to investigate that noise), they need to pull a block. If the tower falls, the character dies. As the tower gets more teetery and you ratchet up the tension, it is surprising how tense and fun the whole thing gets. It is this really jacked-up, high-intensity group story-telling experience. Plus, some of those answers to the questionnaires come into play. You might prompt a character to describe her experience getting attacked by that raccoon when she was 6, which can be triggered by your spontaneous insertion of a raccoon jumping into the raft into your story. The whole thing is highly dramatic and super-fun. 

    Again, I am not an RPG guy, but this is a really fun game. You can watch some of it on Will Wheaton's geeky youtube show of him and his friends playing RPGs HERE. Or you can buy the PDF of it HERE for $12. 

    Steven Slaughter
    Rosslyn Academy
    Nairobi, Kenya

    "Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts." - W Berry