2014/2015. Posted by Barbara W.
One day my school told me that an English Theater company would be visiting, and that they would like me to prepare the kids for the show! That meant to me -the Language Assistant- reviewing vocabulary, singing songs, and most importantly acting like clowns. We did this activity in a one hour class period with 2nd of Primary (7 yo) and the kids loved it.
Time: 45 mins (and 15 minutes of set up)
- Card-stock type paper
- Popsicle sticks
- Styrofoam balls
- Paint brushes
Set up: Have the clown face masks pre-cut before class. I couldn’t find a template online so I made one shape, then traced it onto the other paper. I would also recommend bring extras for the child who wants to “re-do” their creation. The clown noses were made from styrofoam balls which the children painted. Also pre-cut these balls in half, so you can hand them out in class. Finally make sure you have an example ready, so when you explain the directions the kids will have a visual aid.
Directions: First hand out the Styrofoam balls, and tell the kids to paint them whatever color they want. Mostly all of the kids I had all wanted to paint the nose red because that’s what the example had. Once you see everyone has almost finished painting, set these on the sides of the desk so they can dry.
Next, hand out the paper faces, one to every child in the class. Hold up your example to tell the kids to draw a clown’s mouth, and remind them to be as creative as possible! They can use markers, or crayons. Once they are finished give them a Popsicle stick, and a piece of tape. This will be the “handle” to hold the mask up. When that’s secure on the back of the paper, glue the nose (if it’s dry) onto the clown mask.
Suggestions: The only point when this activity was hectic was when the paint was out and the children were painting on the desks. I would recommend putting newspapers down on the desks beforehand which will help keep clean up quick and easy.
Overall, the theater coming was a huge success because it allowed the kids to interact with English in a natural way. Of course as a Language Assistant I can stand up in front of the class in speak, or show a cartoon in class but theater is a way for the words to be over dramatized making it easier for the children to understand. One of my proudest moments was when the actor came on stage dressed as the Ringmaster, and all my kids shouted “Ringmaster!” Not only did the kids sing along with the songs, they also had a chance to act at the various characters. Not to mention, use their masks during the performance.