Keep it simple and have fun
The end of the first semester is just around the corner. Parents are expecting to get a snapshot of the dynamic first months of the academic year. As a teacher, you might be tempted to choose a great song with a deep lyrics and an intricate choreography in a pressing need to showcase your students’ progress. With this strategy, however, you would experience a great tragedy. While high expectations can be motivating and encouraging, expecting the best from your students during a public performance might not be the most realistic approach.
Some children love to perform while others see it as a nightmare to sing or act in front of an audience. For the latter, being on stage is a stressful experience, one that might even leave traumatic traces in the child’s life. In the face of high expectations and pressure to achieve, even incredibly smart kids might shut down. Teachers and parents alike need to understand that public performances do not represent the most realistic and reliable way of assessing knowledge. All that is expected from students in the course of preparing for the performance is to engage in pure rote learning and memorize their lines and lyrics. This leaves us with little room for demonstrating the unique talents and creativity of the students.
Therefore, we need to ask ourselves – what is the purpose of the public performance? Ideally, it should serve as a channel for demonstrating how much the kids have learned throughout a given period of time. Yet it’s important to be done in a way that would leave unforgettable memories in the minds of the kids. To some extent, teachers can lessen the anxiety experienced on stage by selecting simple and easy for singing songs. Ultimately, what we need to aim for is nurturing a love of language, songs and books.
GrapeSEED songs are easy and fun for most students. They are combined with pictures or videos as well as natural gestures to help children understand new language concepts. Kids instantaneously pick up the lyrics of the songs and sing along heartily. My students really enjoyed one pop-rock song, rhythmic and energetic, with lots of repetition and a steady beat.
It’s a song that allows them to really feel the beat. In a way, I had preference for this song, with the title Blue, not only because of its simple and easy to remember lyrics but because of its relevance to our kindergarten whose brand color is blue. Kids could easily relate to the song especially when dressed up in their blue T-shirts (school uniform). So at the end, our performance, under the theme of “Blue”, served as a great tool to nurture a sense of belonging and could easily be seen as a commercial for the kindergarten.
Observe children’s behavior
Kids will intuitively guide you towards understanding what they enjoy and how they see the performance. Look at your students and observe their actions in the same way as every sailor looks at the clouds and observes the direction that his flag is blowing. These are the indicators of which direction you need to move in.
Involve the kids in the process
Have kids build their own props.