If you are like me, you like to make choices for yourself. That’s one of the cool things about being an adult, don’t you think? We make a lot of choices for ourselves. However, our students don’t have the opportunity to make decisions for themselves very often. Let’s help them learn how to do so while learning from the subjects that interested them. Today I’m going talk about setting the Stage for Success: Middle School Drama Meets Choice Boards.
Middle School Students are the Best
Middle school students are my favorite grades to teach. In particular, they are vibrant, still curious and resilient. Personally, I believe that teaching middle school theater is the door to nurturing young talents. I find they are intensely interested in many subjects at this age. Plus, creativity knows no bounds, and their self-expression takes center stage.
Middle school students can be engaged far faster than high school students. They are just young enough to remember their beloved elementary teachers who they trusted. Consequently, they quickly trust you when you propose an concept to them. Read this post, if you’d like more of my reflections about middle school students: Striking a Balance with Students in Their Middle School Years
In the heart of this theatrical journey lies a powerful tool – choice boards. Imagine giving your students the freedom to explore and make decisions in their drama education. First, let’s dive into how these versatile tools can breathe life into your drama classroom.
What Are Choice Boards?
Choice boards are visual organizers that present students with a variety of options for how they can engage with and demonstrate their learning. Consequently, they empower students to take ownership of their education by allowing them to choose activities that resonate with their interests, learning styles, and abilities.
Why Do Teachers Use Choice Boards in Drama?
Individualized Learning: Middle school students are at an age where they’re discovering their unique talents and interests. Choice boards offer a range of activities, catering to diverse learning styles and abilities.
Enhanced Engagement: When students have a say in their learning, they’re more invested in the process. Drama is all about passion and expression, and choice boards can ignite that spark.
Creativity Unleashed: Drama thrives on creativity. Choice boards encourage students to think outside the box, explore different aspects of theater, and come up with fresh ideas.
Differentiated Instruction: Drama classrooms often have a mix of skill levels. Choice boards allow the teacher to provide activities that cater to both beginners and experienced performers. Additionally, it’s effortless for the teacher to do so.
Benefits for Drama Students
Implementing choice boards in your middle school drama classroom can lead to:
Increased Confidence: Students gain confidence as they engage in activities that align with their interests and strengths. It is far easier to be successful when learning something new if you are interested in the subject. What a plus!
Broadened Horizons: Exposure to a variety of drama aspects can help students discover new passions within the world of theater. As a matter of fact, my Choice Board products receive many 5 star reviews. In addition, teachers express their excitement to have taught something unique to their students which they would not have the time to study in depth.
Ownership of Learning: Empowering students to make choices fosters a sense of ownership over their education. Here’s that choice thing again. By making choices for themselves, students see themselves as independent and capable. Aren’t those attributes we want for them?
Joy in Learning: Drama should be fun! Choice boards infuse a sense of joy and excitement into the classroom. I think we’d all agree it’s difficult to compete with fun, yes?
My Choice Board Resources
I have three choice board resources ready for you to use. One pertains to theaters around the world. This low prep- high student engagement lesson gives students an opportunity to learn about various theater companies such as Mummenschanz, Deaf West, Trestle Theatre, Kabuki Theater,Marcel Marceauor what is means to be a Foley Engineer. Additionally, they are excellent for gifted learners or students who need independent study or an alternative assignment.
The third is brand new. You know how your students become chatty when you are focused on a small group and their rehearsal? This is the answer to your problem. Students learn about virtually every aspect of play or musical production from designing poster, drawing a costume or creating a movement piece concerning one of the themes of the production. Students can be assigned to complete every choice or only a few.
This board has 16 engaging assignments to keep everyone interested and busy creating. There is plenty of room for individuality and some group work, too. You can find it at: Drama Class Production Choice Board
If your students do not have I-pads, access to the computer or WIFI, a teacher can use these resources instead. They are basically the same as the Choice Boards, however a student receives the link from the teacher. These are excellent for a substitute to use, too.
Students could vote on the subject they’d like to learn about and view the video clips which pertain to that subject. Accordingly, students are assigned to watch the video clips on their own at home. You will find these products here.
Incorporating choice boards in your middle school drama classroom is like handing the spotlight to your students. It allows them to explore, express, and create in ways that resonate with their unique personalities. So, go ahead and embrace this dynamic tool to ignite the passion for drama in your middle school students’ hearts. The stage is set, and the choice is theirs!
Have you used Choice Boards in your classroom? I’d love to hear how you have used them. Feel free to email me at DhcBaldwin@gmail.com