I have more ideas than I have opportunities to try them out, so if you ever see something here you want to try with your own kids, you go right ahead. Then report back how it went.
Tomorrow I have to entertain a bunch of 7yr olds on the subject of Shakespeare. I’ve already got plenty of ideas (see my “scenes from a hat” post earlier today). But here’s another one:
1) Pick a tragedy. We’ll assume Hamlet.
2) Every student is given a name tag identifying them as a character from the play.
3) Everybody stands up.
4) Teacher walks through the play, “character introduction by character introduction,” so the students know who they are supposed to be. Example: One student has the nametag “King Hamlet.” Teacher responds, “You are the previous king of Denmark. When the play starts, you’re already dead. Sit down.”
5) As each character dies, they are told the method of their demise (“You’re hiding behind the curtains and Hamlet stabs you.”) It’s important to go back and inform the ghost of old king Hamlet how he died, so he doesn’t feel ripped off that he died so early :).
6) Any student left standing has survived!
I figure it wins on two levels. Most of the kids get to die, and it’s always cool to die a gruesome death when you’re seven. Those that don’t get a gruesome death at least get to come away with the “victory” that they survived the play.
If I have time I’m going to write up those cards and bring them with me. Not sure yet if we’ll try to play that or the scenes from a hat game. Problem with this game is that there’s like 22 students in the class and I don’t have a play that has that many characters, so I’d have to do it twice (Hamlet and Macbeth?) and then it starts to get too long and kids argue about who went twice and blah blah blah.
P.S. – Did I write up this game once? I’m getting a weird dejavu over it, but I can’t find evidence that I wrote it up previously. I could swear we talked about ….. I know what it was! Shakespeare Death Bingo! Ok, now I feel better that I’m not repeating myself. Similar concept, different execution.