We have been having a football match in our school for the past two days, and the students sat today in order to cheer our girl and boy teams. What fun! Some of the preppies – 5 year olds chanted cheer songs in the loudest volume possible, and earned great smiles from their other school mates and some from the visiting schools / rival football teams. (and I wish again I could show videos or pictures). The name of our school is Aditi, and they inserted it everywhere. Here are some popular cheer poems that they used.
North South East West /
Aditi Is the best/
Here is another one.
Lemon Soda Ginger Pop
We Want Aditi On the Top
They were so enthused by the whole process, they kept it going for a long time. Many repetitions later, when their enthusiasm dipped, they changed to another song.
What was happening in front of me was that the children automatically demoed one of the big questions that assiles teachers of drama / any teacher in class.
The question being: When is it a good time to stop an activity in class?
This is something that you cannot write in a lesson plan, or time with a watch. Rather it is something, I believe, i have learned from experience. If we for example play a game, a simple tag game let us say, I wonder when it is a good time to say – “All right, moving on …” in class. There were some classes which I lost and let completely fall down on the ground because I overkilled a game, and then kids did not want to play it anymore. It was appalling, because even though the game by itself was perfect, the children had lost all interest for it.
How? By the simple means of over doing it / over playing it. So really, when is it the right time to stop? Agyatmitra of PLAY explained this to me using a visual. Our own learning curve/ plot map graphic. I will try to create it here, though I may not be that successful.
Image Made with Paper (app)
Basically Agyat taught me that we need to stop an activity before it reached the peak of excitement. He said that once the children experience that satiation, they may not reach out to play that game again. Made a lot of sense for me. Now this combined with observation in class can make any teacher notice those moments just before a peak and save the best for future and stop the game. It has helped me plenty too.
Here is some more advice to me from friends who have been in the world of play and theatre.
- Helps to share the name of the game. Children can always refer to it easily in later classes when they want to play the game.
- Gather around before any new game or activity – helps all children the opportunity of hearing the instructions together.
- After instructions, check if you have understood or not understood the instruction (may be show and thumbs up for understood, and a thumbs down for not understood) If a child has not understood, give the instruction again, better still, get a student to explain. May be you are not being clear.
- Play the game/ move the activity
- See for fairness in class and not favoritism.
- Bring the game / activity to an end before it touches the peak.
- In younger classes, a good transition from one game / activity to another is by means of clapping. It announces the completion of something. Cheer for having completed.
- Move on!