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While the last post focused on what is in our curriculum for the 1st half of the term, this post is concerned with the curriculum for the 2nd half of the term (weeks 6 - 10).
At Head Held High, our speech and drama lessons follow a set structure which provides stability and continuity for students. This means they, and you, can know what to expect each week!
In this week’s lessons our junior students get asked the questions; “What is modulation?” and “Why might modulation be important?”
In short, modulation is the “colour” we add to our voice. It gives variety to your speech so that monotony is avoided and listeners become interested. We use modulation by varying pace, pitch, volume, and using emphasis, inflection and pauses when we speak.
A super-fun example of how we teach modulation to students is the game “Gush About Something You Don’t Love”.
In this game students get a feel for how enthusiasm is contagious and that if you want your audience to be excited about your topic, then you need to show enthusiasm for it.
Students take turns choosing something they’re indifferent about, (e.g. toenail clippers), and practice speaking about it enthusiastically to make it seem like the most exciting thing in the universe!
Also this week, as well as learning about modulation students start to explore improvisation.
This week our senior students continue to develop the improvisation skills they began to explore last week, while our junior students switch their focus towards learning about the importance of manners.
The manners lessons we teach are so important within the overall context of Head Held High, and we place a lot of meaning on them as teachers.
So, in Week 7 we have age appropriate conversations around manners, including exploring what different types of manners there are and why it's important to have good manners.
We talk about how manners are some of the most important skills you can learn.
Manners are important for how you make friends, how you make good first impressions and how you can be kind to people. We teach that you can’t get very far in life without good manners and that it is really important to show good manners to EVERYONE - not just older people or people you want to impress.
The intent of the last phase of this term’s lessons, for senior and junior students alike, is to help them feel comfortable with “thinking on their feet”.
A good impromptu speaker has no fear in group situations, and has confidence that they can organise their ideas quickly while articulating them well to an audience at the same time.
The fantastic thing about improvising and impromptu speaking is that they are skills which can be taught and learned!
In fact, even Mark Twain is on record as saying: "It usually takes me three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech."
A great example of a game we use to teach improvisation and impromptu speaking is “Story Story”...
• Students sit in a semi-circle and the teacher sets an “order” of play so everyone will know whose "turn" it is next.
• The 1st player must act out the story in whatever seems the best way. This can involve playing more than one character, using props - whatever she/he thinks will work best!
• After a minute or so, another “ding” and another rotation. Continue until the story concludes or seems to peter out, or until everyone has had several turns as storyteller and as actor.
So there you have it! Between this and our last post, you now have a taste of what your children and teenagers will be learning in this, the 1st term of 2021.
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