Taking middle school children to acting classes comes with a series of benefits for their development, whether they decide to follow this career path or not. First, they will improve their communication skills and they will not feel reticent speaking in front of large public. Second, they will make new friends while attending the acting classes. However, teaching acting to children should be done according to their age. Children from the sixth, seventh and eighth grade need different approach when it comes to teaching acting. Here are some useful tips on how to teach drama to middle school students.
Sixth grade – teach them to use the body
The best way to teach middle school students how to use their bodies when acting is through a series of interesting and entertaining theatre games, role-play and pantomime. During cours de theatre debutant Paris they learn to feel comfortable with using their bodies when acting, so these games are supposed to help children get accustomed to moving while in front of large public. One great game in this case is to pair two children facing each other and to have one of them doing various movements, while the other acts as a mirror and tries to imitate those movements as closely as possible. Through this game, children learn how to communicate with each other using their facial expressions and bodies.
Seventh grade – working on the voice skills
After learning how to use their bodies and facial expressions when acting, the next step is to teach them methods to develop their voice skills. Their dramatic voice skills can be improved through various techniques that include storytelling, monologues, tongue twisters and other word games that are meant to help children with this matter. In order to encourage students play with different tones and voices, one great idea is to give them masks and puppets that they can play with. Through these techniques, seventh grade students are supposed to develop their voice skills and narratives and help them focus more on the importance voice has when creating dialogues.
Eighth grade – learning to include thought and emotion in the act
Children from the eighth grade have a more developed sense on how acting should be done, so it is a good idea to take this to the next level. After learning how to use their bodies when acting and how to improve their voice skills, children from the eighth grade should learn how to incorporate thought and emotion in the act. The best method to learn how to connect the body, the mind and emotions is through improvisation games. One improv game involves asking the students to create a list with the ways humans can move, such as running, walking or skipping. Afterwards, each student has to present one different way in which people carry one of the movements out. For instance, students can make it faster, bigger, heavier or relaxed. Discuss with them how the change in the way one moves has an influence on one’s emotions. Thus, they will learn that there is a connection between their bodies, minds and emotions.