TOP 5 TIPS ON TEACHING PERFORMANCE POETRY IN SCHOOL, BY KAI

22 Jan
  1. If you only have one or two periods, think of how you can make your lesson as effective as possible in terms of time. Rehearse how you instruct the exercises and try to make the instructions concise and simple. Also, instead of handing out sheets of paper during the lesson, distribute them on the chairs, if they need paper for the first exercise.
  2. When the students are talking with each other and do not listen to your instruction, don’t overuse “Respect the Mic!” (because it can become meaningless and like “shh”, like shut up). Instead, whisper your instructions, change your pitch, speak like goofy, or speak directly to the one who is talking (but without telling him that he should stop talking), or you can change your position in the room in silence. The students then will notice that instructions are coming or that they need to be quiet and listen to the instructions.
  3. If you want the students to give feedback on your session, use post-it-notes! Use different colors for positive and constructive/ negative feedback. In order to get more specific feedback, e.g. let them use a metaphor (if you’ve done a session on metaphors) to evaluate the session. Or let them compare the session to animals, vegetables, clothes, etc. They might come up with a feedback like “The session was like new shoes I had to wear in.” or “It was a cup of coffee, warming and refreshing.”
  4. Always do a small projection exercise before they share their writings: Stand / sit straight, both feet firmly on the ground, shoulders back, imagine that your spine wants to reach your chin, but your chin stays up. Don’t forget to breathe! Look into each other’s eyes. You want them to hear your voice.
  5. If the students don’t have much energy and are tired, do this quick exercise: Stretch your arms, shoulders, legs. Then Yawn together very loudly and open your mouth as much as you can. Do this together and repeat the yawn two or three times. This takes maximum 3 minutes.
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