A new school year
I was in a stationery store yesterday and couldn’t help noticing all the parents with children there. As they searched for the correct exercise books, pens and pencils I remembered the days of hunting for school items for my daughter and son.
A teachers perspective
As a teacher, I remember making new posters or displays and planning those crucial first lessons to begin bonding the class together. I always wondered how my new class of children would connect with each other and with me.
I wanted us to become a community that cared for each other and learned together.
I was always on the lookout for resources to help this happen. Contact me for a drama lesson plan called 'The Newcomer' if you are looking for resources for your class. This lesson plan will set up a different way to engage your students in creating their class contract that would have meaning long after the words went up on a wall.
This lesson for Year 3 and 4 children focuses on the experience of being a newcomer in a school.
Even if the children have been in the same school since the day they first started school, they still remember their first day of school. If any children are new to a school, this drama fits right alongside their experience. The lesson provides a topic of conversation to begin sharing these personal experiences.
'The Newcomer' is a process drama and teachers can 'pause' the lesson one day and return to it the next day. The children’s curiosity is re-kindled by not finishing the whole drama in one day.
By the end of the process drama, there will be a more shared understanding of what it’s like to feel alone when you haven’t yet made friendsin a new place (the new classroom) .
More importantly – I think - is the opportunity for children to be in the shoes of the child who reaches out and invites the new person to join in. It doesn’t take much for children to connect the drama to what happens in the real school world.
When a class contract is written up by the class after this process drama, it’s one the children remember and refer to any time they see behaviour that is not supportive of another person in their class.
Your free copy of ‘The Newcomer’ lesson plan is aligned with the NZ Curriculum document and is adaptable for older children. Enjoy the process with your class and let me know how you get on.