Bad Wolf Plays for Gifted and Talented Students
Veteran Teachers Reveal Twelve Reasons Why Doing Short Plays and Musicals are Excellent Activities for Teaching Your Gifted and Talented Students
If you're looking for new activities for your gifted and talented students, or for your school's gifted program...consider doing a short, fun, musical play.
We interviewed 3 veteran teachers who've done plays and musicals with their gifted students and here's what they had to say about why they think it's a great activity for your gifted kids.
1. Rick Goldman (Saint Vincent's High School, Savannah, GA) has directed over 40 plays and musicals with gifted kids ages 8-18 since 1979. He points out that gifted kids...
"are verbal (they need and love to talk)
are smart (they like figuring out stories, plot lines, historical and scientific facts)
are creative (they get lots of ideas for staging, props, costumes etc.)
are funny (so they’ll respond to the witty, silly stuff Bad Wolf is famous for)
are quick to get lots of ideas (which will help make the play better)
want to use their ideas (they all want to be seen as smart and helpful)
want to express themselves (verbally and however will get your attention)
want to be seen and heard (ah...actors...)
are fast to memorize lines and songs (makes the play even easier to teach/direct/learn/do)
are very musical (many take private voice, piano, musical instrument, dance, ballet lessons and classes)
have lots of physical energy and this lets them get it out in a positive way (thank god)
love the challenge (they want to do great and let the world see it)"
2. Greg Miller (Folsom Cordova USD, Folsom, CA) has been a gifted coordinator and classroom teacher for 15 years, and wrote about doing plays with gifted students in the Fall 2008 Gifted Education Communicator. Here's a quote:
"Now, I know that most of you out there are thinking: How, in the current climate of "High Stakes Testing" can this clown justify taking valuable class time for producing plays? If you choose carefully, musical plays can add a tremendous amount of depth to the curriculum without wasting your valuable class time. There are plays that are based on history, science, math, and even language arts. I choose ones that fit well with something we are studying and use the show to go "deeper." I had no choice about doing my first musical, but I continue to do them for many reasons: students think they can't memorize anything, and plays and musical show them that they can and it can be fun. Plays are a great way to teach study skills: highlighting, summarizing, and note taking. Plays are, in my opinion, the absolute best way to introduce and further public speaking skills. You can really do some great team building exercises too. Plus, I always throw in some Physical Education with dance: small and large group synchronized movement, and a lot of silly running around ala Monty Python's Flying Circus!"
3. Lara Haley, Teacher (4th grade, gifted/high achievers, Manatee Bay Elementary, Weston, FL) says, "I have 21 students in my gifted/high achiever class. They wanted to be involved so much that they added parts. Students stayed in during lunch to create and build sets. Other students started recording their vocal performances on the computer to play back and hear how it sounded. I was so impressed by them!"