Acting out books

We are wrapping up the year reading novels in my classes.  In the past, I had students act out chapters that I thought were interesting.  In both novels (Agentes secretos y el mural de Picasso and Piratas del Caribe y el mapa secreto), there are a ton of great chapters to portray.  The chapters are also pretty short- a few pages each chapter.  However, many times it did not go well!  Actors would get sidetracked, and the crowd would lose interest.

This year at ACTFL, I heard the solution!  Each scene that is acted should be at maximum a page long!  I picked the juiciest scene from the whole chapter, and that is the one that they acted.  I read the page first, paused, and then the student actors would start.  I would also only use volunteers.  Students will not get into it unless they volunteer.

At times, we also had all students act out a chapter.  The students read the chapter, and then they each chose their favorite scene and acted it.  This happened during Grandparents’ Day where we had lots of grandparents and special friends.  It went really well!  Hopefully you can use these tips when you act out scenes in your classes.

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