Expanding on holidays with role playing is a great way to work on language skills in a less structured way. After some background on the holidays, allow time in sessions for role playing time. Children of all ages will enjoy being able to pretend to be George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, or another one of the Presidents of the United States.
Make, Take, and Act
Imagine the faces of the students you work with if they are able to dress up like one of the Presidents of the United States. While some classrooms and schools may have props available to use, others may not. It is possible to make some items to use and help them to express their views of these past leaders. Depending on your schedule, you could make these items kids, but may opt to do them ahead of time and bring them in. Spoonful.com has a paper plate Abe Lincoln hat that needs a few items that could make any child feel like the sixteenth president. They also have a great powdered wig that could have everyone sporting the George Washington look. If you have more group sessions, the photo booth props may be a better solution.
Once you have your items ready, brainstorm with the kids on what they want to act out – perhaps a certain part from Lincoln’s life. Maybe they want to cut down some cherry trees like Washington. Let the kids lead the way and encourage them to add more descriptive words. Praise them for working with a group and being confident when adding dialogue to their role playing. As a challenge for older students, have them include key words that you are using in a way that is presidential.
Individual Presidents for Puppet Play
For a smaller and more hands on activity, kids can make presidential toilet paper roll crafts that are available on DLTK’s Crafts for Kids. Each child can make George Washington and Abraham Lincoln or select one. Once you have the templates printed, you will just need a toilet paper roll, crayons/markers, scissors, glue, and paper. To make these more of a puppet, they could be attached to a Popsicle stick. When finished, you can do a similar activity to the one above, just in a smaller space. Kids can also help you to make a small stage for their presidential crafts to perform and talk to their audience.
If you make the smaller puppets, they may be sent home with children. Include some talking points for families to encourage their children to continue the activity at home.
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