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CHOSEN ACTIVITY

TARGET GROUP : Year 4 Intermediate Level ACTIVITY : Role play

CHOSEN STORY : Amrita and the Trees DESCRIPTION :

As the pupils had been introduced with the story Amrita and the Trees; 1. Teacher divides pupils into groups of four and asks them to sit in-group. 2. Teacher tells his pupils the activity they are going to have in that lesson. 3. Teacher asks the pupils what characters are involved in the Amrita and the Trees story. 4. Teacher distributes printed material of characters face to pupils and asks his pupils to divide the characters among them. 5. As an integration of activity, teacher asks his pupils to colour the face and cut them to make it as a mask. Teacher also prepared his pupils with ropes. 6. Teacher distributes another printed material, which is the dialogues where he needs his pupils to memorize the dialogues according to their character. 7. Teacher limits 10 minutes for his pupils to memorize their script. 8. Each groups need to role play/act out the story of Amrita and the Trees. 9. Teacher records the plays act out by his pupils. 10. Before they finish their class, teacher asks pupils what they gain from the activity.

JUSTIFICATION OF CHOSEN ACTIVITY

ROLE PLAY

Play is almost universally recognized as an integral factor in childrens learning and development. For example, Macintyre (2001) quotes Isaacs 1933 description of play: Play is "the crucial component in children's development," and adds that everyone "concerned with young children" should "recognise and value the different kinds of understanding developed through play" (Macintyre, 2001).

Role playing has been around as a learning tool for a long time. Role play is a type of pretend play where children get into character and act out a role or real life context. Role play is an active, social activity where children can get into character and use role play to reflect on and develop their knowledge of a topic. Whist role play is a fun, and a playful activity, it is also a key component of learning. Role play is the basis of all dramatic activity. The ability to suspend disbelief by stepping into another character's shoes comes quite naturally to most children. Through the structure of the lesson, this can be used to great effect, challenging children to develop a more sensitive understanding of a variety of viewpoints whilst sharpening their language and movement skills. By adopting a role, children can step into the past or future and travel to any location, dealing with issues on moral and intellectual levels. Thus, role play can be easily utilised to illuminate themes across the curriculum. Moreover, role play is an effective learning tool as it encourages children to become active participants in their learning. Children can move about, put themselves in someone elses shoes, perhaps wear a costume and use props, communicate and make decisions in character, which will allow them to take risks and explore different areas. Learning from role play is therefore far more likely to stick with children than for example doing exercise sheets, mostly because they will be much more willing and enthusiastic! As a teacher, it is a great sign if we see the children we teach in the playground acting out what they have just learnt. This shows that we have grabbed their attention and engaged their curiosity. Most of the role play areas will reflect a real life context. Role play is therefore an effective way for children to make sense of the world around them. It is especially beneficially for developing language skills; speaking and listening, both for children with English as second language or native English speakers. As well as vocabulary and language, role play develops childrens communication skills as children communicate with each other in a safe play environment. It is the most effective way of acquiring language. The development of language and communication skills are recognized as "closely linked to children's thinking and conceptual development" (O'Hagan and Smith, 2004). In addition to cognitive development, role play offers important development opportunities in the areas of language and communication. This can be intentional, such as when parents or other older players in the role play intentionally support vocabulary development by introducing names of things during the context of play (Keenan, 2002). However, the opportunity to talk and

verbally interact with others in the role play further presents a powerful way of learning even when no intentional instruction occurs (O'Hagan and Smith, 2004). Furthermore, a role play is a highly flexible learning activity which has a wide scope for variation and imagination. According to Ladousse (1987), role play uses different communicative techniques and develops fluency in the language, promotes interaction in the classroom and increases motivation. Here peer learning is encouraged and sharing of responsibility between teacher and the learner in the learning process takes place. It can improve learners' speaking skills in any situation, and helps learners to interact. As for the shy learners, role play helps by providing a mask, where learners with difficulty in conversation are liberated. In addition, it is fun and most learners will agree that enjoyment leads to better learning. Thus, language teaching can be an interesting challenge when teachers make the effort to explore a variety of approaches and activities in their teaching. Role play is just one of the many activity available for exploitation. With some attention given to the needs of the learners, both the teacher and the learners can play active roles in the classroom, making language classes livelier, challenging and above all rewarding.