choral reading or speaking

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Choral Reading or SpeakingChoral reading or speaking is simply reading or speaking in unison under the direction of a leader. Choral speaking offers genuine opportunity for problem solving as each group works out its own presentation. It has three major purposes:

learning performance enjoyment.

Practising choral speaking or reading does not necessarily mean there must be a performance. Practice has its own value whether the product is shared with others or not. Choral speaking or reading has many benefits:

Because it is a group activity, it provides for co- operation and directs all students toward a common goal. It can be successful regardless of class size or grade level, and is useful in multigrade classrooms and for ESL students. As students are not speaking alone, they may feel less conspicuous or intimidated, and this offers greater opportunities for those who are shy or withdrawn to speak. It provides for speech improvement in pitch, tone, volume, rate, diction, enunciation, and clear interpretation of selections.

Several types of choral speaking or reading are appropriate for classroom use:

Refrain is one of the most common forms of choral speaking. One person reads the narrative portion of the text while the rest of the class joins in the refrain. Unison calls for the whole group to read the material together. Additional sound effects might be incorporated. Antiphon calls for the class to be divided into two or more groups, with each group being responsible for a certain part of the selection. Cumulative choral reading or speaking refers to a method where groups of voices or individual voices are added to or subtracted from the choral reading, depending on the message or the meaning communicated by the selection. Solo Lines is a type of choral reading where individuals read specific lines in appropriate places throughout the group activity. Line Around is more solo work where each line is taken by a different person in the group.

Before Choral Speaking or Reading Some preparation guidelines include the following:

Select material with care (students, or teacher and students). It should reflect student interest and preference as well as student vocabulary level. Poetry is

especially suitable for choral speaking, particularly poetry that contains some repetition (e.g., ballads, narrative poetry, adventure poetry). Give advance thought to interpretation. Discuss meaning and the various ways of reading the material to bring out the meaning. Consider suggestions for improvements after practice readings, including suggestions for improving phrasing and diction. As the students become more experienced, they will offer suggestions as to which lines may be most effectively delivered by the whole group, by part of the group, or by individuals. The amount of time spent preparing a poem or other selection will vary, but it is more important to keep the enthusiasm alive than to strive for perfection. Students who will be listening to the choral readings should be prepared for the listening experience. They should be willing to listen attentively, without distracting the speakers; they should also prepare to respond regarding the effectiveness of the speaking activity (e.g., sound arrangement, choral patterns).

During Choral Speaking or Reading Students may divide their groups into "lighter and darker" voices (considering tone quality) or "high and low" voices (considering pitch), or they may decide to mix the groups. After choosing one of the types of choral speaking and practising it, students should deliver it with enthusiasm and enjoyment. As students continue to experiment with different elements of oral interpretation in their groups, the teacher should circulate among groups to monitor progress and provide encouragement. Student groups may share their interpretation with the whole class or with one other group. Positive comments should be offered by peers. After Choral Speaking or Reading Teachers should record notes and observations about student oral language development. Observations should be made regarding students' involvement in choral speech, willingness to consider and offer suggestions, efforts to discuss and interpret the selections, and ability to use correct terminology (e.g., pitch, volume). Teachers may wish to start a video recording library of student choral speaking selections and performances that can be used during assessment, or serve as models for other students. As well, teachers may encourage students who would like to present their work at assemblies or concerts. Invite students to collect and share favourite materials for future choral speech. Be sure that there is an opportunity to include selections that correspond to unit themes currently being explored or that are personally meaningful to the students. Encourage students to experiment further with the dramatic elements in choral speech (e.g., light/dark, sound/silence, movement/stillness) in order to create mood and atmosphere in their oral interpretations.

Poetry Alive! Institute Objectives Objective 1: To experience a myriad of teaching strategies for immediate use in the classroomThroughout the Institute, facilitators will model practical, workable, and teacher friendly activities that will transport back to the participants own classroom or assignment. For this objective participants will experience the following:

Models of all the objectives and concepts Experiential learning Ways to engage students in wanting to learn Ways to engage struggling readers Ways to connect to emergent readers Ways to connect to sophisticated readers Ways to have students connect authentically with the text Ways to create community, build trust, and establish respect

Objective 2: To help participants maximize their potential as teachersThe Poetry Alive! Institute participants are made up mostly of educators, and every aspect of the residency activities is applicable to the classroom. Our goal is to present a hands-on methodology for teaching the reading-writing-performance connection. We will explore the pedagogy of poem performance, but we will also demonstrate the theory in practice. During the Institute participants will complete the following

Performance strategies and skills: Introduction to Poem Presentation Transforming poems into scripts Introduction to stage presentation skills Poetry as multi-modal learning Collaborative learning

Objective 3: To help participants grow personally by providing authentic performance opportunitiesWhile most participants are not theatrical professionals, we offer an opportunity for educators to develop an actors ability and directors eye. The Institutes activities

culminate in a collaborative performance. This real-world experience helps to improve the participants self-confidence and knowledge. Participants also become more empathetic teachers. For this objective participants will experience the following:

Teacher as performer/performer as teacher The secret of memorization Crystallization of poem choices for the show order Reader/response strategies Connecting to the text Transforming the poem into a script Identifying the poems character, action, setting and feeling Learn to score the poem

Objective 4: To help participants grow as writers of poetry and to make them more effective facilitators of their students writingThe Institutes activities are partially devoted to writing exercises which help participants begin to discover their individual voices. Participants take part in exercises which provide models for their own classrooms, thus allowing them to pass personal experience on to their students. For this objective the participants will:

Engage in the reading-writing-performance strategy Creating a safe haven for learning Building a community of learners Conducting discussions Celebrating Writing Utilizing segue

Objective 5: To demonstrate methods which will allow teachers to help their students better respond to literatureParticipants will receive hands-on experience with activities designed to help students to generate meaningful verbal and written discussion about the literature they read. Participants will complete the following:

Pre-reading strategies Anticipatory Set Connecting to the text: Roseblatt Using scaffold and graphic organizers for writing Using writing to learn strategies Connecting the reading, writing and performance

Transforming poems into scripts Create writing using salvaging and scaffolding

Objective 6: To help participant experience poetry from the inside outThe Poetry alive! Method sees poetry as a life experience rather than merely an object of study. By memorizing poetry and presenting it theatrically, participants internalize and understand the words language, mood, and meaning with an intimacy that can be difficult to achieve through traditional methods of explication and analysis. For this objective participants will:

Bring real world connections to literature Experience the secret of memorization Complete a poem search for memorization Revisit character, action, setting and feeling

Objective 7: To provide a forum in which Participants are allowed to present the culmination of their workIn order that the participants experience does not take place in a vacuum, the Institutes activities culminate in a performance. For this objective teachers will experience the following:

Collaborative learning at its best Training their butterflies to fly in formation Experience multi-modal learning Community Building Interaction with committed educators Become empathetic to what students experience during the poem performance experience

Objective 8: To expose participants to working writers, performers, and educatorsWhen possible, Poetry


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