In order to escape the routine of sitting in front of the TV or the computer every day after finishing school, some parents have chosen to enroll their children in various extra-curricular activities, such as swimming, playing a certain sport or taking acting classes. Acting can be quite beneficial for children’s development, even though they do not necessarily follow a career in this industry. Looking for the right acting school might be time-consuming, but if you start your research everything will turn out to be a lot easier. Teachers should know that teaching acting should be done differently according to the age range of those enrolled in the acting class, so here is a guide for teaching it properly.
When you, as an actor, have to teach acting to children from primary grades or to pre-schoolers, it is highly important to make the classes seem interesting and to do activities that are meant to catch their attention. Children have to learn the basics of acting through a series of interesting activities. One good example is to have them watch a video of various animals and to ask them to move their bodies just like those animals in the video did. Opt for children’s songs or some short stories to teach them some useful skills that can help them play a character or express themselves better through movements.
Children from elementary school
The most effective method to teach children from elementary school acting is through various games meant to keep them focused on the activities in the classroom. The traditional ‘Simon Says’ game can do wonders in such situations. Improvisation games are also beneficial to developing their acting skills.
You can use all the previously mentioned teaching methods on children from middle school too, but make sure you focus more on improvisation exercises, effective ways to memorize lines and ways to interact with the other actors in a scene. One great exercise to help students express themselves while on stage beyond saying the lines is to have them talk in nonsense various words. You can give one student an idea or a sentence and ask him or her to express it without using any real phrases or words. It is a great exercise that will definitely put their minds at work.
The methods mentioned above can be used in teaching acting to students from high school too, but it is better for these children to focus more on setting the scene and helping them develop stronger characters. You can let them write their own short plays and give them the chance to put them on stage during the classes. It is a great way to analyze the script, the scene and to show them on what things they should focus their attention more. In order to help them develop their setting-the-scene skills, you can ask them to think of their bedrooms from home or on their classroom and to draw some sketches on a piece of paper showing the way they would recreate that specific setting on a real stage.