School Assemblies – How to Plan a Successful Event! If you are given the task of picking school assemblies for your school, the job, though exciting, may have some questions that may be difficult for you to answer. How do you know which programs and how many presentations to do for your school? This is a question which comes up with any Elementary school or Middle School looking for ideas for school assemblies. Well, as famous detective Sherlock Holmes used to say: “Elementary, my dear Watson! , Elementary! ” Have you talked to a twelve year old lately?
Have you tried to read a bedtime story to them from a book designed to be read to a 6 year old? How did that work out for you? Not so good, huh? Kids minds change as they age. Well, that is a profound statement, right? Of course they do! And what appeals to and entertains the mind of a student in Kindergarten is radically different from what entertains a seventh grader. Even the differences from Kindergarten to 3rd grade are profound. And yet, many schools think nothing of arranging a school assembly program for an audience of all grades, from Kindergarten through eighth grade!
It always amazes me! Sure, there are presenters who can pull this off and the school may think that they had a good show. But what they do not realize is how much better the results would have been had they simply split the audience in half according to age. They might have had a great show instead! When all grades are combined, the performer of a school assembly has to become somewhat schizophrenic, addressing first the needs of one age group, then turning away from them to address the other half. The alternative is to simply present to one half and let the other half struggle.
Or to shoot for the middle and ignore the extremes. Whichever way you try, it’s basically a compromise that rarely please everyone. From the perspective of most school assembly performers, elementary school enrichment programs basically have three comfortably similar audience levels, with some overlap among them. The first, or Primary audience, starts with pre-K and continues up to roughly 3rd grade. The second, or Intermediate audience, can begin as early as 2nd grade and continue through 6th grade. The oldest, or Middle school, audience, begins at 4th grade and continues usually up through young adult.
When audiences are split this way the presenter can change the style, vocabulary and content of the performance to best meet the needs and likes of that particular audience. It is one thing to consider whether a school assembly program is appropriate for all grades combined, but one must also ask if a particular program is indeed suited for a particular age group at all. For example, some school assemblies, when split into different performances, are quite good for all elementary school grades, but fare poorly in Middle Schools.
Other school assemblies play wonderfully for Middle Schools but fly right over the heads of primary school audiences. It is wise to ascertain before scheduling a program whether or not the program is indeed appropriate for all the grades you wish to involve. Finally, one may also consider arranging different programs for different grade levels. For instance one might have a historical character for the 4th Grade, a science show for the 3rd grade, a live animal program for the 2nd grade and so on. This way everyone gets exactly what they want according to their needs.
However, this supposes that cost is of little concern to you, and, sadly, we all know that cost is almost always a concern. Obviously, multiple performances will be more expensive than a single, all encompassing performance. But one should remember that “one size never really does fit all”! If you are going to spend the money to bring in a presentation it is worth making sure the experience is the best it can be. And most assembly companies and performers charge less per show for the second and third presentations, and sometimes considerably less. It is worth checking.
There is really nothing worse than having a program fail and realizing after the fact that a little extra planning and a few more dollars would have turned a sad experience into something great! Geoff Beauchamp is the Regional Manager of Mobile Ed Productions where “Education Through Entertainment” has been the guiding principal since 1979. Mobile Ed Productions produces and markets quality educational school assembly programs in the fields of science, history, writing, astronomy, natural science, mathematics, character issues and a variety of other curriculum based areas.
In addition, Mr. Beauchamp is a professional actor with 30 years of experience in film, television and on stage. He created and still performs occasionally in Mobile Ed’s THE LIVING * School Assembly Presentations 1. Organized and presented four class assemblies with Grades 5 & 7 around environmental/spiritual themes using songs, chants, circle story telling, drama and poems. 2. Screened a short documentary ‘Give Us a Life Please’ showing the dangers of toxic waste and other environmental pollution on Indian children’s health. . Arranged the purchase, introduced and displayed ‘Herbotique’, a herbal, multi-purpose floor wash and cleaner and the chemical cleaners our school has been using up to this time with a full-explanation of the environmental and health effects of both. Arranged for empty containers to be available at the Tuck Shop so teachers and staff can purchase it by using our bulk order. 4. Arranged and anchored a student-led visual presentation to educate the school body about garbage separation. 5.
Organized and presented a four-day ‘Climate Change Week’ to help inform the entire school body about this global threat and how it is connected to our daily lives. Five sets of six posters especially created for schools by TERI were placed on notice boards around the school including in the staff room. Four extended morning assemblies, each of 45 minutes duration, covered the following: (Saturday): First clue of ‘Climate Change Challenge’ Treasure Hunt) was given at the end of the morning assembly. Attention was drawn to the 20 ‘True or False’ statements placed on the walls around the assembly hall and to the posters around the school. Monday): Screening of a narrated Power Point Presentation introducing Climate Change and highlighting its cause and effects. (Tuesday): Screening of a video ‘Global Warning’ which focused on the possible effects of Climate Change on various regions of India. (Wednesday): ‘Quiz Results Day’. a. Students were asked to raise their hands regarding the truth or falsity of the statements placed around the assembly hall giving reasons for their choices based on… [continues] Read full essay Planning a School Assembly Checklist Planning a school assembly is fun but hectic at the same time for teachers.
The dos and don’ts of planning a school assembly are to be well considered before organizing one. No matter what the event is, the basics always remain the same. Therefore, every teacher must have a school assembly checklist to ensure the success of the whole event. Firstly, to organize a proper assembly it is imperative to classify the responsibilities into three categories; tasks to be undertaken before the event, tasks during the school assembly and activities to carry out right after the assembly. Categorizing your tasks will make it easier to organize the event.
Checklist for tasks before the event: Here’s a school assembly checklist for tasks you should perform before the event: * Choose a single theme for the event to get administrative approval if necessary. Select a date that is convenient for the staff and students. Make sure the date does not conflict with any other events held by the school. * Develop a set of rules for the event that should include the time limit, attire to be worn, the dos and don’ts for students and teachers, etc. * Make a list of guests – students, teachers, principal, and any outsider if permitted. Create invitation cards for special guests – You can have your students make them as a fun activity. * Create a management plan of how to carry out the activities on the day of the school assembly. Checklist for the day of assembly: The following is a list of tasks and considerations teachers need to make for the day of assembly: * Before the assembly starts, check whether everyone is ready for the activities they are carrying out. * Check the audio and visual equipment thoroughly to avoid any mishaps. * If any special guests are invited, make sure that you and the principal are ready to welcome them. Distribute lists of the activities to be held to parents, students and guests. * Distribute questionnaires to guests and parents afterwards to know their comments about the event. * Check if the refreshments are ready to be served on time. * Make sure the welcome speech is ready. Let the guests, students, and parents know in the welcome speech about the purpose of the event and the activities once again. After the School assembly checklist: It is important to create an after school assembly checklist to make sure that everything runs smoothly.
Here are some tips for that: * Most important – make sure all the guests are taken care of properly once the event is over. * Make sure all the equipment used are unplugged and kept safely. * Make sure to acknowledge everyone – guests, sponsors, performers, etc. * Create a file of activities that were carried out, guests who came, sponsors, etc. for next year. * Take all suggestions in writing from guests, parents, and others involved. For More On School Assemblies Visit 1. Academic Entertainment- K-12 school assembly programs through quality entertainment. 2.
Assemblies- Assemblies is a bank of over 100 resources written by teachers for teachers. They should save you time when creating and preparing assemblies for use with your class, year group or school. 3. The assemblies website- United Kingdom site. 4. Circus of the Kids- Provides programs for K-12 schools or organizations. 5. National Theatre for Children- Develops programs that tour elementary and middle schools teaching kids about societal issues. 6. The Puppet Showplace Theatre- A non-profit performing arts organization committed to excellence in puppetry for all audiences. 7.
Royalty Theatre, Sunderland- Amateur theatre group site with information about their history and past and present productions. 8. School Assemblies for Busy Teachers- A site where teachers can freely download and submit assembly, ideas, scripts, and links. 9. SchoolGigs. com 10. School Shows. com- A nationwide directory of school shows, assemblies, workshops, and residencies. Please note: The performers in this directory are solely responsible for the content of their listing. 11. Storyteller. net- “You can search here for a teller in your own neighborhood or even around the world!
If a state or country is not listed we have no tellers from that state/country. ” How to Set Up a Great School Assembly Program Over the last few decades school assemblies, or school shows have become a staple of the day to day life of many schools across the United States. Once a simple burst of entertainment to break up the year, usually in the form of a magic show or a juggler, school assemblies have blossomed into an entire industry, filled with a magnificent array of options ranging from entertainment to education and with pretty much everything in between. Knowing how to select what is right for your school can be a difficult job!
It is important to decide what you are looking for, then track down the types of programs which will best serve your needs. Traditional “entertainment” shows, while fun for the kids, have given way over the past few decades to educational programs which often provide a cost effective alternative to field trips. Newer programs are designed to strictly adhere to and support the educational standards of your state, and thus to augment the educational process, while providing every bit as much entertainment and fascination for the kids as do the shows which focus strictly on entertainment.
There are many school assemblies available which focus on one or more areas of science. You may opt for a program on chemistry, or a visiting planetarium, or or a natural science assembly taught through the introduction of live animals. Social studies are also represented in the form of living history characters such as Abraham Lincoln or Harriett Tubbman. Fine Arts programs abound, and it is possible to schedule visits from dance companies, bands and orchestras, strolling individual musicians and various applied arts programs as well.
And in the field of writing the option exists to arrange for a visit from an author or from a performing artist who will present performances of stories written by your students. Once you have determined which area is of interest, the next task is to locate the appropriate artist. If you live in a major metropolitan area such as Chicago or New York, you may have access to an assembly showcase. These are good options for getting ideas, but leave out many able presenters who may not have the option of traveling to the showcase, but who are, nevertheless, available to your school.
The internet is a good place to start, and a simple search under “school assembly programs” or school assemblies” and including your state, will often yield good results. It is important to add your state, as many performers are only available on a local basis, though there are also major and very reputable companies that are available nationwide. Often your school will keep a file of brochures that have been mailed to the school. And you may also want to contact other schools in your area to see if they have recommendations.
Some school show presenters are totally independent and must be contacted personally. This can be challenging as these independent “acts” are often busy performing when you call so patience is required. You may need to wait a day or two until they can reply to your inquiry. Others are represented by agencies or perform programs on behalf of companies. In these cases there is usually a staffed office available with customer service to assist you, on your schedule. Writers and authors are usually contacted through the auspices of a literary agent.
Fees will vary widely. Programs may range from free up to thousands of dollars. Some authors can be very expensive. Science Museums often have outreach programs but these are also oftentimes very costly. On the other extreme, simple but effective programs can be found for free. Hospitals may provide a bike safety program. Ronald McDonald has programs in some areas for which the school pays nothing. But most presenters will charge some kind of fee. A common price range may start at $200-300 but range up from there quickly according to the number of performances.
This touches on another area needing planning. As anyone who has ever shopped for clothing will tell you, one size never fits all. If your school has 400-500 or more students, that is usually too many for a single performance. This is especially true when the performer is asked to address many different grade levels simultaneously. The needs of a first grader are different from the interests of a fifth grader. Skilled presenters know how to address these needs in different, age-appropriate assemblies. So make sure to schedule enough presentations.
Be sure to also ascertain whether additional fees are involved. Many performers will tack on fees for travel or accommodation. Others will require non refundable deposits, and charge the school for weather cancellations. Some will even require you to convince other local schools to also book a date before they will allow you to schedule your own. Make sure you are clear on everything that is involved! Finally, you will be ready to schedule your dates. Try to obtain programs at times of the year when the content is aligned with what the students are studying at that time.
Examples might include hosting an Abraham Lincoln impersonator during February, or a science program to kick off the period leading up to your science fair. Avoid bringing in programs just before or during state mandated test windows or you will certainly incur the wrath of your teachers! Parochial schools may want to have a program during Catholic Schools week. Some schools like to look for something to highlight anti-substance abuse issues during Red Ribbon Week. There are many options available to you. But don’t wait too long. Try to schedule far in advance!
While it is sometimes possible to get lucky and be able to arrange a program at the last minute, more than likely if you wait you will be disappointed. The best programs will fill in. And often, programs may only be in your area of the country at certain times. It is wise to begin your planning for the upcoming school year during the previous Spring. Regardless of what you choose, prepare to have a good time. There is nothing as rewarding a the sound of a gymnasium full of students erupting with laughter and awe from a performance you helped to bring to them!
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