Start and end your class with meaning! This six-page tutorial offers 12 ways to open class and six ways to end the experience.

Starting and ending your class with a meaningful ritual, welcomes students into the process and ‘grounds’ the energy at the end of class. Included are six pages of activities that can help you establish opening and closing classroom rituals.

Here is an example of an opening ritual:

The Mystery Spot

Cut a giant circle out of a piece of black construction paper and choose a place in the room for the “Mystery Spot.” Let the students know that this is where the group will routinely gather at the beginning of class, end of class, or for discussion. Say something like, “The mystery spot is significant because in theater, anything can happen. We’ll be using our imaginations every day to make-believe we are someone/somewhere else.”

 If you are teaching this class over and over, you may want to invest in a piece of black fabric to make your “Mystery Spot.” Invite students to gather around. Ask some of the following questions. There are no “right” or “wrong” answers. The point is to let the students decide what they mystery spot means to them.

Ask!

  • What is a mystery spot?
  • Have any of you ever been to a mystery spot?
  • What kind of things can happen there?
  • If this black hole could lead to somewhere, where do you think it would go?
  • What value is there in having a mystery spot, instead of just picking a random spot in the room to check in? (Because it’s fun!)

Here is an example of a closing ritual:

Sharing Circle

In a circle, students join hands. One at a time, students say one word that describes their drama experience today. No judgments, no cross-talk. Everyone’s answer is the perfect thing for them. This also gives you a chance to get some feedback on what the students were feeling, and become aware of any students who need extra support or attention.

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