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All the school's a stage for all the school kids

Every pupil every year should have an opportunity to act in at least one play. Classroom skits should abound; puppetry should be a regular part of classroom expression.

The school's stage should be in constant use.

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The history teacher should be using it frequently as a forum for dramatic presentation of historic events.

Literature teachers should have to sign up early to get center stage for minor as well as major dramatic productions by students earning classroom credits.

Classroom teachers, unit teachers, open classroom teachers, and team teachers should be designing lessons which allow the most meek as well as the most bold to learn how to perform on stage.

When children are asked to read a story or a book, they should be encouraged to act out one or more scenes with schoolmates of their choice.

And those who are asked to present results of research in all subject areas should be encouraged to use the dramatic form of presentation as well as more conventional written and oral reports.

Pupils who do science experiments should be given an opportunity (if not encouraged) to present their reports in drama rather than in prose.

Civic groups in the community, interested in theater, puppetry, and drama, should include schoolchildren in their productions.

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Older secondary school students who write plays for language credits should be encouraged to work with younger children to put on their plays for a school if not for a community audience.

Schools without play-writing teachers on their staffs as well as schools that do not have teachers who are puppeteers or actors should make this a condition for hiring the next member of staff, no matter what the subject area.

Music teachers should be expected to produce several operettas each year, including as many pupils as possible in each production.

Play reading should be encouraged and become a regular part of classroom activity.

Youngsters should be encouraged to write their own plays, to choose their casts, and to put these on for audiences of fellow scholars.

And all schools should be severely discouraged from staging only one or two productions a year involving a very small proportion of the student body. Instead, the goal should be for every pupil every year to be in a production worthy of an audience.

Next week: Drop out penalities

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