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Strategies for peer presentations

Short videos of "Mountain Pose" and "Ready, Set, Go Chairs"

Mountain or Neutral Pose

See a video example:

Mountain or Neutral Pose from Erin Hulse on Vimeo.

There are times when students need to feel how to focus with their bodies as well as their minds.  This strategy is a good one for students to practice a physical type of focus.  It is also a traditional starting point for many movement exercises in theatre. Remind them that mountains don't seem to move--they need to remain steady.

  • Feet hip-width apart.
  • Knees stacked over ankles, hips over the knees.  Keep the knees loose--don't lock them.
  • Straighten the spine, roll the shoulders back and down. This keeps the chest open and easier to breathe and project vocally.
  • Head should be comfortably positioned on the top of the spine--like a bobble head that doesn't bobble.
  • Ask students to focus on one thing in the room that does not move directly across from their gaze and to keep a neutral expression.  Walk by them and try to make eye contact, encouraging them to stay focused.

NOTE: This can be modified for when students are seated in chairs or on the floor.

  • Chairs:  Slide to the edge of the chair, place feet flat on the floor, knees at a ninety degree angle, back straight, shoulders rolled back and down.
  • Seated on the floor:  Straighten the spine, roll shoulders back and down.

In lesson plan format: Mountain Pose

Ready, Set, Go Chairs

See a video example:

This strategy helps when you have students presenting a short dramatic creation or other oral presentation to their peers.  It helps avoid "can we go next?" and students develop the skill of cooperation.

  • Set out three chairs.
  • The first chair is Ready?
  • The middle chair is Set.
  • The last chair is Go!

The first student/students to present sit in the Go chair, the second student/students sit in the Set chair, and the third student/students sit in the Ready chair.  As the Go position gets up to perform, the Set position moves to the Go chair, the Ready position moves to the Set chair, and the Ready chair is empty.  Students who are then "ready" can move into that chair.  NOTE: Remind students to be respectful of the "ready" chair and not push or shove to get to it.