Choral Speaking

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Choral Speaking The following excellent resource was submitted by Anita Geller, Arts Consultant with the District School Board of Niagara and is based on The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8, The Arts, 1998. Thanks Anita, from all of us at CODE! What is Choral Speaking? When groups of students recite passages they've committed to memory, they are involved in choral speaking. (In choral reading and reader's theatre, students are not required to memorize the text, as the names imply). Students interpret text (poems, stories and other sources) by exploring the elements of choral speaking and movement. Together, they experiment with language and explore their voices in a "safe" environment. Since choral speaking is such a highly flexible strategy, individual student needs can easily be addressed within the context of whole group activities. For example, students who are less comfortable "performing" can be placed in large or small groups; others, more excited by the opportunity to experiment, can be given greater challenges such as solo lines. How do I get started? Find a piece your students are interested in exploring. Select several poems, stories or prepared pieces to begin with and then explore them all with the group. Choose your favorite! Beginners find Shel Silverstein's poems wonderful starting points! Take time to discuss the meaning of the piece you've collectively selected (interpretation), after reading through it several times. You need to do this in order to know what you hope to eventually 'say"! Practice speaking the piece, focusing on one element of choral speaking at a time. Through this work, you will discover a great deal about the poem, its meaning, not to mention the group itself. What are the elements of choral speaking'? They are, in random order: Number of voices: Choral speaking utilizes every voice in the group. Students can be given solo lines, divided into sections or small groups, or the entire group can speak a line simultaneously. This...
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