This day was a huge success! The principal approached me in March about having an “English Day” at Vaipu’a Primary. The HELLO! school in Japan where I was working held an annual event every February where students could showcase their skills, so I immediately started envisioning a similar production to what we had done then.
First was a play, simply written and with both group characters and individuals so all the students could take part. Year 1 & 2 were cast as monkeys, Year 3 were kookaburra birds, Year 4 played flamingos, hippos and crocodiles, Year 5 were bears, tigers and snakes, Year 6 were wolves and Year 7 & 8 played either a main character (Zebra, Lion, Rhino) or were story narrators. We took simple English songs like “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain” and changed the lyrics to fit the story. So when our heroes were being chased down a mountain by wolves, the school sang “They’ll be running down the mountain when they come…” and so on. Year 8 students were also given short speeches to present, like welcoming the parents, leading the prayer in English and closing the program.
The masks we made for 100-something students were a huge hit with the parents and the kids.
The older students decorated the hall with coconut leaves wrapped around the poles and leaf garlands strung everywhere. Parents told me later that it was the first time they had heard their children speak English or do a play.
There was just the one little bump during the program when a mother in the audience fainted…but after she was carried away and resuscitated, the show went on!