Assemblies are an effective way to expose a large group of students to dynamic presentations. You can use a well-timed assembly to spark interest in a new theme or to culminate work on a certain topic with a dramatic approach or an interesting guest speaker. When planning an assembly, keep in mind the maturity levels of all the students in the audience; for mixed-grade assemblies, you'll need extremely flexible and adaptable performers.
A Multicultural Celebration
Teach students about celebrations around the world with a multicultural assembly. Have different classes prepare songs, skits and speeches for the assembly. As a special treat, you can even have students prepare traditional foods eaten on featured holidays, for students to eat following the assembly. Use the promise of a treat as motivation for students in the audience to behave themselves. Engage students of all ages in the assembly by teaching them simple songs and having the whole audience join in for the choruses.
Safety rules and practices are important for primary school students of all ages. For a student-led assembly, have older students write short skits related to safety precautions. For one act of the assembly, set up the stage to resemble hazardous or unsafe practices and have the students in the audience identify what's "wrong with the picture." For example, if you're teaching students about fire and electrical safety, you can design a set with an extension cord plugged into too many appliances. (For safety, do not actually plug the cord into a live outlet!)
The theme of time travel will attract the attention of students of all ages, making the study of history more interesting. For an engaging presentation of whatever era of history your students are studying, create a skit based on time-travelling detectives or superheroes. Draw inspiration from popular television shows and films that use the same motif. For older primary school classes, you can have your students to write the skit themselves. Require that they use specific historical figures or characters or that they visit specific moments in history.
A Miniature Job Fair
For an exciting, whirlwind introduction to different jobs, invite parents and other members of the community engaged in interesting professions to speak to your students. Instead of creating a dry series of presentations, create interest by making the assembly a mystery for the audience to solve. Encourage each professional to dress appropriately for his job. As you focus on each of the professionals, have him present a short speech on his duties and responsibilities without revealing his job. To add to the sense of "mystery," have the presenters wear brown paper bags over their faces with eye holes cut out. Among the presenters, include at least one teacher, principal or other individual whom the students have some chance of recognising, with or without seeing the face.