School assemblies can create wonderful memories for primary school children, offering opportunities to combine learning with a lasting feeling of community and camaraderie with classmates. The best assemblies are well organised and offer a variety of segments to maintain high attention levels and student interaction. Educators can begin by selecting a type of assembly and then adding personalised touches that reflect the primary school and student body's interests and needs.
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Recognition assemblies are a great way to introduce primary school students to one another near the beginning of the year. Invite each teacher to submit a few names of students for categories involving academic achievement, attendance, athletic performance or citizenship. Create a semi-formal ceremony where children receive certificates onstage and get the opportunity to shake the principal's hand as classmates applaud. This boosts feelings of classroom and primary school pride and provides students who excel in areas other than academics with a chance to shine.
Social Issues Assembly
Social issues assemblies allow educators to create genuine school-wide discussions about a problem that may crop up in the primary school classroom or on the playground. Bullying, domestic violence, gang involvement or peer pressure problems can infiltrate primary schools, creating an environment of fear or uncertainty. Spotlighting the dangers of these issues---pick just one for the focus of an assembly to maximise effectiveness---can help children begin to articulate their feelings on the subject. Speakers might include a police officer, former gang member or social worker. Use clips from movies or TV shows that illustrate good or poor ways to deal with the issues. Ask older primary students to perform a skit, or invite the high school drama class to perform.
Certain holidays lend themselves to colourful, song-filled assemblies where children have the opportunity to perform. Halloween assemblies can have a creepy haunted house backdrop where children share Edgar Allan Poe poems, show off Halloween costumes or learn safe trick-or-treating tips. Winter holiday assemblies can incorporate traditional songs or poems. Presidents Day assemblies may include patriotic skits, the reading of famous presidential speeches and traditional songs.
Art Performance Assembly
Children are natural performers, and there's nothing quite like watching fellow classmates share their skills. Auditions are optional; some schools may want all students to be involved while others may prefer to host a talent show. Invite the school's singers, dancers, actors and comedians to share pre-planned acts. Visual art students may be creating live art on easels while students file into the assembly, while budding musicians may play music as students enter. Make sure all presentations are appropriate before inviting students onstage; tryouts or rehearsals may be in order.
International Culture Assembly
International culture assemblies are a wonderful way to recognise and honour diverse student bodies. Invite professional mariachi musicians, Hawaiian hula dancers, Scottish bagpipe players or Shakespeare performers to perform at the assembly, or ask students to prepare their own performances. Primary school students may study folklorico ballet or the Hebrew language or know how to prepare sushi rolls---and they will be delighted to share this knowledge with classmates. The whole school can sing well-known national anthems. Such assemblies are great launching places for discussions about peace, tolerance and becoming global citizens.
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