Henderson Higher Achievement Week 1

Our first week at Henderson Higher Achievement was encouraging yet a bit overwhelming. We were greeted at Henderson by our site contacts, who lead us to the group we would be working with. To our surprise, we had 25 5th graders in our group. Despite the initial fear of dealing with 25 5th graders, towards the end of the hour we were encouraged by how enthusiastic the kids were about Shakespeare.

We began our session with one of the short youtube Macbeth videos. After watching the videos the children wanted to hear more about Macbeth (mostly due to all the death that occurred in the video). We then started asking the kids questions about what they picked up from the video, just to see what they were retaining. After the first video we played a name game in which we were able to quickly see some children were more willing to speak than others. We also got a feel of the group we were working with. Throughout this game we had to stop multiple times to settle the children down.

After the name game we watched the video again- as per the request of the kids. We told them to keep some things in mind and explained how we would only be doing a section of the whole story. We tried to get them to hone in on things happening in our Act. The children were much more respectful and quiet this time around, and we realized that we may need to be a bit stern with them.

Lately, we played the “bull frog” game with the kids. They absolutely loved this! Again, we ran into the problem of having over-enthusiastic/energetic kids. In fact, in the first round of the game the bull frog wasn’t doing anything and the children were just acting out dying by themselves. After we established the rules, the game ran very smoothly. It was a great ice breaker and a way for us to see what kids may want to have bigger roles.

Overall, the experience at Henderson middle school was positive. Our site coordinator said that the kids were most likely especially rowdy that day because they had not seen in each other in a while. She reassured us that them acting that way was not normal and they would settle down. I am excited to see how the rest of the days play out at Higher Achievement!