5 Reasons Skits Belong In Your Classroom, too

Almost every semester, I have students do skits–over a reading, theme, or something else. You need to use these, too!

Here are five reasons why: 

  1. Skits are quick. Students only need 10-15 minutes to prepare and their skits are usually 2-3 minutes at most but can, of course, easily be adjusted. Groups of 2-5 work great. I’ve had a “group” of one once!
  2. Students have fun. They laugh, they talk, and they interact with me and with each other in ways not otherwise possible. 
  3. Students learn. Students have to use the highest levels of thinking in order to create. People learn what they do and create most effectively of all. 
  4. Skits are different. Students, from everything I hear and see, have never done an activity like this before. I try to regularly have different things for us to do during class time so that students never get too comfortable and so that they have exposure to all kinds of different ways to learn together. 
  5. Skits give you a break! Planning for each class takes mental effort and much time. Having students do skits is still using classroom time in a responsible way but saves you a bit of time. 

Last semester I had students in Texas History do skits over documents related to industrialism. Yesterday I had students in Mexican American History II do skits over scenes from The House on Mango Street. And next week, students in Queer Studies will do some kind of skit–haven’t decided on the specific thing just yet, but something related to the film they choose to watch and the readings. 

Each and every time I am surprised at how well the skits go!

Let me know what you think!

Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda 

Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives

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6 replies

  1. I did this one year where I asked students in their groups of 4-5 individuals to put on a demonstration about how the electron transport chain worked inside of cells. Yeah, a topic that can be pretty boring. They were TERRIFIED! At the beginning of class, they were really angry that they had to do it, because so many said they couldn’t act. (Yeah, sure, only not in front of an entire audience of 150 students, but they sure can when they want a different grade). But the entire demeanor of the class changed by the end of the period because they got to see some really amazing ways of showing how it worked. There was a lot of laughter that day.

    In my upperclass neuroscience class I had them give talks about a topic. They divided up the work among their group members. Many gave demonstrations about some aspect of neurophysiology worked. Again, they are usually terrified but they learn so much that way. AND, I get to keep up with the latest work on some of these topics by having them do the foot/headwork. It also helps them to develop poise and at least an inkling of what to expect when they have to speak in front of a bunch of people. One of them did a project with me and, as a McNair scholar, she presented the results in a platform talk at a national meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. She was scared but she was really prepped for it well by the McNair people, so it ended up as a flawless speech. She was grateful then, that she had to give talks in my class.

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  2. Creativity should never go out of style. Acting out a part in a skit could, in turn, lead to creativity–pretend stories, what if I were a (name something), what if I could trade places with (….), etc. It might also bring-out the person behind the stoic mask–the introvert, the autistic, etc. In essence, any form of creativity can only lead to even more enjoyment and, perhaps, success!

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  3. Love this! Used to use skits teaching 6th and 7th and 8th grades. Why haven’t I been using them now? “Jack,” the British actor did the day he taught. And the results were fabulous. Wish I had more time in the semester!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great way to practice democracy in the classroom and way for people to learn topic at a deeper level!

    Liked by 1 person


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