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:
- 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!
- Students have fun. They laugh, they talk, and they interact with me and with each other in ways not otherwise possible.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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