The Prop Box

The "Prop Box" is a container of materials that the teacher may use for infusing role playing into the lessons. The teacher may decide to have different Prop Boxes for different classes, so that the contents are appropriate for the maturity levels and role playing skills of specific groups of students. Forethought should be given to the characters available to the students, once again considering the skills of the students. In some classes, for example, you may decide just to use a photograph of a person as a prop and have students remain at their desks. For others you may want to simple accessories such as glasses and wigs.

A highly engaging element to the role plays is the use of contemporary electronics, such as pagers, cell phones, walkie-talkies and cordless phones. Students get a great sense of empowerment while pretending to use these devices.

The concept of the "Theater of the Mind" should be established in each student so that physical props are kept to a minimum. A lesson may be introduced, "Students, in our 'theater' today we are going to imagine the principal's office. We'll pretend that this is her desk and here is her chair for the student. Picture in your mind that ...."

Over time students should begin to feel comfortable in performing roles in the front of the class, which is a way of making them feel less anxiety in public speaking, classroom presentations and participation in school plays.