Role Playing Games at Primary School

Lusine Gasparyan

We read a lot of tales at primary school and do various activities relating to these tales and stories: we analyze the tales, divide them into several parts, characterize and describe the heroes, make up a new beginning or ending, perform the tales in role play games.    

Role play games have a lot of advantages. When the learner presents a tale character, he/she gets rid of some inferiority and displays himself/herself freely by playing the role of this or that character.

Role playing favours the development orientating oneself in different situations. There are numerous situations in which the learners haven’t appeared yet, but with help of the tale characters they experience these situations and try to find and suggest ways out.      

Role play games are suitable for primary school students because unlike their seniors they overcome shyness more easily, are more frank and easily inspired.   

For role play games I usually recommend tales which have been read and enjoyed by the learners, for example, The Docked Tail Fox, The Liar, The Fake Hunter, The Sparrow, Lazy Hury by H.Tumanyan

At first we send the electronic versions of the tales to the learners so that they can read them once more. During the next lesson I suggest some unexpected situations in which the characters of a tale have appeared. The learners are to find the ways out of these situations taking into consideration the traits of character of different heroes.  peculiarities 

Gianni Rodari’s techniques are very applicable for this purpose. They do not limit the learners’ creative minds in using both usual and unusual ideas to achieve their aims.     

While the learners are giving their suggestions on how to find ways out of difficult situations, I am typing their ideas, and in the end, we make up our new tale which is then is performed as a role play game.

The distribution of roles is done in different ways:

a)      random distribution

b)      at first we distribute the leading parts and the other parts are distributed taking into account the learners’ wishes

c)      the criterion of distribution is to what extent the learners match this or that hero of the tale

d)      the criterion of distribution is to what extent the learners do not match this or that hero of the play

e)      everything is left up to the learners’ choice     

 At the second stage of work groups of 4-5 learners are formed which begin working on certain extracts of the tale by creating some pictures to the content of the tale, choosing an appropriate piece of music, recording the tale. Then the works of all the groups are combined and we get an interesting and complete film-tale.     

Using this technique the learners acquire self-dependence, learn to work in teams, get rid of already established inferiority and phobias, learn to listen to each other, develop their ability to think, imagine and create.

The learner also acquires some skills:

a)      delivering one’s speech more expressively

b)      developing reading skills

c)      developing media skills

d)      developing searching skills on the Internet

e)      developing skills for using digital means

f)       developing technological skills

g)      developing the perception of music, pictures, colors and taste        

With the help of this activity the learners will learn to play their “parts” in real life. As William Shakespeare wrote, “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players…”






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