Enhance your end of year performance with the iPad

SATs are over! Well for at least the rest of this year! Most teachers will now be planning the BIG end of year production.

What some teachers may struggle with, is keeping their class engaged when they are not on stage. I thought it would be useful to share some ways in which the iPad can be used when rehearsing a school production. I have previously blogged about how to use a production as a focus for lots of cross curricular activities (READ HERE). All of these ideas relate to how the production can be enhanced using the iPad.

1 - Production Posters 

There are a range of different poster making apps on the iPad. My three favourites: Pic Collage, Phoster and Comic Life. Using the iPads, ask the children to research and look at different film, TV and theatre posters to create a checklist for what they would need to include on their effort. Being able to add backgrounds, images and choose from a range of different fonts and colours will encourage the children to be as creative as they can in advertising their play.

2 - Learn lyrics with Emoji

Want your class to learn the words of the songs to your show quickly? Ask them to rewrite them substituting as many words for Emoji symbols as possible. The visuals will help and they will be constantly reading the lyrics. Read more about using the Emoji Keyboard here.

3 - Retell the story of your play using Puppetpals 

Once the children have read through the script a couple of times, challenge them to retell the story using Puppetpals. They can add images of the characters or take pictures of the children in costumes and use them. These could be shared during the interval of the performance. It is a great way of deepening the children's understanding of the plot. Here is an example of Puppetpals, used to retell a poem.


Puppetpals the visitor.wmv from Davyhulme Primary School on Vimeo.

4 - Character interviews

Using the app Tellagami, children can design their digital avatar to look like a character and record themselves as the character, explaining the role they play in the show, their characteristics and motives. This can then be exported and added to an interactive digital programme.

5 - Interactive digital programmes

Allow children to create programmes for their performance on the app Book Creator. They then have the ability to pictures, text, videos and sound recordings into their eBooks. They could add interviews with the cast as videos or audio recordings, write a synopsis, add trailers and posters or even audio recordings of the class singings some of the songs. Each book can then be shared to Dropbox and create a link as a QR code to be printed on tickets issued to parents.

6 - iMovie Trailers

To create a buzz around school before the performance, allow children to create their own movie trailer based on the show. Choose a theme from the wide range provided and ask children to add pictures or videos of the children practising their show. The finished videos can be uploaded to the school website/blog or added to the children's digital programmes.

7- Special effects backdrops

The iPad allows children to create videos where they can be anywhere in the world! Doink Greenscreen will allow children to record themselves in any location by recording in front of a green background. This means parts of the play can be prerecorded and projected on to the stage during the performance. It may mean children who fear performing live can still have a part and also adds a different element to the show which will WOW your audience. Below is an example of Green Screen used in storytelling:



The children could also create other spectacular backgrounds by using apps such as Action Movie FX which allows them to add Hollywood style effects onto videos. Your only limitation with these apps is your imagination.

8 - Stream your performance LIVE!

There could be no bigger buzz with your children than to tell them their performance will be broadcast across the internet LIVE! It is great for family members who live away from the school, or parents who are unable to attend. I have previously blogged about the best ways to live stream from the school and you can read it here and here.

9 - Record and upload your performance to YouTube.

Make sure you have permission from parents first! Once you have the all clear film the performance and upload it to YouTube. Children then will be able to rewatch and enjoy their last performance in Primary school and any family members who couldn't attend the show can view and enjoy your master performance. Here is our KS1 Nativity play 2013 which was shared on Youtube:


10 - Create a goodbye video using iMovie

Collect pictures of children's journey through school, find a heartfelt poem, I suggest this add some emotive background music and you have the perfect keepsake for children to have as they leave Primary school. Here was our effort last year:



Year 6 Leavers Video 2013 from Davyhulme Primary School on Vimeo.

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