Why Else Do You Think I Have this Outrageous Accent?
Students will demonstrate their ability to use accents by performing in puppet show where their puppets portray spies.
Puppet stage Notepad Puppets
After passing out the puppets, have the students look at the list on the board and guess what the topic of the day is.
Step 1: Ask the students to suggest an accent they would like to practice. Ask the students to name several characters or celebrities that have that type of accent (i.e. English and Harry Potter, Australian and Steve Irwin, Transylvanian and Dracula). If you can, demonstrate the accent for the students, even if you’re bad at it yourself. Tell the students if they have to, they can fake their way through it.
Step 2: Have the students practice their accents by saying a simple phrase together for each one. Ask the students for suggestions by having them fill in the blank of a sentence. For example: “I really enjoy ________,” “My favorite weekend activity is _______,” “I really wish I could ______,” “My favorite kind of sandwich is ______.”
Step 3: Ask the students for other accents they would like to practice and repeat steps 1-2 for each one.
Step 4: After practicing 5-10 accents, give the students their assignment. They will get into groups of 2-3 people each and will create a 1-2 minute puppet show in which they will portray spies. Since they are spies, they must hide their identity by using an accent. In the show something has to happen, either they must deliver a secret message or they get discovered, whatever the students decide. Not everyone has to be a spy in the show, and not everyone needs to have the same accent, but everyone does need to have an accent. They have 10 minutes to prepare.
Step 5: Have the students repeat the different aspect of the assignment to you. Give them 10 minutes to practice.
Step 6: While they practice, go around the room and write down who is in what group and what accent each person intends to use.
Step 7: Have the students sign up for the order they would like to perform. Have each group present their show.
Have the students return their puppets to the box. Remind them that they can use an accent to create a voice for their character.
During their puppet shows, check to see that each student was using an accent of some kind.
Preparation: Write a list of accents on the board. Suggestions: French, German, Spanish, English, Cockney, Brooklyn, Valley Girl, Surfer, Southern, Russian, Jamaican, Irish, Scottish, Italian, Australian, American, Southern, Canadian, Chinese, Japanese, Transylvanian During this lesson students will be talking a lot. Therefore, at the beginning of the lesson review a classroom management strategy to quiet the students down as they practice their accents. Suggestion: tell the students when you need them to be quiet that you will raise your hand and count down from five with your finger and by the time you get to five, they should be quiet. Have them practice this a couple times with you.
Note: This can also be used as a pre-assessment for script writing to see how the students develop a puppet show and use action in their plot.