These ideas are aimed at provoking personal growth in adolescents, as well as improving the classroom climate and helping them to overcome possible complexes.
Working with teenagers involves much more than just making sure they get the academic level they need for their future. At St. George British International School we propose a series of ideas through which we will create interesting and satisfying group dynamics with teenagers. These activities are aimed at personal growth, will improve the classroom atmosphere by fostering a group feeling and, in many cases, will help them to overcome possible complexes.
1. Theatre improvisation
This is an activity that has been gaining prominence in education in recent years. Improvisation is one of the first steps in acting activity, without implying knowing how to act at all. Without actually having to play a character, we can make our teenagers benefit enormously from the consequences of improvising: they will exercise creativity, self-knowledge, oral and corporal expression, empathy and understanding of others, loss of embarrassment...
It is not necessary to have any knowledge of drama. It is enough to create scenes in which, in pairs, one student proposes different situations that the other must complete with whatever comes to mind. This type of improvisation activity includes moving according to a certain piece of music or behaving according to an animal that identifies us.
2. Talent show
Although improvisation is not for everyone, there is another group alternative which can be very satisfying and, in many cases, a source of self-knowledge for adolescents, as well as a boost to their self-esteem.
The proposed activity consists of asking each student to prepare a short demonstration in class on something they are good at; or on a topic they are passionate about or interested in to some degree. All teenagers have interests that they cultivate thanks to the infinite number of cultural products they have access to via the Internet. Many also engage in extracurricular activities that allow them to explore an artistic talent.
These range from playing the guitar to talking about a video game, a series or a favourite band.
Presenting a topic of interest in front of the class has many positive effects for a teenager: it will reinforce their confidence and self-esteem by receiving the approval of the class; they will feel fulfilled because they are passionate about the topic in question; they will cultivate synthesis and oral presentation skills; they will lose the embarrassment of showing themselves as they are in front of the others...
3. "Tell me something nice".
In the teenage years, a time when physical and emotional transformations can put self-esteem on a tightrope, it is very important to receive positive messages from our peers.
The activity described below is one of the best ways to break the ice in a classroom at the beginning of the school year. In addition to allowing the teacher/tutor to get to know each of their students much better, they will have the opportunity to receive a boost of positive energy for their self-image.
On a sheet of paper with two columns, write the list of pupils in the class in one column and leave a blank space in the other column and pass the sheet from desk to desk. At the end of the activity, all students will have written something positive about each of their classmates and will have received praise from each other. Any concept or word can be used as long as it reinforces a positive characteristic: from "I think he is nice" to "I like his eyes".