At the hospital

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By Nichola Reesdrama teacher, actress, theatre director and founder of the Nichola Rees Youth Academy

Allow children to experience hospital life with this comprehensive role-play kit

At the hospital

The ‘At the hospital’ role-play kit is accessible and easy to use. There are four practical activities dealing with different aspects and areas of a hospital. Each activity aims to develop understanding and learning, as well as to develop a child’s confidence, memory and empathy skills.

Basic speaking and listening skills are developed through many of the activities, as the children are encouraged to speak clearly and with confidence, as well as to listen and respond to the performance of others. The nature of the role-play kit also means that the children are taught to interact and work well in groups, and to discuss ideas together when planning short sketches. The children should all be encouraged to contribute and to listen to each other when working in groups.

The activities require very little preparation and are easy to integrate into current planning. In the most demanding cases, you may need a bigger space. They can be supported by the images on the accompanying ‘At the hosptial’ poster, and the activity sheet resources (see attached rssources below). Each of the role-play scenarios can be enhanced and extended by using the interactive whiteboard poster, enabling the children to experience the sights and sounds – inside and outside – of a hospital.

The following four activities are designed to be flexible and many can be easily adapted to suit different age and ability ranges. The ‘Differentiation’ section in each activity gives some guidance on how you can support less able children and stretch more able children.

1. In a hospital

You will need: ‘At the hospital’ activity sheet; safe, open space; whiteboard or flipchart; pens.

What to do

  • Hand out copies of ‘At the hospital’ activity sheet. Ask the children to look at the pictures on the sheet and explain what they see, for example, I see a doctor taking a patient’s temperature.
  • Explain that each picture shows an action which takes place in a hospital. Have the children ever been involved in one of these situations? Invite them to talk about their experiences.
  • Share with the children your thoughts on what a hospital represents to you, such as a quiet place where people can get better and so on. Write some of your thoughts on the board. Invite the children to call out their own ideas and add them to the list.
  • Divide the class into smaller groups. Explain that you want them to choose one of the pictures from the sheet and rehearse a small sketch, demonstrating what the people in the pictures are doing. The sketch should be informative, so they need to explain what is taking place and what it means.
  • Give the children ten minutes of preparation time and walk around the room, making sure that the children are on the right track.
  • Next, invite the groups, in turn, to come to the front of the class and share their work. At the end of each performance offer constructive criticism, making sure that you pick up on areas that were not covered.
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