Role play is one of the top activities, which is engaging and enjoyed by students. It gives students an opportunity to show their skills as well as their creativity. It also encourages collaboration. More than that, it allows the teacher to use authentic materials or give students authentic tasks. Finishing authentic tasks gives students a level of confidence that is different from completing worksheet exercises. I'd like to share an extended role-play project that incorporate multiple themes and assess interpretative, interpersonal, and presentational skills of a student.
Recently we are learning to give description, a more advanced language skills. Students are required to present details and organize these details to support certain statements. The topic we used is to describe places in communities, especially stores. The other topics incorporated in this lesson is shopping and describing locations.
To set up the stage for the role-play project, students had done a writing and oral presentation on their favorite stores. Students write the first draft. Then we build rubrics and requirements as a whole class. Using such guidelines, students did peer editing and re-writing. Each individual later presented their own piece.
After honing skills on describing a place through this activity, students were in groups of three or four to design a store in a market. The classroom was transformed into a bazaar. The teacher played the role of the bank.
During this activity, students needed to decide what kind of store they would build, the store locations, the merchandise items, and the pricing. They also prepared questions they could ask other shops when they went on shopping and questions they could ask the shoppers who came into their stores. The teacher could use these tasks to assess students writing presentational skills. When each store is ready, have students make a map of the market as a whole class and also come up with essential phrases/sentences for shopping.
When preparation is finished, the market was open. Shoppers withdrew money from the bank. Within the group, members rotate the roles as shoppers or as shop assistants. The teacher could float around the market to observe students' interaction or play the role of shoppers in order to make specific assessment of interpretative and interpersonal skills.
One major outcome of this extended project is the high engagement of each student. Even those who are usually quiet are more willing to participate and get engaged in several different conversations with the teacher and peers.