Most states list "listening, speaking, reading, and writing" under their language arts educational standards. I find that speaking is the hardest of these to practice. The other three incorporate easily into our daily read alouds, independent reading, and journaling, but public speaking opportunities are harder to find.
That's why I was so excited when we came across this cute little amphitheater while on vacation a few weeks ago. My kids, particularly the one in pink, love to perform, so I knew this would be a hit with them. We went back to the house, wrote down some stories, created a simple set and some costumes, and invited friends and family to come watch.
And what a rich experience it was for all of us! We talked about editing our words so they make sense to others, projecting our voices, speaking with feeling, listening for cues, and all kinds of other stage behavior. It took a bit of extra effort on my part to get this activity going, but I'm so glad we followed through.
Did you ever put on plays as a kid? Have you done any with your kids? What benefits do you think come from activities like this?