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Kirkranoch soap snap

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This is a role play simulation to promote fluency and discourse skills. It can be used with students of any age, level and mix of nationalities. It lasts anywhere between 2 hours and a week - and has the advantage of being GREAT fun.

Kirkranock is an old 'fictional' village in a remote area of Scotland (you can base this activity anywhere remote)

Discuss small village life with students. Introduce them to Kirkranoch and give them some information (ramdom, historical etc facts which you have made up eg - ghosts haunting the church/it being a hideout for catholic priets during the reformation etc.)

Divide the class into 3 or 4 groups of at least 3 and explain that each group owns one of the buildings in the village (a church, a castle, an inn, a village shop, etc - you choose (you can give each group a picture of their building)). Each student then has to, in his/her group divise a character for himself, detailing his personality, role within the group, relationship with other members of the group etc.

Whilst the groups are developing their characters, you should circulate, encouraging the students to 'get into' their and each others' characters and preferably manipuale proceedings so that there are lots of potentially juicy conflicts between the characters.

When you are happy that the groups have developed their characters (this can take up to 1/2 hour), bring the whole class together and ask each character to introduce himself and the others in his group. Encourage the other groups to ask questions. During this session, the whole class should be using the students' divised names, and you should be trying to exacerbate/or unearth any conflicts or secrets between the characters. As the students carry on exposing their characters, encourage the others students to react to these revelations.

When everybody has introduced themselves, reveal to the students that something tragic has just happened (this could be a murder/a plan by the government to flood the village and relocate everyone/the village mayor being caught in a scandal, and another needs to be elected) - you have to be imaginative here, and base your choice on what has transpired in the introduction. Ask the students to react to the 'tragedy" For example, if there has been a murder, ask the victim to take the role of a detective interviewing the others until a suspect is found. With the other two situations, you could stage a protest campaign or an election campaign. Whicever you choose, I promise that the result will be LOTS of speaking and LOTS of fun.

Follow up activities can include radio news bulletins, newspaper articles, letters - whatever is appropriate really!

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