One by one they stood on the stage and recited their pieces into the microphone. Their faces were beaming and their confidence shone through.
It hasn’t always been this way. When we first started gathering with friends for a recitation night, the children were timid and unsure of themselves. Now most of them look forward to sharing their prepared pieces.
A recitation night can be a delightful experience for the whole family. Learn how to host one and download a free recitation night planning checklist.
What Is A Recitation Night?
Two or three times a year our family hosts a recitation night. It is a delightful experience for the whole family. After the children recite a piece they have worked on over the past term, we have a potluck meal or dessert.
A recitation night provides motivation for a child to learn his recitation piece as well as provides an opportunity to practice public speaking to an audience other than his family. It also allows dad and grandparents to see the progress he is making.
Hosting a recitation night does not require a large time commitment, just some advance planning. Here are suggestions for planning your own recitation night.
Tips To Plan A Recitation Night
- Determine the date, choose a location, and invite other families to join you. We have hosted recitation nights at a local park, our home, and our church. A location with a stage is good for helping children develop confidence and comfort, but other locations also work well. Consider the size of your audience and the season of the year when choosing a location.
- Determine the evening’s agenda. We usually have recitations first, followed by a potluck dinner or dessert and time to socialize. The whole evening is usually two to three hours, most of which is dinner and socializing time.
- Encourage the other families to read the suggested resources listed below so their children are prepared to recite.
- Before recitations begin, remind attendees of proper etiquette for an audience including being: attentive, polite, quiet, and supportive.
- Encourage all children to recite, but do not require participation.
- Record the recitations if the children are comfortable and families do not have objections. (Do not upload videos or photos to social media or video hosting sites without the permission of the participating families.) I use my iPhone with this tripod and lavalier mic when recording the recitations. The lavalier mic is inexpensive and provides a better sound quality while also helping children become comfortable using a microphone.