In a few weeks, I will be doing an assembly for a local school. I used to do assemblies when I was an administrator at a school, but this will test my skills in a new direction. The topic and purpose, you guessed it, Stink Bomb; but I will be promoting my book and teaching students about writing and literacy.

What’s the purpose of an assembly? I would say that assemblies involve building a positive group identity and previewing a new topic. Students want to have fun and be with each other. At a school, getting everyone together can improve how the overall school functions. As a result, you can actually tell a lot about a student body by how they respond in this format.

The following list on contains some of my own ideas and a few I borrowed from a site.

Assembly Tips:

  • Decide on your learning objectives.
  • Know your audience. Talk to teachers, librarian, or administrator before you get up in front of the school. They can help you win over your audience with the right topic.
  • Keep content simple and aim for the right age group.
  • Use music to set the mood, and have it playing as pupils come in. Turn music off as a  signal to begin.
  • Assembly rooms are bigger than classrooms. Will everyone be able to hear you? What about lines of sight – will everyone be able to see you? If you have visual aids, are they big enough to be visible from a distance?
  • Eye contact is especially important when you’re working with large groups, so pick three or four pupils in different parts of the room, and make eye contact with each of them in turn. You’ll look engaged with the audience.
  • Aim to involve your audience. If the core of your assembly is a story, and mine is a book promotion in part, begin by asking questions to help pupils focus on its subject.
  • Child-generated props, masks and costumes add to the fun.
  • Remember that stories are better told than read. Master the bones of the story, then improvise around that structure.
  • Remember to speak more slowly than usual. Give your words time to sink in.
  • Make pupils work. If one of your learning objectives is to get them to examine and to change their views on an issue, begin by taking a vote to establish what they think before your presentation, and take another after it.
  • Help them take what they know and encourage them to think about it, and reflect on their own experience.
  • Involve parents. Does your school usually invite parents to class assemblies? It may be a nice idea to record the assembly on video.
  • Students will be going back to class afterward. Don’t over-excite students.butterflies flower hill

Now it’s time to plan. It’s going to be the bomb!