The following list is a mix of method and perceived benefit to participants, i.e. what the kids get out of it.
1 the conceptualising or re-telling of a story, news item or theme .
2 the designing of a song structure (verse, chorus, bridge etc.) and writing of lyrics which take into account line length, syllabic and rhythmic stress, rhyme schemes and metaphor, to name a few.
3 Composition of a melody which complements the words and suits the mood of the subject. (This is subjective as children have different ideas as to what constitutes a tune but in essence I mean using pitch rather than recitation or rapping. A tune makes word setting much more flexible.
4 Singing and/or playing simple accompaniments on instruments, from simple percussion to anything a child plays. Utilise their ability and have them improvise their part in accompanying the calypso. Let them explore their potential.
5 The students design their own performance. Who sings which bits, verses, choruses? Do they have a number of different singers in their group eager to sing lead in the verses? If so, do they share the job one verse each or a line each in every verse? Structure!
6 Add mime, dance, gesture and costume to the overall presentation and you have a mini-opera lasting 3 minutes.
Best of all, you will have a bunch of very confident, pleased - with - themselves (and eager to please you) pupils.
Alexander D. Great (12/10/05)