Our yearly tradition now-Character Court! Years ago our school would have the 3rd-5th graders so a Wax Museum where the students would research a historical figure and then dress up as that person and give a little speech. Well, I asked why we couldn't have the little ones do a presentation too. And voila-Character Court was born.
We study fairy tales and then I assign parts to kids from those fairy tales. They write a little dialogue together (maybe 5-6 lines total) discussing an ethical issue from their story. For example, Tinkerbell asks Captain Hook why he's always trying to capture them, that it's wrong, they are just kids. Captain Hook replies-I'm not mean, I had a rough life. The kids paint a backdrop together for their setting and then stand in front of it in our gym and give their speeches. People walk through like a museum and listen to each pair. They did a really great job this year. Here are some of their backdrops:
The sky reminded me a little of Starry Starry Night! :)
Our Princess and the Frog pair
Little Red Riding Hood (I guess that's obvious).