A big part of the scalextric project was working on commentary skills so that the children could commentate on their own races. We had tried this a year ago on Shine Day 2009 and found that many children became tongue-tied very quickly and did not have a wide range of words with which to describe things. I guess this makes sense - most adults would struggle, given something to commentate on.
We worked with Craig Stephens from Stan's Cafe to accomplish this. Stan's Cafe had run a 24-hour scalextric commentary event in honour of the 24 hour Le Mans race. I didn't go myself but I heard it was an interactive show with the audience racing the cars while Craig and his colleagues commentated and marshalled the race. I remember seeing Craig on the Monday afterwards and he looked pretty tired, having commentated for 8 hours non-stop during the middle of Saturday night.
Craig came in and worked with the children in small groups to develop their commentary skills. He played them different kinds of commentary, including sports style, nature and commentary of a royal event. What was fantastic about this project was that the childre made huge progress from week to week as they gained in confidence and skill. Thesauri and practice - two great features of a successful commentator I reckon. Here are some of the commentary pieces that led up to the main commentary day itself. As you will hear, they are not about the actual scalextric itslef, but normal day-to-day things that happen around school. I've had to make them into a movie file as I haven't worked out how to successfully upload files that are audio only - I've just stuck some pictures on, but they were originally intended to be audio only, so maybe you could close your eyes or something.