Drama methods can also be employed when working on a fable by Aesop: children can be asked to create freezes of the three most important moments in the story – this encourages them to think about the salient points and to distil the story into what is essentially at its core.
google_ad_client = "ca-pub-9940670887654728";
/* Expert Articles 468x60 */
google_ad_slot = "7545621260";
google_ad_width = 468;
google_ad_height = 60;
For older pupils, a lesson on Macbeth can be turned into a trial with prosecution and defence each putting their cases accusing or defending Lord Macbeth as the murderer of King Duncan. A more interesting development of this idea would be to put Lady Macbeth in the dock instead!
Using drama as a teaching tool in this manner means that most drama methods require very little room and no equipment but, as the new school year starts, you may want to collect a few items which will enable you to use drama effectively in the classroom environment. My recommendations for basic drama equipment would be as follows:
- Beanbags or soft balls for various games;
- Some hats for teacher in role and hotseating;
- A scarf for teacher in role, and as a blindfold for games;
- A large bunch of keys for playing ‘Keeper of the Keys’;
- A shoe for playing ‘Pass the Shoe’;
- Two toy mobile phones to help ‘in role’ paired improvisations;
- An interesting photograph, button, or object for creating story;
- A letter that can be used to create and develop a character;
- An interesting stone or shell to be the speaker stone/shell;
- A few large pieces of single-colour material that can become shawls, rivers, deserts, and more.
You will also benefit from a couple of good drama books: a basic book of drama games, and a book on using drama in the primary classroom. There are several good titles out there. I have always found the following books to be very useful: 100+ Ideas for Drama by Anna Scher and Charles Verrall (ISBN 978-0435187996) and Beginning Drama 4-11 by Joe Winston and Miles Tandy (ISBN 978-0415475839) but you may have your own favourites. Alternatively, some great recommendations have been given by highly respected drama practitioners at http://dramaresource.com and www.peterkennedy.net.
For those new to teaching, or new to the subject of drama, it needn’t be as daunting as you think. Start small, start simply, build a small box of tricks that you can use with your class; collect items that will prompt discussion and inspire creativity and, armed with a couple of good books and a bit of confidence, you will discover the joys of using drama in the primary classroom.