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Drama and Learning

The kind of drama for learning activities in these resources will help you to provide opportunities for the children to voice their opinions, express their feelings and make choices. In a good drama session there should be no right answers instead children are encouraged to speculate and wonder, and say what they think and feel rather than providing the correct response.

Whilst all good teaching does this, children are sometimes unused to working in this way. Drama is collaborative. Group dynamics are a critical success factor. It is important that the participants in a drama lesson feel comfortable and confident to contribute. Care should be taken to foster a strong group identity through highly structured activities such as games. Drama provides rare opportunities for those whose learning style is kinaesthetic, spatial and interpersonal.

Those who prefer speaking and listening to reading or writing can be motivated by working in drama. Speaking and listening activities will be contextualised, and therefore are more meaningful.

Story Based Drama and Literacy

Using a story for drama and literacy work works well because:

  • Stories are good strong context: there is another world which pupils can enter into and explore: aids descriptive language and vocabulary.
  • Children want to know what happens next: aids understanding of narrative structure
  • Stories contain human dilemmas and conflict which can be seen from different points of view: aids lateral thinking and deconstruction of text
  • Literacy skills can be explicit and practised from within the story: e.g. writing in role, persuasive writing, and reportage
  • Stories can be chosen as a metaphor for actual experience: can explore challenging issues in fictional frame
  • Cross curricular links can be made through stories, particularly with SMSC.
  • Using drama in other curriculum areas is most effective through story
  • Stories are practice for life. Imagining being in a story motivates children to apply and make links between their existing skills and experiences.

 

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