Drama activities

The following are a number of drama based activities to enable further exploration of some of the themes and issues appearing in Mosaic. They do not require specialist skills but descriptions of the basic techniques are included for those who have not used them before. If class control is an anxiety for teachers inexperienced in drama, plan your lesson well in advance and ideally run the session with the support of another colleague or a classroom assistant. The more children work in this way, the more they will learn to communicate effectively and work collaboratively.

Hot seating

Someone takes on a particular role or character and is interviewed by the rest of the group. This activity allows a character’s motivations and emotions to be examined in more depth. It is helpful to ask the group or class to think of questions they would like to ask the character before the hot seating begins and to act as the facilitator between the children and character. Often it is best to model hot seating yourself first to demonstrate to the children that it requires them to improvise their answers and to remain in character.

An example of hot seating using the characters from Mosaic might be hot seating the giant to find out how he obtained the magic pot in the first place and why he kept the princess a prisoner. Depending on the different languages spoken and the willingness of the class.

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Still image

This is the creation of a still or frozen image using a group of people who freeze in a pose to capture a particular moment, idea or theme, as in a photograph or painting. This technique has distinct advantages when a teacher is exploring ideas or themes which pupils find complex or vague. To create a single concrete image requires thought on the part of the pupils so that their image is precise and not misinterpreted. Particular attention should be given to body posture and facial expressions. How do others interpret the still image? Who do they think is depicted and what is happening?

The children can pick a favourite story or film to create still images from as an easy way in. Allow time for adjustments for clarity and dramatic effect. You can ask one or two pupils as models get the rest of the class to sculpt them into some of the characters encountered in the story found by the buffoons in the magic box in Mosaic. Start by playing a game of musical statues shouting out one of the characters that the children have suggested or from Mosaic.

Characters they could choose from: Princess, Hero, Witch, Queen, Captain, Prince, Wizard, Giant, Fairy, King, Monster, dragon

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Role Play

Individuals take on a character role and play out or improvise a scene that deals with a particular situation. This technique allows children to explore situations from a different perspective and to practice a range of creative and oral literacy skills.

In pairs the children could improvise the following moments in different ways: The Princess stealing the magic pot from the giant, The Witch casting a spell on the Prince, the Prince fighting with the Monster.

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Teacher in role

This is when the teacher adopts a role in order to deepen the children’s understanding of the ideas and themes within the drama, to pass on important information or to help the children shape the drama from within.

The teacher could be in role as the Prince setting off on adventure. She/he needs a crew and a plan for where to go, which the children could help with.

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Conscience Alley

Where a character in the story is faced with a difficult decision or a difficult task the rest of the group form a whispering conscience alley for the character to pass through on their way to a place where the decision must be taken. The group whispers advice, warnings, quotes from things said earlier in the drama. At the end of the alley the character decides what to do.

 

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