Thursday, 21 November 2013

ACTING UP! Drama in the Classroom


Drama in the classroom


Drama is an effective means of conveying ideas, facts and feelings.  Through drama we are encouraged to think, observe, question and to empathise.  "A passion for the dramatic art is inherent in the nature of man." (Edwin Forrest)  It is frequently used as "a way into" writing, history and even science.  Strategies such as role play, hot seating (interviewing a character, real or imaginary from the past, present or future) freeze framing (holding a pose from a particular key moment in a story or significant real life event) to reinforce learning across the curriculum.


Most teachers endeavour to introduce VAK activities (visual, auditory and kinaesthetic) into their lesson planning.  Drama provides an opportunity to bring a kinaesthetic element into the classroom.  Children who may find it difficult to sit still for a length of time respond well to such activities.  Drama can also be used to develop empathy with characters and helps children to respond to situations, both real and imaginary, with increased understanding.  It can also encourage them to develop their questioning skills.  Drama develops a child's imagination and a means of communicating both facts and feelings in a creative manner.  Albert Einstein recognised this when he said: - Imagination is more important than knowledge."  Without imagination, Einstein may not have wondered about time and space and may not have developed his theory of relativity. 


Over the academic year, most children will have an opportunity to be involved in a performance of some kind, such as a Nativity, or a class assembly.  Preparing for a production, whether it is preparing a poem to be read aloud in class or having an acting part, can develop confidence in reading, develop expression whilst reading and increase comprehension of the text.  Being involved in a performance develops co-operation, whether your children has a lead role or is building props, designing or selling tickets.  All of these elements can develop a sense of being part of a team and lead to a real sense of achievement. 


Drama allows us to imagine and to be creative in a way that frees our self conscious.  Through drama we can explore our feelings and those of others; to understand the past, present and future.

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