Using Drama Across The Curriculum. Exploring the use of drama techniques in the classroom.
Why use Drama?It engages students in group work and develops crucialcommunication & team working skills. Drama involves the creative application of knowledge & understanding. It often puts students in the role of leaders or ‘experts’ as they have to pass on that knowledge to others through their work. Drama promotes a consideration of AUDIENCE which can raises motivation and effort levels. It supports students that may have particular needs in accessing the curriculum as it allows them to express themselves in a variety of ways.
Drama develops communication skills – Questioningin role can distance students allowing them to feelless exposed and free to communicate their ideas &understanding.Encourages ownership of learning so teacher canexplore the role of facilitator, give more targetedsupport around the room & stretch G&T in the rolesof leaders/directors.It can be fun!
What are your experiences of drama in the classroom?Can you share a time where you think you mighthave used Drama in a lesson?Good or bad experiences!?Have you any experience of drama out of theclassroom?
Drama TechniquesCould you apply any of these in your lessonsFreeze-frame/Still Image – To explorepeople, locations or events. Could be used to getstudents to think of themes within work. Or to getstudents to show relationships betweenpeople, opinions or a key moment in astory/history/event.Narration – A fun way of communicating studentknowledge as you could get them to narrate what isgoing on in the drama and explain why in role. (Aparticular scientist explaining his theories orexperiment/ a significant person in a humanitiessubject explaining their work, research or theory.)
Linear Sympathy – Place an object in the middle of theroom & communicate that is symbolises something e.g.a person, a view point or a theory. Students then stand either close or far away from the object depending on how much they agree or disagree. Or if they feel positive or negative. Highlight students to justify their positioning in the space. Thought-tapping – Students in an image or a scene speak a character’s thoughts out loud to the audience. Useful for exploration of key people in any social, historical or political context which might be covered in the curriculum. Gets them to consider other points of view.
Role play – Any form of taking on a role & acting out ascene to explore an idea, theme, story or process.Essence Machine – An abstract technique whichinvolves layering key words, sound effects andmovement/gestures to explore a key theme or idea. ItE.g. If you ask students to create an essence machineof a riot they may shout certain words, creategestures of protest and explore how different peoplein the community would respond to riots.Physical questioning – Moving to a space in the roomwhich represents student’s opinion or response to aquestion– Students then highlighted to reflect ontheir position in the room.
Soundscape – The layering up of different sound effectsthat students create themselves through voice &movement to create alocation, atmosphere, theme, emotion e.t.cCross cutting – Or Flash Forward and Flash Back! Creatingscenes to explore different points in time. This could begood for exploring narrative, changes is science, history ormaths for example. Students will have to discuss whatthey know around the specific focus and then present tothe class.Pair Moulding – A moulds B into a physical sculpture &explains. This could be used to represent aperson, object, theme or feeling.Teacher in Role – Mantle of the Expert (For the verybrave!) Go into role as a significant person to set context.Students are prepped before to establish the roles of‘experts.’ They could be investigators, scientists or anyonein a particular role that will challenge them to thinkdifferently & stretch their understanding and vocabulary.
Hot Seating – Questioning in role. Often teachers do thiswith students asking one person in the middle in role. Aneven better method is asking ALL students to go into role toreally get them to think about how that person wouldquestion & what they might ask.Mime – A scene without dialogue to focus on non-verbalcommunication. Could be useful for exploring body languagein presentations, interviews, revising work in a visual way.Can get students to create placards with key information tohelp them focus in on the most important information.Forum Theatre – Theatre for social change! Students create ascene usually based around an issue. Show the scene to theaudience & allow the audience to freeze & re-direct to alterthe outcome. This can explore decision making, choices orcause and effect for example. The teacher can act as afacilitator which allows for plenty of questioning.
Maybe just a drama game?Games, warm ups and techniques explained in moredepth can be found on these sites.http://dramaresource.com/http://learnimprov.com/http://www.teachit.co.uk/armoore/drama/drama.htmOne we use at the moment is a reaction & focus warmup. Students follow instructions such asgo, stop, jump, clap, touch the floor & dance move!Then we reverse the action so that go actually meansstop, jump could mean clap e.t.c. You could add keywords & definitions into the mix.
If you would like any support or ideas then please feelfree to email and I would be happy to collaborate firstname.lastname@example.org@kerridrama