Teaching English through Drama using ActionSacks

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The Handouts to go with the presentation of the same name with the activities explained and a summary of the presentation with a bibliography.

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Teaching English through Drama using ActionSacks

  1. 1. Susan Hillyard - ActionSacksTeaching English through StorydramaUsing ActionSacksPresenter: Susan Hillyard B.Ed.(Hons)Tel: 54 11 4541-3010e-mail: ssnhillyard@gmail.comblog: http://susanhillyard.blogspot.com.ar/AbstractThis experiential workshop outlines the methodology for teaching Englishusing personalised ActionSacks, designed and constructed by Englishlanguage teachers. The basic philosophy of a story sacks project used in theregular literacy programme in the UK will be outlined in order to clarify thetheory. This methodology can be applied at all levels and for all abilities. Anauthentic, original ActionSack will be presented with the contents displayedand practical activities will be explored for participants to enjoy andunderstand the developmental aspects of Storydrama. The participantsshould leave the session with some new creative ideas for teaching Englishwith ActionSacks.BiodataSusan Hillyard, B.Ed.(Hons) Warwick University(U.K.) Susan has work experience in seventeencountries as a teacher, HOD, speaker, workshopfacilitator, consultant, researcher, on-line tutor.She was Prof. Language IV in Lenguas Vivas andUTN, teacher training Colleges in Buenos Aires.She is a NILE Associate Trainer, in Norwich,UK, training worldwide teachers in methodology.She has co-authored a Resource Book forTeachers Global Issues for OUP and TDI-TKT On-line Course for Pearson, New York.Now tutor: the Masters in ELT, Language andGlobalisation. Her most recent post iscoordinator: English in Action, teaching Englishthrough Drama in Special Education, Ministry ofEducation, City of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  2. 2. Susan Hillyard - ActionSacksHandoutsQuestions for todayWhat is an ActionSack?How do I make an ActionSack?How do I use an ActionSack?Where does Drama fit?Story SacksNeil Griffiths created Story Sacks as an alternative way for children to benefit frombooks and, most importantly, as a fun activity where learning takes placewithout noticing (Griffiths, 2000). They are designed to help adults share bookswith children in a way that is positive, theatrical, special, interactive and fun.Bag + Book + Realia + Activities = Story SackActionSackEnglish in Action created ActionSacks from the original story sack concept to fulfillthe needs of older teenaged beginners who might not be motivated by authenticillustrated children’s storybooks. The principle idea is the same, except that thespringboard may be any other stimulus which promotes ACTION through educationaldrama. Instead of ONLY using storybooks, the ActionSack can employ music, film,poetry, newspaper cuttings, video, non-fiction, poster, theme, biography.Sack + Springboard + Realia + Activities = ActionSackDramaDrama is defined very broadly and includes all aspects under the broad umbrella ofdrama: language games, voice work, body movement and body language, singing,storytelling, story reading, poetry, chants, role play, improvisation, playing withsounds and rhythm, acting out, process drama structures and frames.· a willing suspension of disbelief· agreement to pretence· employing all past experiences· employing any conjecture of imaginationto create a living, moving picture of the springboard which aims at surprise anddiscovery for the participants rather than for any onlookers.It must be active and conform to Drama as the SPICE of ELT: S for socialdevelopment, P for physical development, I for intellectual development, C forcreative development, E for emotional development.Adapted from Dorothy Heacote (1984)
  3. 3. Susan Hillyard - ActionSacksHow to make an Action SackFind a large cloth bag/pillow case/suit case/box/container to make theActionSack itself. Include any of the following materials, as appropriate forthe age, needs and abilities of the learners within your setting:• A copy of the story book/ song/poem/newspapercutting/poster/film/video• Flashcards* A different medium version of the springboard e.g. video, podcast,• Related non-fiction books/articles/pictures/references• Realia like models of characters and objects from the springboard• Activities or games relating to the springboard• Materials like paper, crayons, markers, paints, plasticene etc.• Activity cards• Microphone, ball, binoculars, pieces of cloth• Teacher’s Book with all the activities explainedHow to use the ActionSackThis is not prescriptive. There are many ways to use the sack.You could start with: simply showing the sack and asking students to guess the contents showing the illustrations of the book a dramatic reading of the story a showing of a video clip with pre-teaching the vocabulary from the springboard playing language games related to the storyYou develop the story by webbing out into other areas of the curriculum: maths social studies art music science drama ethics citizenshipAll the development should be designed through drama activities with thestudents developing holistically in all the areas of SPICE.Choosing a SpringboardThe springboard you choose will depend on the age, interests and abilitiesof your class. You will probably have mixed abilities in your group and thesack enables you to offer differentiated learning exercises. Choosesomething you yourself like and feel enthusiastic about so you will beinspired yourself to develop the sack creatively.Process Drama ConventionsDrama may also be called Process drama or Applied Drama or EducationalDrama but all the terms refer to Drama related to the above definition.
  4. 4. Susan Hillyard - ActionSacksThere is a growing body of research and knowledge on this which you canaccess. Some of the conventions are: Teacher in role, Stranger in role, Mantleof the expert, Narration, Meetings, Interviews, Hot seating, Improvisation,Collective role play, Pantomime/movement, Dream sequences, Still image ortableau, Freeze frame, Thought tracking, Guided imagery/visualization,Decision alley, Role on the wall, Performance Carousel, Soundscape, Choralspeaking.Explore your Springboard through the conventionsA) Freeze Frame ............Materials: A pair of binoculars or a telescope:1) Tell the students we are going to work with movements from thestory.2) Explain you will start each instruction with“I want to see you........”e.g. walking like a penguin, skating like Sis, running like Penny’sfriends, cooking like the Polar Bear......3) Practise with the examples by saying thephrase and putting the binoculars/ telescope to your eyes and callingout ACTION. When the students have completed the action severaltimes, call out FREEZE and go on to the next instruction.4) Ask for a volunteer to “be the teacher” and hand over thebinoculars/telescope to that student. Stay beside her and help withthe instruction giving.5) Take real or pretend photos of each freeze frame.6) Play I believe.......Teacher whispers an action ( “fight like a bear”) toa student who performs it and freezes. Teacher says” (a lie) I believeJuanpi is skating like Sis? Class must call out “NO! He’s fighting like abear”B) Hot Seating.................A special chair1) Sit in the chair and take on the role of Penny the Penguin2) Tell the students to ask you questions and answer in a “penguinvoice”3) You might want to revise Questioning technique before you begin.The Qs can be simple personal Qs or more complex related to thestory.C) Teacher in Role1) Teacher takes on a role from the story and invites a student totake on the role of Penny or the Big Bear or another role andimprovise a short scene from the story. The Sts work in pairs toimpro. Then in groups.2) Or Teacher takes on the role of somebody NOT in the story e.g.the Penguin Policeman who comes to investigate thedisappearance of Penny in the village and Sts take on role of othercharacters in the story.3) Or T takes on role of TV Roving Reporter to interview the Pengiunsin the village about the problems of having a liar in town.D) Soundscape
  5. 5. Susan Hillyard - ActionSacks1) Think about the opportunities in the story for exploiting SOUNDS2) Work on voice, opening the mouth, loud and soft, hard and gentleetc etc. Work on breathing.3) Do a soundscape for “The penguins playing together”, “Theweather at the South Pole” “The bears fighting” etc etc.4) Record them on voxopop http://www.voxopop.com/E) Choral Speaking or Readers’ Theatre1) Notice how many scenarios in the story are good for groupspeaking and make up simple dialogues for group work.Penny: Please let me play with you?Group: No! You tell lies!Penny: But I won’t any more!Group: We don’t believe you!Penny: Please……..I cross my heart and hope to die. I’llnever ever tell a lie!Group: Alright! Let’s play! Hooray!2) Perform it for another group.F) Conscience AlleyThe group creates an alley of bodies; one side is the positive,the other side the negative. A St., who has to make a decision,walks in between the rows listening to the two sides of thevoices in her head. At the end she makes her decision.G) Personalisation through ImproMove the story into the real lived lives of the Sts and havethem impro a scene from their own lives related to any of thethemes in the story.H) DiscussionFind parallels from known stories e.g. The Boy who Cried WolfLittle Red Riding Hood, The Farmer and his Sons.I) Listing- language games.Finding types of lies e.g. Old Wives tales, white lies, skirting thetruth, saying nothing, parents’ lies, pre-schoolers lies etc. Givespecific example. Impro them.J) Sayings and chantsI cross my heart and hope to die….Quotes on lying etc. Performthem.The 8 Cs of DramaConfidenceControl
  6. 6. Susan Hillyard - ActionSacksCo-operationCo-ordinationCreativityCognitionCultureCommunicationBIBLIOGRAPHYStory SacksCommercially produced Story Sacks to purchase on-linehttp://www.storysack.com/Guidelines on how to make your own story sackhttp://www.literacytrust.org.uk/assets/0000/3210/Story_sack_guide.pdfOn-line resources from BritLithttp://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/try/britlit/little-red-riding-hoodProcess Dramahttp://www.tki.org.nz/r/arts/drama/posters/3/key/miners_wedding_e.phpEVO Dramahttp://www.google.com/#hl=es&xhr=t&q=Process+Drama+Conventions&cp=25&pf=p&sclient=psy&rlz=1R2ADRA_enAR377&source=hp&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=Process+Drama+Conventions&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=35e26099eaba80a9What is Process drama?http://esldrama.weebly.com/process-drama.htmlVideos on Process Dramahttp://www.google.com/#q=process+drama&start=10&hl=es&sa=N&rlz=1R2ADRA_enAR377&prmd=ivnsb&source=univ&tbm=vid&tbo=u&ei=FcW5TcqzGsjEgQeBioFR&ved=0CDAQqwQ4Cg&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=35e26099eaba80a9Bookshttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/9114392/Ask-Lorna-top-100-books-for-children.htmlhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/children_sbookreviews/9456522/Ask-Lorna-books-without-gore-for-a-12-year-old-girl.htmlSpeakabooshttp://www.speakaboos.com/story/the-boy-who-cried-wolfEducational Drama Texts:o Baldwin, P. & Malone, J. (2000). The Complete Idiot’s guide toActing - Alpha.o Baldwin, P. & Fleming, K. (2003) Teaching Literacy throughDrama: Creative Approaches – RoutledgeFalmer.o Baldwin, P. (2004) With Drama in Mind: Real learning inimagined worlds – Network Educational Press.o Boal, A. (2002) Games for Actors and Non-actors – Routledge.
  7. 7. Susan Hillyard - ActionSackso Bolton, G. (1998) Acting in classroom drama: a critical analysis– Trentham Books.o Bowell, P. & Heap, B.S. (2001) Planning Process Drama – DavidFulton Publishers.o Burke, A. & o’Sullivan, J. (2002) Stage By Stage: A Handbookfor Using Drama in the Second Language Classroom –Heinemann.o Caruso, S & Clemens, P. (1992) Actor’s book of Improvisation:Dramatic situations for the teacher and the actor - PenguinBooks.o Cassady M. (1993) Acting Games: Improvisations and exercises– Meriwether Publishing Ltd.o Collie, J. & Slater, S. (1993) Short Stories for CreativeLanguage Classrooms – Cambridge University Press.o Dickinson, R.; Neelands, J. and Shenton Primary School. (2006)Improve your Primary School Through Drama – David FultonPublishers.o Di Pietro, R. (1987) Strategic Interaction – CambridgeUniversity Press.o Dr. Hughs, D. & Phillips, B. (2000) The Oxford Union Guide toSuccessful Public Speaking – Virgin Publishing.o ELT & News Views. (1999) KIDS – University of Cambridge.o Fleming, M. (2001) Teaching Drama in Primary and SecondarySchools: An Integrated Approach – David Fulton Publichers.o Hayes, S. (1984) Drama as a Second Language. CambridgeNational Extention College: Cambridgeo Heathcote, D. (1984) Ed: Johnson L and O’Neill C CollectedWritings on Education and Drama . Northwestern UniversityPress, Illinoiso Holden, S. (1981) Drama in Language Teaching. Longman:Londono Kitson, N. & Spiby, I. (1997) Drama 7-11: developing primaryteaching skills – Routledge.
  8. 8. Susan Hillyard - ActionSackso Maley, A. & Duff, A. (1982) Drama Techniques in LanguageLearning. Cambridge University Press: Cambridgeo Neelands, J. & Goode, T. (1990) Structuring Drama Work: Ahandbook od available forms in theatre and drama – CambridgeUniversity Press.o Pascoe, L.(2006) The Magic Of Make Believe Beyond PositiveThinking – Findhorn.o Phillips, S. (1999) Drama With Children (Resource Books forTeachers, ed. Alan Maley). Oxford University Press: Oxfordo Porter Ladousse, G. (1987) Role Play (Resource Books forTeachers, ed. Alan Maley) ). Oxford University Press:Oxfordo Revell, J. (1980) Teaching Techniques for CommunicativeEnglish. Allen and Unwin: Londono Scher, A. & Verrall, C. (1987) Another 100 + Ideas for Drama –Heinemann.o Smith, S.M. (1987) The Theatre Arts and the Teaching ofSecond Languages Addison Wesley: Londono Spaventa, L. (ed.) (1980) Towards the Creative Teaching ofEnglish. Allen and Unwin: Londono Wagner, BJ. (1999). Dorothy Heatcote: Drama as a LearningMedium - Heinemann.o Wessels, C. (1987) Drama (Resource Books for Teachers, ed.Alan Maley). Oxford University Press: Oxfordo Wilson K, (2008) Drama ( Resource Books for Teachers Ed. AlanMaley). Oxford University Press: Oxfordo Winston, J. & Tandy, M. (2001) Beginning Drama 4-11 – DavidFulton Publishers.o Wooland, B. (1993) The Teaching of Drama in the PrimarySchool – Pearson Education.o Wright, A., Betteridge, D. & Buckby, M. (1979) Games forLanguage Learning - Cambridge University Press.

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