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Put your children in the WAGOLL! - Drama activities for your classroom!
Drama has long been encouraged in Literacy lessons, in order to develop speaking and listening and help with reading comprehension. However, some strategies have appeared to become outdated as the standards and expectations in lessons have been raised. For example, placing one child in the middle of a room and 'hot seating them' was once an acceptable technique for developing character understanding but then the question was asked: 'What are the other class mates doing while one question is being asked?'
It is vital for pupils to be immersed in a narrative or text in order to further understanding of the text, make meaning of words and phrases and make relevance of what has been written. Here are five drama techniques (some old, some new) that you can use alongside our WAGOLLs in order to make the text they read real!
1) The Boxing Match Debate - All children are split into two or four groups (for and against) They form arguments on post it notes supporting their sides given opinion. One person is selected from each to enter the ring and voice the team's opinions. If a child runs out of arguments, they can 'time out' and move back to their group to gather more ideas. At the same time children from each team are passing post it notes to their representatives to help them out so all children are busy and engaged!
2) Interview - This technique allows children to become a character in a narrative or a important figure in a non-fiction text. Children create questions they would like to ask the character and then pair up. Each child takes turn to ask the questions whilst the other answers them in the role of the character. This can be made even more effective when using recording devices in order to use in later lessons to form speech sentences or quotations in a newspaper report!
3) The Setting/character Change -A new technique taken from the TV show 'Who's line is it anyway'. In this drama the children are given a simple task to mime such as eating a meal or walking down the road. Depending on the lesson focus, the children then react to changing character but doing the same task or a change of music. This gets children understanding author intent and the effect of words and phrases. (see video below)
4) Freeze Frame Thought Bubble - This takes freeze frames to another level. Children in groups are given part of a story to freeze frame, however for each freeze frame the child holds a thought bubble on a whiteboard above their head stating what they are thinking at the moment in time. Great for character empathy!
5) The documentary - Non-fiction can always be more challenging for drama activities. However, get children to pick out key information from an information text or a non-chronological report and form a brief documentary script. They can then be filmed on Ipads with a picture behind them (or a greens screen if your feeling adventurous) of the subject while they share the information in the style of David Attenborough!
If you have any effective drama techniques that bring your lessons and texts to life, then please contact us via our share page! Let us know how you get on!