This term I have begun to teach Drama as a specialist subject. We started off by exploring a range of skills and techniques. To engage learners with the new topic and learning area, I modelled the stye of tableaux with a volunteer helper and asked students to look for the following in our mini performance:
- focal point
- use of levels
- facial expression
I then used an app (a bit like paddle pop sticks used to choose randomly) with the class lists added to request feedback from individuals. This model of teaching was particularly engaging as we (the volunteer performer and I) became the lesson. Students were actively engaged. The random request for feedback meant that all students were expected to be ready to respond. My first lesson was a success!
I have also integrated Drama activities and modes of expression conducive to the Drama curriculum, across other areas of learning at a range of schools. Integrating the Arts across the curriculum can be a fantastic way for students to be able to engage deeply with their learning. From my experience, students innately express through the Arts areas in and so teaching and learning through integration is natural. Students explore expression and communication in a range of ways. Drama is a particularly rewarding medium of expression for students who struggle with reading and writing. Students are able to speak, sing, mime and act their responses. Confidence is built, creativity and diversity is celebrated.
The images above and below, depict the end result of an integrated unit of work completed by a year 4/5 class (A procedural text). The beginning of this project stemmed from a Drama activity but ended up growing substantially based on learners needs and interests and incorporated a range of learning areas and cross curricular priorities. Students watched a clip from the website Dust Echoes (click on the following link to watch the clip and access the website) Dust Echoes – The Mimis. They then re-enacted the story through mime. Students were engaged and motivated and wanted to explore more. As Reconciliation week was approaching, we decided to make Mimi puppets and present our dancing Mimi puppets at the special assembly. This was really successful. We then used our Mimi puppet making process to write a procedure, so clear that another person would be able to make a puppet, just like ours. The project ran over a whole term and was fantastic.