Category Archives: 3.2 Classroom Organisation & Management

Taking drama further


  • Baldwin, P. (2008) The Primary Drama Handbook. London: SAGE Publications Ltd. – Chp.4: A Time & Place for Drama, Chp.5: Planning ‘Whole-Class’ Drama
  • Farmer, D. (2011) Learning Through Drama. Drama Resource.
  • Neelands, J. & Goode, T. (2000) Structuring Drama Work. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press


  • Consider how you might assess pupils during today’s workshop – Observing
  • What are the challenges of assessing a practical (and usually collaborative) subject? – A lot of comments to provide. Busy time throughout lessons. Hard to provide comments for their next steps. Not as much written content.
  • How might you overcome these challenges? – Videoing performances and making comments afterward. Letting children see their work back and making their own judgments. Letting children peer asses – provide partners from different groups (Number 1 assess other Number 1 performance)

Engage with the reading under ‘Assessing Drama’ on the VLE to inform your thinking.

  1. Use of benchmarks. 2. The Creativity Across Learning 3-18 report. 3. Assessing Creativity

Extend – Drama Conventions

Provide examples of how you might use this convention in class. You may also want to consider any organisation or management issues.

  • Conscience Alley
  • Improvisation
  • Mantle-of-the-expert
  • Mime (there are many different types!)
  • Freeze Frame
  • Hot-seating
  • Improvisation
  • Mantle-of-the-expert
  • Mime (there are many different types!)
  • Sculpting
  • Soundscape
  • Still Image
  • Spotlight
  • Teacher in Role
  • Role on the wall
  • Flashbacks and Flash Forwards
  • Narration
  • Tableaux
  • Role Play
  • Image Theatre
  • Cross-Cutting
  • Open and close


  • Teacher in Role – Teacher can take part in a make-believe situation and by doing so can challenge and validates the children’s involvement.“When I sit in this chair I will be the King”. Hot seating is recommended to try first if you are unsure. This can be used across the curriculum such as a figure from history, a character from a story to the role of a painting from art (Farmer, 2014) However, children will have to be responsible enough that the teacher can be engaged in the moment and not worrying over other students misbehaving.


  • Role on the wall – A collaborative activity. The outline of a body is drawn (encourage children to practice this?) on a large sheet of paper, which is stuck onto the wall. Words or phrases describing the character are then written directly onto the drawing or stuck on with sticky notes. This drama technique can be carried out as a group activity or by individuals writing about their own character. You can include known facts such as physical appearance, age, gender, location, and occupation, as well as subjective ideas such as likes/dislikes, friends/enemies, opinions, motivations, secrets, and dreams. Facts can be written outside the silhouette and thoughts and feelings inside. Key lines can be added. The class can add more info as they discover more about the character over time. Used to learn about historical people (link to history interdisciplinary). Ideas for improvisation or rehearsal. The strategy works well in combination with hot seating (Farmer, 2016)


  • Thought-tracking -Children verbally express their understanding of a character (what they are thinking). Can build confidence in talking in front of peers and enables children to be imaginative in putting themselves in other’s shoes. Thought tracking is a natural follow-up to still images and freeze frames. Children create and imagine and then the teacher (or could involve children) taps them on the shoulder and the actor speaks the character’s thoughts and feelings out loud. This can be both objects, humans or animals. Teacher and audience can ask specific questions to see how they feel towards another character or what their dreams and aspirations are. Thought- tracking can easily be employed in the classroom with children at their desks.


  • Flash backs and flash forwards – Actors are asked to improve a moment which could have occured seconds, minutes, days or years before or after a dramatic moment. Provides depth to freeze frames and improvisation so children must have prior experience to this. Can be used to show what led up to a particular moment, how it might be resolved or how it may lead onto additional challenges.  The technique helps to flesh out a dramatic moment or create the beginnings of a story.


  • Open and close – good way to introduce blackouts without the equiptment. Uses still images to tell a story – separate class into groups and ask for a certain number of images to be created (3 to 5). Either teacher or pupil says Open and Close between each frame.The audience should close their eyes while the first group gets into position. When the group has its first image ready, the designated person says ‘Open’. The audience open their eyes for a few moments and look at the scene. Now the same person says ‘Close’ and the audience close their eyes again. Quickly, the group moves into the second position and the audience are asked to open their eyes when the group is ready. The process is repeated until all the still images have been shown. The technique has a similar effect to watching a series of photographs or a flickering film.


  • Mantle-of-the-expert = (MoE) involves the creation of a fictional world where students assume the roles of experts in a designated field. of the Expert is based on the premise that treating children as responsible experts increases their engagement and confidence. Can be used to explore an issue such as a team of archaeologists to excavate a newly discovered tomb in Egypt. The children may be involved in mimed activities, improvisation, research or discussion. While the focus is on the enquiry process, it can often lead to real outcomes such as writing letters, printing leaflets or selling products. They can perceive a real purpose for learning and discovering together in an interactive and proactive way – providing them with the skills and knowledge they can apply to their everyday lives. MoE encourages creativity, improves teamwork, communication skills, critical thought and decision-making.

– Using strategies for cross-curricular learning –

  • Farmer, D (2014). ‘Teacher in Role’ Available from: Accessed: 5.2.19



Talking and Listening

Using the CforE experiences and outcomes for talking and listening, create a set of group rules for talking and listening.

Group Rules

  • I will listen with my whole body:

  • I will stick to the appropriate voice level:

  • I will give positive and constructive opinions when listening and talking about the work of others and will incorporate this into my own work(When I engage with others, I can respond in ways appropriate to my role, show that I value others’ contributions and use these to build on thinking LIT 2-02a)
  • I will share what I think through discussions (When listening and talking with others for different purposes, I can: share information, experiences, and opinions (LIT 2-09a)  


  • I will create and ask questions when sharing and listening to information (clarify points by asking questions or by asking others to say more (LIT 2-09a)  


  • I will self regulate how I communicate with others. I will aim to develop my confidence inside and outside my learning environment (I am developing confidence when engaging with others within and beyond my place of learning LIT 2-10a / LIT 3-10a)


  • Medwell et. al. (2017). Primary English: Teaching Theory and Practice. (8th Edn.) London: Sage Publications. – Chapter 4. (same chapter in earlier editions)
  • Myhill, D. (2007) Talking, listening, learning: effective talk in the primary classroom, Maidenhead: Open University Press. Chapter 1. In addition to a hard copy, an electronic copy of this book can be accessed through the University of Dundee catalogue

The 1st Dance


From this introductory experience of dance, I have learned the importance of:

  • How and why to present myself in a confident manner through body language and movement
  • Facilitating children to be creative and active
  • To help children understand why and how they are learning through dance
  • The use of music as a tool
  • How to manage classroom dynamics of organising a dance lesson
  • How to build children’s confidence
  • Supporting children in showing their personality through their work
  • How to utilise the space in a room
  • Health and Safety
  • The reality of classroom situations – friends falling out, insecurities.
  • Checking music before use in class and or when using youtube videos. Dance-related videos as the stimulus – create discussions with class around dance
  • Learning dances from different religions – RME.

Key Ideas and concepts:

  • Interdisciplinary through dance (Active cross-curricular learning)
  • Having conversations with kids over what they have developed in their dance lesson – different skills such as critical thinking
  • Exploring the benefits of dance such as better mental health

This workshop has helped me to understand how to plan a dance lesson to BEGIN to support meeting identified E’s and O’s such as:


  • I have experienced the energy and excitement of presenting/performing for audiences and
    being part of an audience for other people’s presentations/performances.
    EXA 0-01a / EXA 1-01a / EXA 2-01a
  • I enjoy creating short dance sequences, using travel, turn, jump, gesture, pause and fall, within safe practice. EXA 1-08a