I have chosen the storybook The Bravest Fish, written by Matt Buckingham. I have added the link to the story read aloud on Youtube.
For this storybook, I have chosen to plan for early years as this book is most suited towards this age group.
The experience and outcome i would use is:
Inspired by a range of stimuli, I can express and communicate my ideas, thoughts and feelings through drama. EXA 0-13a.
The key moment for drama in this storybook occurs at the very start and is when the little fish Stanley wakes up to find that his school and family have swam away to find warmer water and he is all alone. The issues i would explore as i worked through this book would be the emotions of Stanley and how he is feeling as he searches for his family. The main problem that needs to be addressed is how will Stanley find his family again?
Farmer (2011), describes drama conventions as strategies developed for teaching drama, that help to grow skills such as: inquiry, communication, negotiation and creativity. Across some reading, I have found that the most useful strategies to use would be role play, freeze frames and thought tracking. Throughout the story Stanley faces many obstacles to find his friends including a cave and a shark- each page leaves the reader on a cliffhanger before we find out what Stanley has come across now, this would be a perfect opportunity to provide creativity for pupils as they can imagine what they think Stanley may find in the water. This can be done through individual, paired or group work. I would read the story to the class firstly focusing on how Stanley is feeling and as we read through the book acting out each of the page with myself leading. Then as we swim and find and obstacle in the water, allowing children independence to be creative. If this is new to the class it could be taking one idea and using this as a whole class- or pupils could work in small groups to create a freeze frame of what they have found in the water. Thought tracking can be used to find out the thoughts of each child’s character. An effective part of the story could be when we encounter the shark- children can create a freeze frame for what they think they will find. When we realise it is a shark we can freeze on our reactions and explore how we may be feeling. As I am planning for early years these emotions may just be scared, worried etc.
Another strategy I think would be useful to use in the classroom is improvisation- as the story ends we reach a cave and a shinning light. If i was reading this to a class i may stop before the very end and we can create our own ending. We might find a treasure chest full of gold or a fishing trip trying to catch us. As this is early years it may be easier to work as a class, or the pupils could work in pairs to create a short ending for their story with either an imagine or a short script.
Overall this storybook would be an excellent example to explore through drama, this book would allow me to not only explore the feelings of the characters but to also allow for creativity through various techniques. Storybooks are very engaging for young children and allowing them to step into the shoes of the character if fun and engaging.
Farmer, D (2011) Learning through Drama in the Primary Years. Norwich: Drama Resource.
Prendiville, F and Toye, N (2007) Speaking and Listening through Drama 7-11. London: Paul Chapman Publishing.
Dickinson, R. Neelands, J and Shenton Primary School (2006) Improve your Primary School Through Drama. Great Britain: David Fulton Publishers.