Drama is a subject I rarely experienced at primary school. This presumably was because my teachers were not particularly confident or interested in drama. I believe it is the teacher’s responsibility to ensure that children are given the opportunity to explore all areas of the curriculum, even if it is not a teacher’s strength.
Nikki’s input today was great fun and really got me thinking about how drama can be used as a tool to express emotions, and is applicable to many different areas of the curriculum. I now feel equipped with a range of ideas that I could use on placement.
The ‘Structure of a Drama Lesson’ (KS 1/2 Drama – Teaching Drama: A Structured Approach, 2006) video was very useful, because it clearly showed the steps you could take to create a successful drama lesson for pupils. I like the idea of starting a lesson with an agreement of expectations between the teacher and pupils, because the teacher is then more easily able to guide the work and behaviour of the pupils. Ending the lesson with an evaluation is also important because it would allow pupils to reflect on what they learned and what they would like to achieve next time. An evaluation would also calm pupils down before returning to the classroom and give the pupils a chance to feed back to the teacher to adapt future lessons to suit the class. In addition, the children are more likely to engage with the lesson if they know the structure, and can see what they will be able to achieve at the end. From a behaviour management angle, having a structure also helps keep the children engaged and so less likely to misbehave. Drama is a practical, hands on subject and so could be difficult to manage without a well-thought-out structure. A consistent drama structure would also give safety to anxious children who would know what to expect and be more able to focus on the content of the lesson, rather than worrying about the unknown. The lesson structure would also be effective because it has clear, natural developments which allow everyone to get involved, even if they lack confidence in performing.
The work created during a drama lesson can be built on and developed further by using a variety of drama conventions. These include simpler techniques, such as freeze-frame, and more complicated conventions, such as thought tracking, which allow pupils to explore their characters in more depth. Drama conventions relate to the Drama Experience and Outcome EXA 2-12a “I can create, adapt and sustain different roles, experimenting with movement, expression and voice and using theatre arts technology.” (Education Scotland, No date, p.7.)
I think drama is a very useful tool which can be used to effectively unlock different curricular areas and bring subjects to life. For example, Brian Woolland states that “Drama deals with fundamental questions of language, interpretation and meaning.”( 1993, p.6.). This shows how drama can be used to enrich all learning and deal with all kinds of topics. Drama is something I definitely look forward to teaching on placement.
Education Scotland, (no date), ‘curriculum for excellence: expressive arts experiences and outcomes’, Available at: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/expressive-arts-eo.pdf, (Accessed 19.01.19).
KS 1/2 Drama – Teaching Drama: A Structured Approach, (2006), Available at: http://archive.teachfind.com/ttv/www.teachers.tv/videos/ks1-ks2-drama-teaching-drama-a-structured-approach.html , (Accessed 19.01.19).
Woolland, B. (1993), ‘The Teaching of Drama in the Primary School’, Essex, Pearson Education Limited.