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Expressive Arts- Exploring Drama

After our first drama session we watched a short video on a lesson plan created and run through with teachers as the pupils. It was obvious that the lesson planned was very well-structured. I think that this particular lesson plan can be adapted to cover certain Experiences and Outcomes in the Curriculum for Excellence, depending on what level the children may be working towards. This particular lesson allows each child in the class to be involved, voice their opinion and take part in a performance at the end. The evaluation part is very important because this allows the children to reflect on what can be improved on for the next drama lesson. Evaluation also lets children voice what worked well in their performance, and what they may want to achieve the next time.

At the beginning of the lesson, the ‘teachers’ were able to explain what was expected of each child, and some ‘ground rules’ that were mandatory throughout. It’s explained in the video that both teacher and the children came up with the expectations. If the children know what behaviour is acceptable and what is not, it will mean for a lesson to run more smoothly.
A warm-up is key to get everybody moving. The video describes a warm up as essential, to get the ‘mind ready and the body ready’. Compared to a maths lesson, drama may have a lot more active movement, so it is important the children can recognise this. It also prepares the children for what may come throughout the lesson – expressing yourself through movement or sound, to re-enact how certain characters may feel, and to explore their own emotions.
The next area covered was visualisation. This area could relate to another topic – for example, if in Topic the class was investigating the Egyptian Era. This can then be brought into drama. They could visualise the constructing of the pyramids. The children should be able to think creatively what this scene may have looked like, sounded like and even felt like. I thought the ‘eye’s closed and tap on the shoulder to share your ideas’ was a great technique – allowing different child to express themselves in what they imagine this particular scene to be like. Not every scene would be similar and many children would have different ideas. I thought bringing in pictures for the children to look at as well would help with their imagination to flow.
The ‘teachers’ then moved onto looking at creating the image they have visualised into an actual scene, using their bodies. This makes the lesson much more active and allows the children to keep using that imagination in what this particular scene may look like. I believe this more active part of the lesson is vital in allowing the children to explore the ideas of different characters in the scene, allowing them to take on the whole personality. It gets the children working as a team also, to create a scene which will be very different from the other groups. By working collaboratively together they will be able to develop skills in confidence, listening and communication with each other.
The short clip displays how important performance is. Even if it is just to the peers in the class, it is vital that the children are able to take pride in their work and evaluate what they think worked well, and what may need some improvement. By being able to evaluate their own work, the children are able to explore what they may want to work towards the in the next drama lesson.

The lesson is structured in a way that covers each area listed in the Experiences and Outcomes, in the Curriculum for Excellence. Those taking part in the lesson were able to use a range of stimuli – visualisation and a story – to express themselves, through sounds, facial expressions, gestures and body movements. By using the bodyscaping technique, children are able top bring everyone’s imagination together and work as a team to create their own scenes. They can further develop their confidence in performing, and communication skills with their peers – deciding what works in their scene, and what can be worked upon.
The lesson seems very well structured and relates to many of the Experiences and Outcomes. The children are able to explore how they can use their voice and their movement to create certain stories, they have freedom in what they want to create and are able to use trial and error to decide what works and what may need to be reconsidered. By accessing a range of different stimuli – photos, a story being told, visualisation – children are able to explore different ideas depending on what they are seeing/hearing. It gives them a range of ideas to consider while taking on role of different characters. By having an evaluation at the end of a lesson children are able to reflect on what they felt went well in the lesson, and what they have learned throughout. It’s always vital to reflect as this helps with further -developing confidence and the skills needed in performance and in using their imagination.

I believe that you can always bring other areas of the curriculum into drama. It is an active way of bringing children’s imaginations to life. Certain subjects, such as Topic and Literacy can be further developed into drama. IF we were exploring creative writing in Literacy, we can develop our stories and pick certain parts out to create scenes. This helps develop what the character is thinking and the children can understand the emotions displayed in each other’s stories more. Drama can also be used to link with Topic studies, such as weather, countries around the world, the rain forest, under the sea, etc. If we look at the rain forest topic, there are many visualisations that can be explored. The pitter-patter of the rain falling from the sky, the thud of animal feet on the ground, the screeches of different birds soaring through the sky, the buzzing of insects hiding in the trees, etc. Many different ideas can be explored in drama through certain topics, and allows children to visualise what it may feel like to live there and how their surroundings differ to ours.

Drama is a prominent area of the curriculum that allows children to explore their thoughts and feelings, and portray these through different scenes. It lets children explore their own imagination and use their creativity to develop their skills in communication and language, allowing them to understand other’s thoughts and emotions, build confidence and gain an understanding of the world around them.
A link to the video watched : http://archive.teachfind.com/ttv/www.teachers.tv/videos/ks1-ks2-drama-teaching-drama-a-structured-approach.html