The only background of drama I had was doing the school shows throughout high school. I played Rosalie Mullins in the musical production of The School Of Rock in my last year of school and I regretted not doing a show sooner as it was so much fun. Drama was never a subject I found much interest in but the shows were different as there was a different atmosphere to them. I certainly didn’t feel confident walking into a class and teaching it until I had the drama workshop with Nikki. She explained that at the start of class you need to create your boundaries and rules with the class and ensure they are aware of your structure and what you intend to do within the lesson. She also highlighted how key behaviour management is and how we should be dealing with it within a drama lesson.
To begin the lesson, we done a physical/vocal warm up called Rubber Chicken, it was a fun and engaging activity that allowed us (and will allow the children) to loosen up and clear our mind. We were all doing the same and being just as silly as each other so there was no judgment, and everyone should have been feeling roughly the same. We then had to participate in a line up activity where we were not allowed to talk and had to line ourselves up in order of birth months, then order of height, and the colour of hair. This was a great activity as it got us thinking and allowed us to still have fun. We also got to know a little bit about the people around us without even talking.
The next activity was Decision Diagonal (or ‘Where do you stand?’)-
This is where we had to Imagine there was a line across the floor (from corner to corner). One end of line was STRONGLY AGREE, the other was STRONGLY DISAGREE. Other points along the line where AGREE, DISAGREE and ON THE FENCE. We could place ourselves anywhere on the spectrum depending on our individual responses to the given statements. Eg:
- Cats are better than dogs
The next 2 activities consisted of using our bodies and expressions to portray each idea that we were given. This was called levels/freeze frames. The group had to move around the space whilst the Leader would call out a level and a context. We (Pupils) then had to freeze in a corresponding image. This got us thinking and able to work on our body language and facial expressions. The ideas we completed were;
- Low level: We had all been washed up on shore from a shipwreck
- Medium level – horror movie ‘The Blob’ – the blob is coming down the high street and you turn around and see it. Freeze.
- High level – 1940s – a London street, Winston Churchill has just announced the end of the war.
- Mixed levels – The night of New Year’s Eve at 12am (groups of 6-8).
- Flashback/Flash Forward- the previous night at 6pm and then the next again morning at 8am
- Action Clip! – the rest of the class had to watch as we performed each of the above.
Eyes Closed-Eyes Open- this was the transition between each frame.
To cool down we played a game of squeeze the hand. This will allow the children to become calm and collected as they are now all in a big circle and had to focus the mind. We (children) had to focus on when our hand got squeezed and then we had to pass it on. To make this a little harder the teacher or leader of the group could send a squeeze round either side of the circle and then it becomes a little competition to see who could get the squeeze back to the start the fastest.