Drama: Differentiating playtime and learning

Drama is a subject area in which I originally felt very worried about teaching and so the video detailing a way of structure for a drama lesson was especially helpful and focused on six key areas of the lesson.

The lesson began with a class and teacher agreement of the expectations and ‘rules’ of the class which will guide their learning and behaviour. A short physical/vocal/team-working warm-up was then followed by the issuing and analysis of images to establish focus upon the topic. The fourth area of the lesson was developing ideas through visualisation, soundscape and bodyscape to think about the image and accompanying sounds the children want to create. The creative piece was then performed and the lesson finished with an evaluation to ensure learning intentions for the next lesson were established and the class were calm before returning to other lessons.

Structuring the lesson in this way means that there is differentiation within the lesson between an additional playtime for the children and time for learning and building of skills and cross-curricular knowledge. Children are very clear in what they are learning and expectations regarding behaviour as well as channeling focus and engagement. The structure of the lesson also ensures that appropriate timings for each stage can be planned effectively, thus, ensuring adequate time to complete the entire activity (without rushing/skipping the performance and evaluation).

Drama conventions used include still imaging, spoken thought and dialogue.

The following Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes were addressed within this lesson:

  • I can create, adapt and sustain different roles, experimenting with movement, expression and voice and using theatre arts technology. EXA 2-12
  • I have created and presented scripted or improvised drama, beginning to take account of audience and atmosphere. EXA 2-14a
  • I can respond to the experience of drama by discussing my thoughts and feelings. I can give and accept constructive comment on my own and others’ work. EXA 0-1 5a/ EXA 1-15a/ EXA 2-15a/ EXA 3-1 5a

Some teachers mentioned in the video that they could use drama to enhance learning in other subjects with examples including the use of the Snow White story in drama when studying fairy-tales in literacy. Additionally, the children could use a picture or creation made in art previously to establish potential questions and ideas of a story line behind the art.

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