It’s showtime!

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By Jane Bowerspecialist in art, drama and dance

Let your children take centre stage with two action-packed drama sessions – the circus and the seaside!

circus

Whether you teach drama regularly or consider yourself a non-specialist, this new series aims to provide all teachers with practical and manageable drama ideas for use with KS1 classes. This month the focus is on holidays and entertainment.

Planning

As with all lessons, start off by deciding what it is that you want the children to learn from the drama, and plan accordingly. What do you want your children to experience, and why?

A good drama session should give opportunities for the children to work together – and through their collaborations, learn to appreciate each other’s abilities and strengths.

I always start my drama sessions by introducing a problem. This draws the children in and encourages solving it together, establishing group collaboration and discussion. In the two drama lessons given here the problems are similar – the class have been given responsibility for something they know little about. This frequently brings out hitherto unknown knowledge that children may have and gives them the opportunity to use it.

Changing roles can be confusing for a young child. Establish a clear signal to indicate when you are yourself and when you are pretending. I simply use a chair: I tell the children that when I sit in it I am myself, but when I rise from it I will be someone else – even though I may not look or sound any different. If at any time during the drama I want to stop, I sit on the chair and wait. This is the signal for the children to return to you and ‘become themselves’ (it also dispenses with the need to shout or clap for attention).

Try to use a visual aid (eg receipt of a letter) to begin a drama session as it tends to generate interest from the start.

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