• Drama games, such as Fruitbowl, are excellent for teaching a number of skills and abilities, including negotiation, concentration, language skills, listening skills, name learning, cognitive skills, team work, spatial awareness and many others.
  • Physical games like Grandmother’s Footsteps help to establish rules, codes of conduct and appropriate responses.
  • Use name games such as Catch My Name to develop language and listening skills. These also work well when used as ice-breakers for new classes.
  • Simple movement activities, such as mirrors, robots, statues, etc. will increase spatial awareness and develop concentration skills. Use Slow Motion to explore particular scenes in detail and to improve physical control.
  • Adapt well-known party games – such as musical statues – into a drama game by asking children to ‘freeze as characters from a book, film, or story’ or to ‘freeze as emotions’.
  • Freezes and Still Images are a great way of creating effective ‘performances’ without dialogue. Encourage children to act with their faces and bodies only, for example, when creating freezes of important moments from the story of Cinderella. Introduce Thought-tracking as a development with children working in role to express how their character is feeling, or what they are really thinking.
  • Follow-my-leader and copying activities are good for young children and help to build confidence in a non-threatening way.
  • Mime work is excellent for introducing the concepts of ‘performance’ or ‘pretending’. Whole group mime of stories or specific characters is a great activity for young children.
  • Gather useful resources, for example, traditional stories such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, or Cinderella, descriptive poems like The Leaves, pieces of music, pictures, photographs or historical items to stimulate a drama session.
  • Read the beginning of a story, for example, The Giant Turnip, and ask what they would like to explore then allow roles and work to develop from their ideas.
  • For very shy children, or those with English as a second language, use sound as a means to develop creativity. Ask children to create Soundscapes for poems and short stories, or to perform their own stories using just sounds.
  • Teacher in Role is a great technique for leading or guiding a drama experience. Place yourself on the Hotseat as, for example, Goldilocks, and allow yourself to be interviewed. Become Cinderella and ask the children what you need to fetch to create the golden carriage. Add a prop or costume item and become a bullied child looking for advice, a Roman Soldier, an Aztec, a Victorian child – the list is endless! Use Teacher in Role to introduce ideas, allow children to ‘interview’ characters in the middle of a drama, to deepen and develop a drama, or as a fact-finding method.

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