Drama Games as a Teaching Strategy
Author Luke Fellows
The Benefits of Using Drama in a Classroom
"Drama is highly regarded as an effective and valuable teaching strategy because of its unique ability to engage reflective, constructivist and active learning in the classroom as well as enhancing oral skills development" (Di Pietro, 1987; Via, 1976; Heathcote cited in Wagner, 1976; Mezirow, 1990; Schon, 1991; Donato and McCormick, 1994; Lukinsky, 1990; Miccoli, 2003; Ashton Hay, 2005).
However, its value is often overlooked as educators do not always have the knowledge, the techniques or often the confidence in order to organize effective drama activities within their classrooms.
This is a shame as drama and drama games have been proven to boost confidence, encourage collaborative skills, develop creative thinking, increase analytical and problem solving skills and promote literacy. All while helping to develop a respectful and supportive classroom environment.
Should I begin using drama in my class?
All instructors should learn how to use drama games so that they have them as part of their instructional tool kit. Drama activities can be utilized in class whenever appropriate to instruction, whenever they have validity to the learning, whenever they can reinforce curriculum and whenever an occasion arises when a teacher believes that their students will benefit from an interactive learning activity.
That you are reading this means that you have an interest in educating yourself in using drama games in your classroom. Perhaps you've tried drama before and want to learn more, perhaps you've tried and the results weren't exactly as you'd hoped, perhaps you've never attempted it but are brave enough to want drama to be one of your instructional tools. For whatever reason, you are here and over the duration of this course you will gain insight into how drama can be integrated and utilized within your curriculum.
At the completion of this course you will be able to:
- Set up your classroom space for a drama activity.
- Organize your student group for a drama game.
- Recognize instructional opportunities where drama can be used as a teaching strategy.
- Know a variety of drama games that can be used for general instructional purposes.
- Know a variety of drama games that can be used for specific instructional purposes.
- Use techniques from drama to assist in building student engagement.
- Devise drama activities that are specific to your teaching area.
One of the key aspects of any drama activity is that it has to be carried out in order to be truly understood. You can't learn how to dance by reading about the foxtrot and you can't truly reflect on the success of a drama activity without attempting it. Because of this it is important that any participant in this class has a group with whom you can try out the activities you will be learning about. This can be any group with a minimum of 4 people in it (not including you as the instructor). It can be your church group, your class, your closest family members or even a selection of your most trusted (and most easily convinced) friends. It also does not have to be the same group every time or for every activity.
None of the activities that you will attempt should take any more than 15 minutes and as they can be quite fun you may enjoy doing them too!
If you're ready to begin, then please click on the Module 1: Introduction and Preparation link below.