Oct 26, 2012

Dance and Drama Resources

Drama as a Creative Activity for Children


Drama is a creative activity and, as such, fulfils the normal function of all creative activity. It provides a medium through which the individual can express his ideas – his reactions to the impressions he received – and, by expressing them, learn to evaluate them.


This use of creative arts makes us examine what we are thinking and feeling. Imaginative observation is stimulated and our understanding of ourselves and the world around us is extended and deepened.


In child drama theatrical limitations do not exist. The child is free to develop ideas and conflicts along his own lines, and reach his own conclusions. If, for example, the child is asked to explore a situation where he, as a teenage son, arrives home at one o’clock in the morning to find an irate father waiting up for him, he is able, by drawing upon his observations of life, to develop and resolve the situation in his own way, using his natural speech and movement. He has, in fact, elucidated his ideas by the sincere expression of them without being limited by any techniques for showing which would tend to inhibit his true reactions. It is only through such sincerity and absorption that true creative work becomes possible.


Drama then becomes a positive educational force, not merely a useful but haphazard way of learning. It also provides a link between the more tightly supervised aspects of school work, and the completely unsupervised play of the child.


In drama, imaginative work usually involves trying to transfer oneself to another situation, or to identify oneself with another person. It increases awareness and sensitivity, and that is the essence of human contact in everyday life. How much offence is given, how many strikes are caused, not through maliciousness, but through an inability to imagine not only how the other person feels, but also the possible consequences of the contemplated action? Like wise there is value, in thinking through drama of the plight of the refugee, the real meaning of hunger or, on a more immediate level.


The advantage of drama over many other media is that one child has the opportunity of using his imagination to the full, without being restricted by too many technicalities; he can say what he feels about things without being hampered by, for instance, poor spelling or grammar. Under these conditions the power to imagine has the opportunity to grow and develop, and will inevitably influence all other aspects of school work.


Child drama is based on sincere and absorbed participation. What the children show the teacher as an adult is of little importance. His concern is that their feelings and thoughts should be genuine. One of his most important tasks is to be able to recognise sincerity and absorption when he sees it.


Activity Introduction


Drama is an expression of ideas, feelings and human experience through movement, sound, visual image and the realisation of a role.

This course aims to connect the elements found in drama and dance with literacy. Books can be a spring board for developing these elements within the classroom programme. Peter Slade postulated that child drama was an art form in it’s own right with it’s own place as a subject in schools along side music, art and literature (Courtney 1968).


The work of early drama in education specialist also studied the way dance and drama can assist the student with special needs.


Brain Way believed that for students who were socially and emotionally disadvantaged drama could be a valuable tool. Drama could well be discovered as one of the most valuable ways of gaining information, making it a living experience, significant to the heart, spirit and mind (Way 1968).


Heathcote shows children with special needs gain growth self esteem and develop a different view of the world. Drama is made of dreams, personal hopes and fears. If a student can become personally involved then it promotes a greater awareness of his or her own abilities. She also believed it was the teacher’s responsibility to be able to forward the work towards teaching ends without destroying the students’ contribution (Bolton 1984).


Dancing into books is proving a spring board for teachers to link their knowledge of books with their interest in drama and dance.




  • In pairs the students will choose a box. They will talk about it’s shape and colour and how Grandma may have used the object.
  • Students explain if they know anyone with a record player.
  • Students plan a setting for Grandmas birthday and plan the surprise.
  • Groups improvise their story lines and share back to the group.
  • Students select a sequence they liked and gather to take it on to performance.
  • Teacher can move into the role of Grandma.
  • Students will create a whole group role-play in the space they defined using the skills they have practised.
  • Preparation of a teaching sequence and Reflection.
    Drama Achievement Objectives
    PK. DI.CI.


PK Developing Practical Knowledge in Drama.


Students will explore and use elements and techniques of drama for different purposes.

DI. Developing ideas in drama based on personal experiences.

CI. Communicating and interpreting in Drama.

Level 1
Students will share drama through informal presentation and respond to ways in which drama tells stories and conveys ideas.

Level 2.
Students will share through informal presentation and respond to elements of drama.

Learning example.
Talk about the clues suggested by a found object in separate groups and share scenes from the life of the person who might have owned the objects.


Detailed teaching sequence.


Role. Action .Focus.

Voice. Movement Facial Expression.

Whole group role play .Defining space. Freeze frame.

Specific Learning outcomes.
Students will improvise a storyline and develop it into a drama.
Students will use voice and movement to explore the events in a story and characteristics of imagined roles.

The Arts in collaboration.
Dance and Drama
Exploring space and energy
Developing rhythmic patterns.

Teaching level, small rural primary school with composite classes. Term two unit has been to explore celebrations Juniors have read Happy Birthday texts and different ways people say Happy Birthday. The school is under a coastal review which has lead to discussion on how people celebrate events and recording events from the past.

The students have explored music and dance techniques. Storytelling has been a spring board to developing improvisation and taking the students into improvisation.

There are students with special learning needs including an autistic student. The warm up activities were designed to assist these students with poor spatial awareness and motor co-ordination.It is important to define the movements, for the teacher to use at a later date.

Warm up activities.


Fine Motor Skills.


  1. Relax on the floor placing hands on the rib cage.
  2. Close your eyes and breath in and out slowly feeling your chest rise and fall.Open your eyes. Listen to the music and imagine you are lying on the warm sand, place your arms to the side and allow the sand to run through your fingers. You may like to raise one arm and then the other,allowing the sand to drift through your fingers.
  3. Sit up slowly ,cross your legs and imagine yourself digging in the sand to find a box open the box and find some coins let them run through your fingers. Place them back in the box stand find a space in the room Imagine you are searching for a treasure box move around the room in search of the box remember high and low movements .stop you find a place dig for the box find a partner take it in turn to open the boxes and show excitement on your face as your partner describes the treasure.

Gross motor skills and balance.


  1. Teacher hands out scarves are they light or heavy?
  2. Create a movement in the air listen to the music and move in time first on the spot then around the room,stop and listen imagine a parade coming you are going to use the scarf to wave .
  3. Turn to the person next to you and talk about the parade who you saw and what sounds you may have Show a facial expression of excitement when you see the parade .Make a body shape to express surprise make a sound of excitement mirror each others actions.Form a group share the three actions now become the parade join in the excitement listen to the music and move around the room . Freeze the shape move , Provide feedback on the expressions and body shapes. The parade is leaving move out of the group wave good bye and return the scarves and find a partner sit down in the group.


Learning Activities


  • Activate prior knowledge.
  • Discuss with students different celebrations where people receive presents.
  • Focus on songs sung at celebrations.
  • Think pair and share a song that is well known.
  • Image in the head.
  • Think of a gift you may take to a grandma.
  • What would you like to eat at a Birthday ?
  • What games would you like to play?
  • How would you feel if grandma was not at home?
  • Thinking aloud.
  • Share with a neighbour your ideas.
  • Students listen to the story of grandmas birthday.
  • Sing the song attached to the story.




  • In pairs the students will explore an object from grandmas box. They will talk about its shape and colour and how Grandma may have used the object
  • In groups students form a shape that bring the objects together.
  • Freeze frame.
  • Students plan a setting for Grandmas Birthday and plan the surprise.
  • Groups improvise their story lines and share back to the group.
  • Students select a sequence they liked and gather to take it on to performance. Teacher can move into role of Grandma.
  • Students will create a whole group role play in the space they defined using the skills they have practised.

Record students response to the drama.