There are a number of things you can use in order to stimulate and enrich an interesting drama lesson or drama workshop in school. Here are some ideas we here at Act On Info have used in the past.
Music is very evocative and can be used to great effect in a drama lesson or drama workshop to energize a class at the start of as well as relaxing them at the end. It also can be used to stimulate imaginations and discuss issues. Ask your class what images a certain piece of music brings to mind then ask them to make a frozen picture or tableau to illustrate this. Use a song about an issue to explore dilemmas.
Using a narrative poem which has a strong central character or which looks at issues or topics can be very useful for stimulating role play, hot seating or movement work.
You can use interesting pictures you have found in books, newspapers or any old photographs as agreat way to stimulate drama work.. You can ask the pupils to imagine they are in the picture and ask them what they can see, hear, smell, taste and touch. Get them to imagine they are one of the characters in the picture, ask them to say which character they are and give some extra information like how they feel. From here you can ask them to create extra characters and create their own tableau (frozen picture).
Any unusual or interesting objects can spark a great drama lesson, but everyday objects work just as well. Use objects to build a
story, for example put a pair of boots on the floor and ask the pupils, who owns them? Why are they so worn? What happened to the person who owns them? Ask the pupils to improvise a scene around the boots. If you want to you can give them a starting line to get them going such as “They are my favourite boots..”.
Use an extract from a story, leaving it at a cliff-hanger moment is a great way to get your pupils thinking “what happens next?” Then get them to create a dramatic scene based on their ideas as to the ending. This is a great way to encourage the pupils to start creating their own stories or plays.
Fables, Myths and Legends
These are great for stimulating drama work as they contain so many different issues and dilemmas and you can ask the pupils to relate the central characters experiences to their own lives.
These are just a few ideas we have used, however if you would like us to come to your school with a Play in a Day or drama workshop please get in touch, we often find our workshops can be very useful to stimulate ideas in teachers as to creative ways of working with theor pupils.