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TEACHER’S DIPLOMA PRIMARY

2008 - 2010
DRAMA
Lecturer: Mr Payendee
Student: Francesca Alysamba
Propose 3 activities to show how drama can be
used to support cross curricular teaching.

Introduction
"Through the dramatic roles and worlds that are available
vicariously in theatre and directly in process drama, we can learn
both who we are and what we may be. It is this that makes the
essential nature of both theatre and process drama profoundly
educational" - Cecily O'Neill

This statement describes completely the importance of drama.


However, at school, with the bulky curriculum and the little time
given to complete it, it is very difficult to include drama in the
classroom. Also drama is more considered as leisure than a
means of learning by many people, especially the children’s
parents. For them, if they come to school and see that their child
are doing drama they will be shocked and will say that the
teacher is not working. They do not know that behind this activity
there are specific objectives to help their child become well
developed persons who will be able to cope with any situation in
life.

Teachers that include drama in class are able to make their


students learn unconsciously and learning takes place more
effectively than the monotonous traditional mainstream class
works. Through drama, we can teach all subjects and also develop
personal skills of students. The broad term 'drama' covers a wide
area of techniques incorporating physical movement, vocal
action, and mental concentration which traditional classrooms
have lacked in quantity and combination in the past. Additionally,
many a times the teaching of English language falls short of
fulfilling its goals. Even after years of English teaching, the
learners do not gain the confidence of using the language in and
outside the class. Real communication involves ideas, emotions,
feelings, appropriateness and adaptability. The conventional
English class hardly gives the learners an opportunity to use
language in this manner and develop fluency in it. Thus, the main
purpose of the language teaching course, i.e., developing skills in
communication, is unfortunately, neglected. An attractive
alternative is teaching language through drama because it gives a
context for listening and meaningful language production, forcing
the learners to use their language resources and, thus, enhancing
their linguistic abilities.

1st activity: Newspaper writers

Class: Standard 6

Subject: History

“Newspaper writers” is an activity which can be done after a


history lesson about the first people who have contributed to
develop our country in the past. For example: Mahé de
Labourdonnais, Pierre Poivre, Sir Robert Farquhar,…

It is true that the children have never seen these people but they
learnt about them through pictures and notes found in their
books. Also the teacher will be here to help them in case they
have forgotten some facts about them.

Aim: To evaluate if the child has well understood the history of


Mauritius.

Objectives:
At the end of this activity, the child should be able to:
• Describe the different people who have contributed to
develop our country.
• Write small paragraphs on the different people.
• Make a newspaper about the founders of our country.

Procedure:

The teacher will need some volunteers to perform the different


characters and the rest of the pupils will be the reporters. The
class will be divided into groups and there will be one character
for each group. The characters will have their books with them as
support and the others will need their copybooks to take notes
about the character so that they can write their article in the
newspaper.

In order to help them the teacher will write some questions that
can be asked to the characters so that the students do not go out
of subject:

• What is your name? Example: Mahé de Labourdonnais


• In which year did you came to Mauritius?
• How was it at that time?
• Was it like nowadays?
• What have you done to develop our country?
• Was it difficult?
• What about the labour?

After having chosen the characters, they will be asked to come in


front of the class and everyone will discover who will imitate
which character. Then the teacher will tell the students to make
as if they are reporters and that they have the chance to
interview one of these characters to learn what they have done to
develop their country. They will be asked to try to speak in
English only.

Each child will have the opportunity to ask a question to the


character. After that when the interview is over, the children will
have to combine their notes and make a newspaper. The teacher
will provide them pictures which they will associate to their
newspaper articles. When the newspaper will be finished the
teacher will make photocopies so that each child gets one. This
will enhance learning in the child as every time he will read the
newspaper, he will get a sense of pride as he knows that he has
contributed in the making of this newspaper.

Variations: If there are many characters, the reporters can also


become one of them. Also if it is possible, costumes can be used
to make the activity more interesting.

2nd Activity: Alphabets

Class: Standard 1

Subject: Literacy (English or French)

“Alphabets” is an activity which can be done in standard one at


the beginning of the first semester. As we all know, there are
often some students who have not gone to preschool, so while
learning alphabets they can get confused. For those who already
know about alphabets, this can help them to practice and
reinforce their learning.

Drama does not mean role play only; it also includes voice
elements (volume, projection, timbre, diction, dialect, tone, pitch,
articulation, and pace), body language (stance, gestures,
breathing, facial expression) and emotion (anxious, ecstatic,
fretful, deliriously happy, bored ...) Here, the students will use
their body and their voice to learn alphabets.
Aim: To learn alphabets and easy words

Objectives:
At the end of this activity, the student should be able to:
• Use different tones to pronounce the alphabets.
• Use their body to represent the alphabet letters.
• Spell words with different emotions and expressions.

Procedure:

Children at this age like to play and do physical activities. In this


activity they will be able to develop their cognitive, affective and
psychomotor skills.

The teacher will draw and cut big alphabet letters so that the
child can see them clearly. Practicing spelling can be more fun
when students are asked to use the various dramatic methods
when spelling their words. Firstly the teacher will ask the students
to spell the letter “A” in different tones. Here an instrument can
be used to help the students, for example, the guitar. Then they
will be asked to vary the volume of their voices, that is, low or
high voice.

After that, the teacher will organize the class setting so that there
is more space. Then she will show the alphabet letters to the
students and ask them to illustrate the character of each letter.
Also she will tell them to get in groups for letters like “b”, “d”,
“E”, etc.

Finally, the teacher will show them some words that they have
already come across and tell them to spell them by using their
emotions and body language. For example, “big”, “long”, another
exercise that can be done also is to spell the word by expressing
the opposite of the word itself, example, “sad”, “good”…

Some roles also can be done. The teacher will give them some
instructions and they will perform them.
Teacher: “Spell this word as if:
➢ you are three years old.
➢ you are imitating your mother when she scolds you.
➢ you are tired.
➢ your mouth is full of food.

Variations: this activity can be done also in mathematics while


doing shapes.

3rd activity: Pollination

Class: Standard 5

Subject: Science

This is quite a simple activity. After having learnt about the topic
“Pollination” in science, in order to evaluate the students, the
teacher will make them do a small sketch. Different roles will be
distributed to the students and the teacher will ensure that all
students will be participating in the sketch.

Aim: To reinforce what children have learnt about pollination.

Objectives:
At the end of this activity, the children should be able to:
• explain the process of pollination.

Each child will have a role to play but of course the teacher will
need four students to be the main characters. The rest will form
the background. The teacher will tell the child first to close their
eyes and imagine they are in a garden and describe what they
can see. Then she will write them on the whiteboard and from
that the roles will be distributed. Then she will ask them if they
remember how pollination is made and will tell that they will
make a sketch on a living garden full of flowers which are being
pollinated. A group of students will be insects, another one will be
the flowers…

The students will themselves make their costumes with bristol


paper, mousline paper, paint…

This is a good strategy to make the students remember


pollination as they will act and it will help them to understand
more about how flowers are pollinated. If the sketch is a success,
they can present it in front of the whole school and therefore build
up their sense of pride.

Conclusion

Drama is an excellent medium because it can stimulate real life


experiences and address issues in a way that may not be possible
with other approaches to learning. In each case there is
opportunity for taking on various roles to explore and present the
issues so that a decision can be reached. The teacher can also
take on roles in the drama to challenge, extend and facilitate the
children’s learning during the process. This is an exciting way to
work with children and can provide some of the most memorable
and significant experiences of a child’s time at school. It will also
facilitate meaningful learning, which is the primary goal of
teaching.