Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Drama Update
by Alison Schnell

The second term has been a very busy but fun term with lots of different Drama projects on the go in the various grades.

The Grade 4s did very well with Reader's Theatre before we moved on to Impromptu Orals. The impromptu orals posed to be a far more difficult concept than expected, although the children certainly did enjoy the challenge. Here are some of the impromptu oral topics that the children were given to talk about:

Under the Sea,
The Grade 5s started off with Script Reading which we did as a class, where each class member was assigned a role and we worked through the script together. We did some lessons on Spacial Awareness and mime, which was very successful. The children got into groups and were given three items that they had to show through mime in a short scene.

 The Grade 6s began the term with the task of presenting Prepared Speeches. They were given 3 options of topics to choose from:

  1. The School Outdoor Programme.
  2. Promoting a Holiday Destination.
  3. Promoting a Sport.

This meant that they had to do the research, write the speech and then rehearse it for presentation. They did a great job of presenting some interesting and well planned speeches. The next task for the Grade 6s was to put together adverts in groups. The ads had to be short and energetic, and they had to be scripted. These were a huge success and the group with the best advert from each class was chosen to perform in assembly which was very entertaining.

 The Grade 7s were given the task of taking an excerpt from a children's novel. One being 'The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and the other The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, and from these excerpts, writing scripts for short scenes from the stories. They also has to design the set as well as costumes for the scenes. This project was time consuming and certainly stretched the children, but all in all they did a really good job of putting together well presented projects and then performing some entertaining scenes.

 Each grade has also been exploring Improvisation and Mime. The game 'Freeze As' is very popular where the class walk around the room and then I shout 'Freeze!!!' 'As a policeman,' for example. They all freeze in character before I then choose one child to improvise and take the act further. This means that they unfreeze and begin acting like a policeman. It works very well, and encourages quick thinking. Other ideas for Freeze As:

An old person,
A weight lifter,
A teacher,
As if you just won the lotto,
As though you are freezing cold,
As if you've been caught with your hand in the cookie jar.

Another game that the children love is what I call Frozen Tableaux. The children get into groups or teams, and I call out a scene that has to be created using their bodies to create the characters, or the furniture or any part of the scene they choose. They have to get into a Frozen Tableaux of the scene that is called as quickly, quietly and creatively as possible, and then I choose a winning team based on these three criteria. This is a great game for creativity, and group work.

Frozen Tableaux ideas:

At the beach,
An Enchanted Forest,
A Wedding,
The Classroom,
Sports Day,
At a Restaurant,
The Supermarket.

It's been a term filled with fun projects and Drama exercises to keep the children busy and thinking creatively!!!

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