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There are many methods for teaching Drama. Each strategy involves varying levels of student participation.
Drama games, activities and exercises are often used to introduce students to drama. These activities tend to be less intrusive and are highly participatory (e.g. Bang).
There are several books that have been written on using drama games that can serve as excellent resources for anyone wanting to incorporate drama games into their work. Games for Actors and Non-Actors by Augusto Boal is perhaps the best known internationally and includes writings on his life work as well as hundreds of games. There are also smaller books however, which serve as excellent practical guides. For example, Drama Games by Bernie Warren is an excellent pocket book for someone looking to try drama games for the first time.
Choral dramatization involves students reading aloud by assigning parts to each group member. Choral dramatization can use texts such as rhymes, poetry, and picture books. Students can experiment with voice, sound gesture and movement (Swartz, 1995).
Tableaux involve students creating visual pictures with their bodies, emphasizing key details and relationships (Wilheim, 2002). Tableaux are frozen scenes and usually involve at least three levels. Students focus on a focal point, facial expressions, and body language. This technique is useful for maturing participants' presentational skills as well as audience skills.
Improvisation is the practice of acting and reacting, of making and creating, in the moment and in response to the stimulus of one’s immediate environment; see . Improvisation can be a great introduction to role playing. Students focus on position, expression and creativity in their impromptu skits.
Role playing allows students to play a character in a real or imaginary situation. One of the simplest forms is where “the student plays himself faced with an imaginary situation.” (Wilheim, 2002, p. 62) Other strategies have students playing real-life or imaginary characters in a variety of contexts. Role play can be used throughout many areas of the curriculum, especially history and language arts to support and strengthen understanding of content. Below is a list of some common role-play strategies.
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