Thursday, March 5, 2009

Spring Idea

What about using the book The Listening Walk by Paul Showers for a lesson on sound effects? You could read the book, take the students on a "listening walk" around an area of the school or playground, and have them jot down sound effects that they hear. Then, back in class, they could either create a skit that includes those sound effects or write about how sound effects makes the drama more realistic.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Magical Telescopes

One fun activity I've done with younger elementary school age kids is I had them make "magical telescopes" to be able to see magical things. You can't see magical stuff without one, of course.

We used paper towel rolls and decorated them all up with construction paper, stickers, markers, etc. Then we went on a hunt with our telescopes to see what we could see :) I started it going and then the kids starting really getting into it and had a blast. We went all over the room looking through our telescopes. Someone would shout out what they saw, "Look, a monkey, up in a tree!" Then I'd ask what is magical about the monkey. I'd get replies like, "He can talk." or "He's purple with pink stripes!". We found all sorts of things, butterflies, lions, talking trees, you name it :) It was a great activity to get their imaginations going. Of course they got to take their telescopes home with them so they could search for magical things there too.


First, my name is Angie & I'm really excited to be a contributor for this blog :) I live in Utah, where I've been since I was four years old. I've been involved in drama/theater since middle school and I've been involved in children's drama for about 7 years, including developing and running an elementary school and middle school theater program, directing an elementary school play, stage managing many children's productions and being a backstage mom. My latest drama project was developing and teaching a two month preschool theater class... and I'm in the process of planning out my next one. I have three kids (ages 11, 8 & 7) who are all involved in drama. I work in an art's center where I plan children's activities along with working in the box office and teaching the little drama class. I just thought I'd introduce myself.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ghosts in the House

I've just used a new Halloween book, called Ghosts in the House, to teach improvisation and props to the students. In the book, a little witch has a haunted house. She gathers up the ghosts and then uses them for other items, such as curtains, tableclothes, etc. After reading the book, I divided the students into pairs and gave each pair a 1-yard piece of white fabric. Working together, they had to turn their "ghost" into something else. After just a few minutes, the whole class came back together and they showed their new item to the class. They were very creative! I had students turn their ghosts into kleenex, capes, skirts, and more!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hi Kellie! I think that this is a fantastic idea. I am so glad that you thought of it and I'm also happy that all of the drama ideas will be stored and shared in a central forum. I do have one idea to share. My Scholastic Bookfair is coming up in November and this year, the theme is a safari. I was looking for ideas to tie into literature to generate excitement about the bookfair and maybe throw in some drama too. So, I thought of an idea for an animal pantomime activity. It's simple and here it is for other people trying to tie into the safari bookfair theme.

First, the students and I will read Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle and discuss the different animals and what sounds/actions they might make. Then, we will read Yikes! by Robert Florczak, a picture book about going on a safari that is simple on text but is beautifully illustrated. As we read it, I'll ask the kids to make accompanying sounds and actions for the animals. After we've reviewed sound effects, gestures, movement, etc., we will play animal pantomime. I made a deck of about 30 cards. Each card has a picture and name of an animal on it. Each student will come to the front of the class, draw a card, and then pantomime that animal. The rest of the class will have to guess what animal they are.

Anyway...that's a very simple idea but like I said earlier, I was just hoping to tie some drama and literature into the bookfair!!

Family Portraits

This is a game that we when we're working with character but it also involves movement, gestures and facial expression.

Choose a group of four-five students.

Choose a student to be the photographer.

The group will pose as if they are having a family portrait made and photographer will take a photo. We use our digital camera, but you could have your student mime use of a camera as well.

After the first "family portrait" is taken, I tell the students that they will have three seconds to move about as a different type of family. On three they freeze in whatever movement they happen to being doing for their characters and we snap a second photo. Sometimes I suggest the new type of family, sometimes the rest of the class offers suggestions.

Some of our favorites are:
Superhero Family
Rock Star Family
Librarian Family
Professional Wrestling Family
Ballerina Family
Firefighter Family
Cheerleader Family

A couple of examples...

And as a family of cheerleaders.And as a superhero family...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Share Your Ideas!

More and more library media specialists in the state of Kentucky(and perhaps elsewhere) are finding themselves teaching drama. As a library media specialist, I received absolutely no training on teaching drama. I remember smiling and telling my principal "Yes, I can do that!" when she asked me to teach drama several years ago and I also remember the mild panic attack that occured after she left the room. How was I, a librarian with NO training or experience in the theater going to teach drama?

Now that I've been at it a while I am more comfortable with it, but I am always on the lookout for resources and ways to improve the lessons I present to my students, as I'm sure many of us are.

I know there are many wonderful, creative folks out there who teach drama to children, and you have a wealth of knowledge to share. I thought a colloaborative blog would be a great way for us to share our thoughts, ideas, lesson plans, success and failures with one another.

If you are a KY LMS or teacher who is involved with drama instruction in an elementary school setting, please consider becoming a contributor to this blog! Send an email to Kellie to get started.

Now...let's get the ideas flowing!