Young children need a way to recognize incorrect behavior choices while also feeling in control in the classroom. Because drama is a collaborative art form, students can observe their behavior and the behavior of others though active encounters in social situations. Drama allows the students to redirect poor choices of behavior into more positive choices … Read more
A teacher recently posed a question to me assessing student discussion in class: “What is the best way to get students to speak up in class and how should that be evaluated?” I recommend you consider three topics: objectives from state or national standards, school-based requirements for student participation and what is essential learning in the … Read more
We know words can be very powerful. Choosing the right words leads to clear and effective assessments. Selecting them is an art…but you don’t need to do them yourself. I’ve provided tips on creating assessments in my latest blog. Additionally, I’ve created many grade-appropriate assessments linked to national standards during many years of working with … Read more
I picked up many storytelling tips over the years working both as a classroom teacher and working with children in drama education. I’m sharing them with you because I think stories are one of the best ways to reach people. You’ll find tips for selecting, practicing, adapting and telling a story in a classroom. There … Read more
As teachers we want to teach everything right away but the best practice is to introduce a skill or concept, demonstrate how it is used in practice, then turn it over to the students to experiment and apply it in a dramatic story or activity. Where drama is concerned the saying “less is more” holds … Read more
Since I started using drama in teaching over 40 years ago, I’ve found that drama builds personal character. This is done through many of its interactive processes such as planning, rehearsing, devising, evaluating, and critiquing others. During the acting process, actors must interpret, analyze, discuss, and imitate the character traits of the roles they play in a … Read more
Criticism and critique in drama employ analysis, interpretation, and evaluation skills which rank high on Bloom’s taxonomy. These deepen students’ thinking. It is essential that criticism be constructive and not personal or highly negative. Read my latest post “Introducing Criticism and Critique in Drama” for more about the way we introduce these skills in our 4th grade lessons.
Classroom Management Series: Group Work with Young Students Facilitating small group work with young students in drama can be challenging. It is really at about eight years when students strongly desire to team, listen, and negotiate with their peers. This means that group work for younger students needs to be carefully designed and guided. Read my … Read more
Karen Erickson was interviewed by Susan Antman recently for the Illinois Followspot on integrating technology into an arts program. Important questions were raised on the challenges of integrating each subject while meeting the individual standards for both. Read the article here.