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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Drama

Drama

Related Tags: Arts
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29 Replies 374 Views
What is the best age to start a child in Drama classes? When they are toddlers or more mature age such as 13?

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KellyAnn Bonnell's picture
KellyAnn Bonnell
Education and Outreach - Arts for Social Change Director

There is not wrong age to introduce drama to a child as long as the curriculum is developmentally appropriate.

Sarah Thorne's picture
Sarah Thorne
Years 2-9 drama IBO PYP and MYP

In my experience, small children right from age 5 get a lot out of drama. They are generally very receptive and have few barriers to taking risks. Also, if you are a second language teacher as I am, you can do some valuable work on cadence and intonation through role games, well away from text books.

Sarah Thorne's picture
Sarah Thorne
Years 2-9 drama IBO PYP and MYP

In my experience, small children right from age 5 get a lot out of drama. They are generally very receptive and have few barriers to taking risks. Also, if you are a second language teacher as I am, you can do some valuable work on cadence and intonation through role games, well away from text books.

Christine Termini Passarella's picture
Christine Termini Passarella
Founder of The Kids for Coltrane Project in Education

I have seen children transform working with drama. Does anyone want to recommend material that they use with specific age groups? I enjoyed creating an original play and having the kids perform it. The children loved watching the characters come to life on paper, and then they became the characters. Another highlight for me is working with Shakespeare's great plays. There is wonderful material available which brings Shakespeare to kids. My personal favorite is Hamlet.

Christine Termini Passarella's picture
Christine Termini Passarella
Founder of The Kids for Coltrane Project in Education

Here are some links that will bring you to the amazing work of California educator Rafe Esquith who teaches children with the work of William Shakespeare. He was Teacher of the Year, and is highly recognized for his brilliance. I had the extreme pleasure of seeing his kids perform in New York City at The Celebration of Teaching and Learning. I spoke to Mr. Esquith briefly that day. He and his students are magnificent. I think his story will inspire you.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4608476

http://www.hobartshakespeareans.org/

Carol Parker's picture
Carol Parker
7/8 Drama, Film, Honors & Regular Language Arts

I think every age is ripe to use our imaginations. A toddler on the beach plays with sand and builds sandcastles. Or just plays with water and sand and you, the adult create a story around what they are playing. Or better yet ask them what they are doing in their imaginative state.

Take your child to the zoo. Listen to the animals and tell them you hear the elephant call their names and with every animal you and your child walk by, talk to the animals and ask your child to tell you what the animals are saying to them.......to you.....to each other!

In the classroom bring puppets. And, do the same with pictures your students see in their textbook that connect the arts with literature. Imagination is the most wonderful tool. Read a story outloud, FOREVER AND ALWAYS TO YOUR CHILDREN IN THE CLASSROOM. Read with dramatic flair and several voices.

One great experience I have with 7/8 is to teach/read/study GBShaw PYGMALION with the class, and then show MY FAIR LADY. Talk about falling in love with theatre and learning about Speech, the British, the English language, Victorian Society, the role of women and men, set design, costumes, music, acting and from myth to stage to film. And, what joy comes alive in each student.

How can our lives be any better than to teach theater to children?

I totally agree with all the above comments. Every little idea adds up to change a child's life forever when the classroom becomes a stage and an audience.

Eric Levin's picture
Eric Levin
Director of Theatre Education at Southern Oregon State University

I agree with all. The best time to introduce drama is whenever the child will play. Creative dramatics is always appropriate because kids naturally use imaginitive play. If you mean performance, it is important to allow the child to dictate readiness. As a parent, it is very disappointing that my child hates performing, but he will never know it.

Allen Berg's picture
Allen Berg
curriculum and projects learning centers

[quote]I agree with all. The best time to introduce drama is whenever the child will play. Creative dramatics is always appropriate because kids naturally use imaginitive play. If you mean performance, it is important to allow the child to dictate readiness. As a parent, it is very disappointing that my child hates performing, but he will never know it.[/quote]

Dear Eric,

I am touched by your comment about being a parent whose "child hates performing, but he will never know it."

I would not despair, rather I would encourage you and your family and friends and students and everyone... to consider using simple handmade, even improvised household kitchen utensils and containers etc. to
Play Around With Informally Funly as Puppets and Puppetry...

I have made simple socks puppets and stick puppets and paper bag puppets and you name-it puppets my entire life...it's drama and acting BUT WITHOUT The Stage Fright Factor or Potential Embarrassments...

Because you're using objects/puppets, which is one-step-removed from the actual child/person/family member etc., the "Safety Factor for Expression" has a full wide-open cushion of freedom and 'detachment'...

"Hey it's just a wooden spatula wrapped in a napkin" = Freedom!!! :-)
or "It's just a cloth sock talking like that." = Freedom!!! :-)

****************

When I was in 4th Grade, the Teacher chose me to play the lead role in a school play to be performed in an evening in the school auditorium
in front of the entire student body and their families!!!

Never even asking me if this is something I wanted to do, or even could do...

I won't make this a long story...we all survived with comical consequences...(email me if you want to hear a very funny story :-)

and years later I worked in theater doing designs and sets etc.
But I got tired of adults having tantrums during rehearsals and all the stresses of deadlines and opening nights and live performances etc.

So I have always circled back to Puppet Theater... from desktop size to Parade Super-size... because puppets don't have tantrums! :-)

Try it, you'll like it...

And please let us know if your child starts to enjoy making puppets...
It would make me very happy...

ps: I can easily be encouraged to contribute endless suggestions and details on making puppets and performing with puppets and making simple student videos of puppets, etc. etc.

enuf 4 now...

to be continued...

Allen "Gipetto's Apprentice" (spelling? :-)

janet val's picture
janet val
infant teacher in spain

It is drama something that must be learnt by heart? a written and given script? Cant the children creat their own sript, by playing, moving, singing....and performance? and imaginative learning? cant they be considered part of drama experiences? or pretendinding to be?

The purpose of the performance is to transport the audience in an immersive dimension in which the performer becomes the vehicle of an experience.

Cant babies be part of this form of art?

just asking.

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