Precis – Drama Lessons for Five to Eleven-Year-Olds – Ackroyd, J and Bolton, J – ‘Lesson Plan Conventions’

Here are a variety of terms, exercises and their definitions that can be used when planning drama lessons for young children aged 5-11 year old.

Collective Drawing – individuals add detail to a picture/map one or two at a time to create a bigger picture all together – this creates a collective ownership of the drawing and them working together to create something together.

Collective/Collaborative storytelling – the whole group tells a story – the teacher will usually start and pupils in turn will add a phrase/sentence/word creating a collective story.

Costuming – clothing/props chosen by teacher to indicate a particular role or character.

Defining space – teacher and class agree on a specific area of space that is where the acting/drama is going to take place.

Hot seating – a child is questioned by peers must answer in role – allows child to begin to think from the perspective of the character.

Improvisation – this device has no pre-planning – a child will act/speak in role following no script.

Narration – teacher narration – used to control/dictate particular aspects of the drama
– It can also be used to create/build tension as well as keeping track of the story.

Overheard conversations – children make up conversations characters in the story may have had – they overhear one another’s conversations and learn more about character – allows them to commit to a role and comment on the action going on in their lives.

Ritual – any action performed in a formal and dignified manner to make actions seem significant.

Role on the wall – outline of a person is drawn on a large piece of paper to portray a character – information they know about the character is written on the outside by the children and how they may feel/think is written on the inside.

Sculpting – creating a person’s status through physical movement and manipulation,

Statementing – children making statements about a person, event or place within the drama.

Teacher in role – teacher takes role of a character from the drama – allows the teacher to work with the children from the inside.

Thought tracking – in role – the child will speak aloud the characters thoughts that are usually kept contained. This can be done using two devices, thought tapping and thought tunnels.

  • Thought tunnel – have participants face to face in 2 lines – character walks through and others say how the character may feel as the character passes them.
  • Thought tapping – tap a child on the shoulder as signal for them to begin expressing their thoughts.

These terms can be used when planning workshops with young children as well as being adapted and changed to fit in with any theme or topic being explored.



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