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21st November 2003 at 00:00
Teaching Literacy through Drama - creative approaches By Patrice Baldwin and Kate Fleming Routledge pound;35 This is an inspirational book. If you are anxious about teaching literacy through drama then I can guarantee you will clutch this book with excitement at the prospect of engaging your pupils in such an imaginative way. From the outset, its bright cover demands attention and its straightforward title means business.

Part 1 presents the aims: "to make literacy teaching an exciting and creative experience both for teachers and learners, whilst meeting the national curriculum and National Literacy Strategy requirements." This book does just that. Part 1 goes on to illustrate the value of using drama not only as a way into writing but also as a way to develop problem-solving and thinking skills. Links to ICT and assessment opportunities are made. Once you have grasped the basic strategies and conventions you will be ready to adapt, extend or discard the activities to suit your class.

In Part 2, each age range (reception to Year 6) has a unit of work which links to NLS framework. Learning objectives and introductory literacy activities allow pupils to become familiar with the text before embarking on the drama activities, followed by writing opportunities, assessment and curricular links such as ICT.

The literacy support sheets are limited but provide examples for teachers to adjust to their own style or needs. This is a flexible resource which will empower teachers to take dynamic and creative risks in teaching literacy.

Sarah Nunn is creative arts co-ordinator at Charles Dickens School, London

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