Action in words

12th January 1996 at 00:00
LONGMAN BOOK PROJECT: Fiction 2 Play Pack. Longman Pounds 15.50 Age range 7 - 9.

Four books of short plays have been added to the Longman Book Project: Fiction 2 materials. These plays are dramatised versions of Fiction 2 stories. As such, they are natural texts for group reading, though not for performance except perhaps as "radio plays". They may be used either as introductions to the originals or as opportunities for re-savouring the stories and reflecting on what is involved in dramatising them. For example, why do some plays have narrators (up to three in one play) and others not? What would you have to do to avoid having them? Children might notice some unexplained gaps in the action, compressions to focus the story, and so on, which could lead to reflection on the nature of story. What is essential to keep it the same story?

Such plays as these have their place in a reading programme, especially where children can enjoy together the rhythmic and rhyming language of some of the originals, but they should not be confused with drama proper, where the story is enacted rather than narrated.

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