Drama adds insight in many ways
I used the story of Little Red Riding Hood with a Year 2 class for literacy and "stranger-danger" in PHSE. I asked two children to create a still image of the wolf and Little Red Riding Hood when they first meet in the woods. I encouraged the children to use expressions and body language to represent them.
It's fun to allow other members of the class to mould the characters by moving the participants' bodies. The rest of the class spoke the wolf's and Red Riding Hood's thoughts. The children realised how cunning and sly the wolf was, though he was very polite. Later, I asked the children to write a character profile of the wolf.
As part of Second World War history in Year 6, I wanted the children to look at evacuation. They worked in pairs to create a scene of evacuee children packing their bags ready to leave their parents. To get the children to reflect on what the parents and children would have felt, I asked them to speak their thoughts as they were packing.
This gave the children an insight into the mind of an evacuee and their anxieties and was an ideal foundation to write a diary entry from the viewpoint of the child or parent.
These activities were developed at our school for the forthcoming publication Improve your Primary School through Drama, by Rachel Dickinson and Jonathan Neelands, to be published by Fulton.
Drama co-ordinator, Shenton Primary School