We have been trying out Drama within English projects, many of which appear in the new National Association for the Teaching of English drama packs.
One scheme explores a feature of Tim Bowler's novel, Starseeker; synaesthesia - a mixing of senses causing the person to experience such things as coloured hearing, gustatory sights and auditory smells.
A Year 8 class stood in a circle round a white sheet on the floor with a spectrum projected onto it. They had already done context-setting activities with pictures, objects referred to in the novel and coloured ribbons, to explore the link between colours, objects and memories, and had investigated the text and written words on cards to describe the main character, Mrs Little. They placed these cards on the spectrum.
Asked to explain the colour they associated with their word, one student placed "Alone" on a light blue and explained a cold feeling. Another hesitated with "Bitter", as they were about to place the card on red to show Mrs Little's anger, but felt that her bitterness is linked to unhappiness, not anger, so placed it on grey instead. Students used evidence from the text to support their comments.
* NATE Drama Packs, tel: 01142 555 419 www.nate.org.uk
Deputy headteacher, Hasland Hall Community School, Derbyshire and co-author of NATE Drama Packs