Last week, I facilitated a professional development workshop on drama integration for secondary teachers in Texarkana. The folks who hired me from TRAHC (the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council) wanted me to focus on facilitating the teachers through the adaptation process. We don't want teachers to simply repeat the exercises and lessons we do. We want the teachers to actually adapt the exercises so they are teaching THEIR content THROUGH the exercises. I facilitated the teachers in considering the concepts underlying the exercises. Once they were able to identify those concepts, they easily adapted the exercises to their content. These teachers are totally invested in drama integration and absolutely enjoyed the luxury of having time to brainstorm.
We created a "Living Rock Cycle" around the room. These teachers are creating the "compaction and cementation of sediments." I wish you could hear their sound effects!
The day after the professional development workshop, I modeled using drama to teach the five story elements of plot, setting, theme, characters, and conflict. Here you see two students "writing" a story with their bodies with administrators looking on.
Here you see us learning to play the game Donkey. Once the students understood the traditional way of playing the game, we reinforced the five story elements
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About the Author: April Gentry-Sutterfield is a director, deviser, educator, and mom who uses theatre as a tool for social justice, education, and community engagement.