Did you catch A Guide to Teaching Drama part 1? If the answer is no then I suggest you take a look here. If you did then great! Let’s go!
As with anything new, give yourself time to research, understand and prepare before jumping into your first drama session. My three instructions to you:
1. Get Involved
When was the last time you read a play? Went to the theatre? Watched an actual drama on ITV? (Bring back Downton Abbey!) Who’s your favourite playwright, actor, director?
Apologies for the interrogation. But, having your own appreciation of the subject - no matter how small - will go a long way in gaining your class’s respect before you’ve even said the word ‘drama’. Having your own points of reference, opinions and recommendations will not only make you feel more confident and comfortable but it will assure your class that they’re in safe hands.
Some suggestions to get you started:
2. Get Online
Scrutinising through anthologies is a thing of the past! (Hooray!) Get online and get clicking. The help available is endless!
There are some great websites packed with drama games. One of my favourites is Drama Notebook.
And if you’re still not confident after reading the instructions, YouTube is a dream come true for watching those-that-know show you how. (Be sure to link through to other videos as you go to discover more and more activities!)
YouTube is also a great way of following theatre companies and individual artists. Subscribe to users’ channels to keep up-to-date with projects, performances, backstage videos, interviews, vlogs etc. It’s an excellent, accessible tool!
Personally, I love following the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Also, Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Connect and reconnect with people who you know might be useful:
Karen who does the am-dram on a Thursday night might have an activity up her sleeve. Steve who holds team-building sessions every month might have an idea or two!
Reach out. Send that email. Write that Facebook post. Get all the help and ideas you can.
3. Get Ready
Plan. I know you know how!
Whether it’s a full-length session or a twenty minute experimentation - plan it.
Top tips on structuring a drama class:
- As with any subject, have a clear goal with set objectives. Short and sweet is totally fine!
- Start with a fun, engaging warm up! Including skills necessary for later activities where possible.
- Select appropriate activities that build toward attaining your objective.
- Try to include some individual work, pair work and group work where possible.
- Allow an opportunity to perform - no matter how short/quick.
- Finish on a group activity; cool down and reflection.
Intrigued? Watch this space for Parts 3 & 4 to discover fun activities and frameworks to apply to your planning!