Finding Time for Drama

Finding Time for Drama, Part 2

This is the second of three blogs answering this question I've often heard: "where do we get the time to integrate drama into the classroom?"    Integrating drama saves time by accelerating learning.  

Finding Time for Drama   Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Several years ago, I worked in Jacksonville, Florida with an eighth grade class studying potential and kinetic energy.  The teacher and I outlined a drama-science unit where the students had to uncover these concepts through research and acting.  They collaborated, planned, practiced and presented their ideas on kinetic and potential energy while considering aesthetic movement choices and the use of imagination.   They discussed each other’s presentations and challenged each other’s science choices when they didn’t seem correct.  Even the students who struggled with the English language and were hesitant about speaking in class demonstrated their science ideas through movement and interaction.

The teacher was amazed

All of the students not only understood the content but they retained this information many MONTHS later when they took the state exam. The teacher observed some of them moving, using slight miniature gestures from the drama, while considering each answer to record on the exam. They had retained kinetic memory.  Where in other years they incorrectly answered these questions, this year they all passed...they ALL PASSED.  Time definitely not wasted.

For this particular unit we invested one class period in discipline-based drama learning to introduce skills they would need for the performance work and two classes in drama and science integrated together.   Yes, you might have to invest some initial work in the art form basics, not much, but some, to establish protocols for self-management and teamwork, as well as to have some rudimentary knowledge of the art form.  After that, the impact is undeniable.

I've created this following graphic below to show you visually what I mean.

In the third installment, we’ll dive into this question a little deeper. 

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New Skills
Concepts

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Arrival time:
5 days

Using classic teaching, there are delays on the way to student understanding

How can children learn new skills or concepts?

How can children learn new skills or concepts?

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Arrival time:
2 days

Integrating DRAMA saves time by accelerating learning

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