Managing Misbehavior in Drama

A Management Approach to Redirect Misbehaving Actions in Drama.

Young children need a way to recognize incorrect behavior choices while also feeling in control in the classroom.  So much misbehavior arrives from young people

  • - Feeling out of control
  • - Needing attention from peers
  • - Fear of physical, emotional, or intellectual safety
  • - Lack of prior instruction in social behavior

Because drama is a collaborative art form, students can observe their behavior and the behavior of others though active encounters in social situations.   Drama allows the students to redirect poor choices of behavior into more positive choices when side coached and instructed by the teacher.

I first encountered the Choice Method [PDF doc below] of redirecting student behavior when I worked for 8 years in the Glencoe, Illinois schools.  The process not only impacted the students’ work in drama but it carried over into the daily classroom as well.  Drama became a powerful tool to introduce the process to students and this assisted in solidifying drama’s place in the curriculum.

Over the years, I have adapted and honed the process to eliminate the bullet points listed above.  I have also found that once I introduce the process in the classroom, other students who might have made similar negative choices, have chosen alternative positive ways to self-correct.

The key to introducing this process is to make sure you have first:

  • - Introduced and taught concentration
  • - Shared with the students the “showing off” indicators
  • - Have led several concentration exercises
  • - Made it clear to students that concentration is so important that a lack of concentration means one cannot participate in drama and/or if the entire class is not concentrating, the entire drama experience must be stopped.

Our subscribers can find ways to teach these elements in the lessons called The Freeze, The Ice Wizard, and Statue Maker.  There are many exercises that also teach concentration in the Level I section of this site.

Don’t shy away from drama for fear of students being out of control, showing off, or misbehaving in other ways….try this Six Step method before you abandon drama.

Six Step Choice Sequence

Download the Six Step Choice Sequence for some practical tips for managing misbehavior.

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