Pre-K Lessons

Recommended Lesson Sequence for Pre-Kindergarten 

This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching for Pre-Kindergarten students.  This is adjusted and shortened from the longer schedule for older students in Kindergarten.  We put these lessons in a recommended delivery order below, but you may revise, rearrange, and adapt as you see fit.  This sequence is not a mandate; rather, it is intended to provide you with assistance as you build a curriculum for your classroom.

TIMELINESUGGESTED LESSON SEQUENCEMEMBERSINDIVIDUAL PURCHASEOBJECTIVES ADDRESSED
September1.  Introducing 5 Senses1, 3, 4
2.  Elves and the Shoemaker2a-f
October3.  Magic Carpet4, 2a
4.  Dragon Hunt2c, 4
November5. Humpty Dumpty5, 10
December6.  The Snowman6
7.  Pictures in the Air/ Imaginary Land/ Jack & Jill5, 6
January8.  I Woke Up this Morning7, 8
9.  Emotions Lesson7, 2f, 8
10.  The Three Billy Goats Gruff7
February11.  Henny Penny9, 10
March12.  Caps for Sale8, 10
13.  King Bidgood's in the Bathtub8, 10
April14.  Prop Box11
May15.  Seeds & Plants: Carrot Seed1, 8, 10, 11
16.  Seeds & Plants: Empty Pot2c, 7, 9, 11
JuneASSESSMENT

CURRICULUM MENU
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Classroom teachers and drama educators: all you need to implement this program in your classroom is a group of students, a space large enough in which to move comfortably, a signaling device, and you! MISSION This curriculum is a first step ...
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Character Education for Kindergarten
Drama & Character Education Building character is a life long process.  The formation of good character begins when people are very young.  There are many human qualities that make character: honesty responsibility, resourcefulness, etc.  Many of these qualities can be ...
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 Tips on Using Drama with Pre-K and Kindergarten  Working with children in the pre-K and Kindergarten age requires special skills.  Managing the classroom with active, developing children can be a challenge, but employing drama skills to assist can make things ...
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The Erickson Drama/Learning Program is organized by four distinct and progressive levels and a Five Word Focus. These Five Words cover the five beginning skills in drama: concentration, imagination, transformation, imitation, and collaboration. Each successive level builds upon the previous ...
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Kindergarten Drama Objectives & Standards
Kindergarten Drama Objectives  Drama Objectives Alignment to National Standards  These objectives cover essential learning in the art form for five- to seven-year-old students.   This first PDF download above contains objectives used in our Kindergarten Curriculum (appears below for members) in a handy printout for ...
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Kindergarten Lessons
Recommended Lesson Sequence for Kindergarten Purchase Lesson Sequence Outline only
Purchase or download individual lessons below This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching. We put these lessons in a recommended delivery order below, but you may revise, ...
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Pre-K Lessons
Recommended Lesson Sequence for Pre-Kindergarten This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching for Pre-Kindergarten students. This is adjusted and shortened from the longer schedule for older students in Kindergarten. We put these lessons in a recommended ...
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Kindergarten Lessons

Recommended Lesson Sequence for Kindergarten 

Purchase Lesson Sequence Outline only

$4.00Add to cart

Purchase or download individual lessons below

This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching.  We put these lessons in a recommended delivery order below, but you may revise, rearrange, and adapt as you see fit.  This sequence is not a mandate; rather, it is intended to provide you with assistance as you build a curriculum for your classroom.

We also designed a shortened lesson sequence for Pre-Kindergarten students.

TIMELINESUGGESTED LESSON SEQUENCEMEMBERSINDIVIDUAL PURCHASEOBJECTIVES ADDRESSED
September1.  Finding Myself in Drama1, 2a-c, 2e
2.  Working with Space1, 2a-e
3.  Seeds Grow/Greedy Little Fish1, 2a-f, 10
October4.  Elves and the Shoemaker2a-f
5.  Introducing 5 Senses1, 3, 4
6.  Magic Carpet4, 2a
November7.  Dragon Hunt2c, 4
8.  Mirror2e, 6, 8
9.  Caveman2e, 2f, 6, 8
December10. Humpty Dumpty5, 10
11.  The Snowman6
12.  Pictures in the Air/ Imaginary Land/ Jack & Jill5, 6
January13.  I Woke Up this Morning7, 8
14.  Emotions Lesson7, 2f, 8
15.  The Three Billy Goats Gruff7
February16.  Charlie Lesson8, 9
17.  Henny Penny9, 10
March18.  Caps for Sale8, 10
19.  King Bidgood's in the Bathtub8, 10
April20.  Prop Box11
May21.  Seeds & Plants: Carrot Seed1, 8, 10, 11
22.  Seeds & Plants: Tiny Seed2a, 2f, 5, 10, 11
23.  Seeds & Plants: Empty Pot2c, 7, 9, 11
JuneASSESSMENT: use your own or adapt our 1st Grade example

CURRICULUM MENU
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Classroom teachers and drama educators: all you need to implement this program in your classroom is a group of students, a space large enough in which to move comfortably, a signaling device, and you! MISSION This curriculum is a first step ...
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Character Education for Kindergarten
Drama & Character Education Building character is a life long process.  The formation of good character begins when people are very young.  There are many human qualities that make character: honesty responsibility, resourcefulness, etc.  Many of these qualities can be ...
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 Tips on Using Drama with Pre-K and Kindergarten  Working with children in the pre-K and Kindergarten age requires special skills.  Managing the classroom with active, developing children can be a challenge, but employing drama skills to assist can make things ...
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The Erickson Drama/Learning Program is organized by four distinct and progressive levels and a Five Word Focus. These Five Words cover the five beginning skills in drama: concentration, imagination, transformation, imitation, and collaboration. Each successive level builds upon the previous ...
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Kindergarten Drama Objectives & Standards
Kindergarten Drama Objectives  Drama Objectives Alignment to National Standards  These objectives cover essential learning in the art form for five- to seven-year-old students.   This first PDF download above contains objectives used in our Kindergarten Curriculum (appears below for members) in a handy printout for ...
Take me there
Kindergarten Lessons
Recommended Lesson Sequence for Kindergarten Purchase Lesson Sequence Outline only
Purchase or download individual lessons below This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching. We put these lessons in a recommended delivery order below, but you may revise, ...
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Pre-K Lessons
Recommended Lesson Sequence for Pre-Kindergarten This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching for Pre-Kindergarten students. This is adjusted and shortened from the longer schedule for older students in Kindergarten. We put these lessons in a recommended ...
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Kindergarten Drama Objectives & Standards

Kindergarten Drama Objectives 

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Drama Objectives Alignment to National Standards 

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These objectives cover essential learning in the art form for five- to seven-year-old students.   This first PDF download above contains objectives used in our Kindergarten Curriculum (appears below for members) in a handy printout for reference​.  We have aligned the objectives with the United States National Standards as shown in the second PDF. Additionally, we have mapped the National Core Arts Standards to grade-appropriate theater standards in a handy reference document for each grade level.  Use this reference if you are customizing your curriculum.

Pre-K and Kindergarten Curriculum

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Classroom teachers and drama educators: all you need to implement this program in your classroom is a group of students, a space large enough in which to move comfortably, a signaling device, and you! MISSION This curriculum is a first step ...
Take me there
Character Education for Kindergarten
Drama & Character Education Building character is a life long process.  The formation of good character begins when people are very young.  There are many human qualities that make character: honesty responsibility, resourcefulness, etc.  Many of these qualities can be ...
Take me there
pdf-icon-sm
 Tips on Using Drama with Pre-K and Kindergarten  Working with children in the pre-K and Kindergarten age requires special skills.  Managing the classroom with active, developing children can be a challenge, but employing drama skills to assist can make things ...
Take me there
Learning_Level_Pyramid_color
The Erickson Drama/Learning Program is organized by four distinct and progressive levels and a Five Word Focus. These Five Words cover the five beginning skills in drama: concentration, imagination, transformation, imitation, and collaboration. Each successive level builds upon the previous ...
Take me there
Kindergarten Drama Objectives & Standards
Kindergarten Drama Objectives  Drama Objectives Alignment to National Standards  These objectives cover essential learning in the art form for five- to seven-year-old students.   This first PDF download above contains objectives used in our Kindergarten Curriculum (appears below for members) in a handy printout for ...
Take me there
Kindergarten Lessons
Recommended Lesson Sequence for Kindergarten Purchase Lesson Sequence Outline only
Purchase or download individual lessons below This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching. We put these lessons in a recommended delivery order below, but you may revise, ...
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Pre-K Lessons
Recommended Lesson Sequence for Pre-Kindergarten This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching for Pre-Kindergarten students. This is adjusted and shortened from the longer schedule for older students in Kindergarten. We put these lessons in a recommended ...
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Tips for Kindergarten (& pre-K) Drama

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 Tips on Using Drama with Pre-K and Kindergarten 

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hints_on_using_drama_kindergartenWorking with children in the pre-K and Kindergarten age requires special skills.  Managing the classroom with active, developing children can be a challenge, but employing drama skills to assist can make things easier--and we can show you how.  In our blog, we discussed using drama as a classroom management strategy and group work with young students.  In this download, we focus on our 18 tips and suggestions learned through teaching drama to pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children throughout the world.

Appropriate Practice in Pre K and Kindergarten

Art, music, movement, woodworking, drama, and dance are integrated throughout each day as relevant to the curriculum and as needed for children to express themselves aesthetically and physically and to express ideas and feelings.  Specialists work with classroom teachers and children.  Children explore and experiment with various art media, tools, and forms of music, drama, and dance.

Inappropriate Practice in Pre K and Kindergarten

Art and music are taught as separate subjects only once a week.  Specialists do not coordinate closely with classroom teachers.  Representational art, evaluated for approximations to reality is emphasized.  Children are expected to follow specific directions resulting in identical projects.  Crafts substitute for artistic expression.

Excerpted from NAECYS’s new expanded edition of Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving children from Birth Through Age 8, edited by Sue Bredekamp.


A Few Final Thoughts to Remember

  • Drama is in the room.
  • Drama is in each student.
  • Students are not sponges soaking up drama.
  • Students are sponges and you are wringing drama out of them.
  • Teachers are like soft background music. The music plays softly and makes you feel good; but you forget it’s on as you work.

Pre-K and Kindergarten Curriculum

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Classroom teachers and drama educators: all you need to implement this program in your classroom is a group of students, a space large enough in which to move comfortably, a signaling device, and you! MISSION This curriculum is a first step ...
Take me there
Character Education for Kindergarten
Drama & Character Education Building character is a life long process.  The formation of good character begins when people are very young.  There are many human qualities that make character: honesty responsibility, resourcefulness, etc.  Many of these qualities can be ...
Take me there
pdf-icon-sm
 Tips on Using Drama with Pre-K and Kindergarten  Working with children in the pre-K and Kindergarten age requires special skills.  Managing the classroom with active, developing children can be a challenge, but employing drama skills to assist can make things ...
Take me there
Learning_Level_Pyramid_color
The Erickson Drama/Learning Program is organized by four distinct and progressive levels and a Five Word Focus. These Five Words cover the five beginning skills in drama: concentration, imagination, transformation, imitation, and collaboration. Each successive level builds upon the previous ...
Take me there
Kindergarten Drama Objectives & Standards
Kindergarten Drama Objectives  Drama Objectives Alignment to National Standards  These objectives cover essential learning in the art form for five- to seven-year-old students.   This first PDF download above contains objectives used in our Kindergarten Curriculum (appears below for members) in a handy printout for ...
Take me there
Kindergarten Lessons
Recommended Lesson Sequence for Kindergarten Purchase Lesson Sequence Outline only
Purchase or download individual lessons below This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching. We put these lessons in a recommended delivery order below, but you may revise, ...
Take me there
Pre-K Lessons
Recommended Lesson Sequence for Pre-Kindergarten This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching for Pre-Kindergarten students. This is adjusted and shortened from the longer schedule for older students in Kindergarten. We put these lessons in a recommended ...
Take me there

Character Education for Kindergarten

Drama & Character Education

Building character is a life long process.  The formation of good character begins when people are very young.  There are many human qualities that make character: honesty responsibility, resourcefulness, etc.  Many of these qualities can be taught through a well-designed drama program.  How does it work?
  • FIRST:  drama is a study of character.  As an audience or reviewer of drama, one can study human behavior because drama centers on human beings or personified characters with human traits.  Through drama, we view how various personalities deal with conflict and reveal the inner self.  Comparisons to one’s own life are inevitable.
  • SECOND:  when actively participating in a drama, people experience how characters create, respond to, and deal with conflict, tension, and heightened emotions.  Actors walk for a time in the shoes of another human and experience the world from a different point of view.
  • THIRD:  teamwork is a necessary component in creating a drama.  Drama takes skills in group collaboration, discussion and problem solving to create a finished product.  Through participation in the dramatic process, a person’s character is revealed as they determine who will play which role, apply creative solutions and suggest ideas that may or may not be accepted by the team/ensemble.  It is through this planning process that a teacher can shape leadership, responsibility, honesty, and compassion.

"Good character is defined by what you do when no one is watching."

Read these thoughts to get us started:

building personal character

Building personal character through drama is easy with many of its interactive processes:  planning, rehearsing, devising, evaluating, and critiquing others.  During the acting process, actors must interpret, analyze, discuss, and imitate the character traits of the roles they play in a given story.  Additionally, other skills such as making and keeping commitments, improving audience behaviors which impact the specific behaviors of others, listening, and responding with empathy are key to the art form.   These skills apply to areas beyond drama and serve to promote positive character development.  You will find that drama tools will equip the students with valuable life skills.

Our chart below outlines drama's use in building personal character.  The chart lists the dynamic traits that directly influence the development and presentation of dramatic work.  These traits have been divided into two categories:

  • INTERPERSONAL: Interpersonal traits directly impact communication with others such as a team or partner.
  • INTRAPERSONAL: Intrapersonal traits impact an actor’s self visualization, awareness, and definition.

 

Character TraitsPracticesDrama Connections
ADAPTABILITY
Interpersonal
Adapting to changes in people and circumstances.
  1. Adapting personal ideas to those of the group.

  2. Making changes in a drama based on new circumstances (e.g. new problems in completing the task, adding new actors to partially completed work, etc.).

  3. Enacting characters that display this trait.
COMPASSION
Interpersonal
Showing kindness and concern for others.
  1. Working with group members who might not understand the project, remember the story, or comprehend the ideas.

  2. Teaching someone else a basic skill.

  3. Enacting characters that display this trait.
CONTEMPLATION
Intrapersonal
Thinking things through.
Reasoning, solving, analyzing.
Thinking creatively and critically.
Brainstorming.
Visualizing the end goal.
  1. Thinking through the best way to handle an interpersonal team problem.

  2. Brainstorming.

  3. Imagining the whole, completed drama or idea.

  4. Participating in the moments of “think” time.
COURAGE
Intrapersonal
Taking risks.
Facing problems squarely.
  1. Working with teammates who are not close associates.

  2. Taking risks with the body, mind, and/or voice in a drama presentation.

  3. Enacting stories about people who take risks.

  4. Enacting “heroic” characters.

  5. Identifying teammates who take risks in the drama.
HONESTY
Interpersonal
Acting truthfully.
Refusing to take unfair advantage of others.
  1. Evaluating personal behaviors.

  2. Enacting stories where characters demonstrate this trait.

  3. Responding to teammates in a truthful way.

  4. Owning up to mistakes in interpersonal or other behaviors.
INITIATIVE
Intrapersonal
Taking responsible action without prompting.
Demonstrating leadership.
  1. Solving team problems without the assistance of the instructor.

  2. Assisting others without being asked.

  3. Guiding the team planning process without prompting.
LOYALTY
Interpersonal
Making a commitment.
Keeping a commitment.
  1. Following through on the team plan even if personal ideas were not used and/or rejected.

  2. Praising team members in a thoughtful manner.
OPTIMISM
Intrapersonal
Being positive.
  1. Planning, practicing, and presenting a drama with enthusiasm and/or confidence.

  2. Praising self and others.

  3. Looking for and finding solutions without negativity.
PERSEVERANCE
Intrapersonal
Working toward a goal even in the face of difficulties.
Using conflict resolution strategies.
  1. Working through teacher made obstacles to complete a drama.

  2. Working through group or time obstacles to complete a drama.

  3. Enacting and discussing the methods characters use to overcome their conflicts.
RESPECT
Interpersonal
Showing consideration and regard for self and others.
  1. Using language in the planning and practicing of a drama that demonstrates respect.

  2. Discussing the characters being played in regards to the verbal and nonverbal language used in order to communicate interpersonal respect or lack of it.

  3. Analyzing character traits in enacted stories that demonstrate respect or lack of respect.
RESPONSIBILITY
Intrapersonal
Being accountable for personal actions.
  1. Demonstrating self-management techniques: controlling space, showing off, listening, etc.

  2. Completing a job responsibility for the drama: researching, creating the story, directing, memorizing a role, memorizing the story and/or actions, supplying a prop or costume.

  3. Acknowledging personal actions that hindered or helped the group process.
TRUSTWORTHINESS
Interpersonal
Letting actions communicate reliability and believability.
  1. Participating in drama trust exercises.

  2. Discussing the interpersonal responsibility of each member of the drama team.

  3. Demonstrating and discussing actions that earn and retain trust from teammates.

You can download a PDF of the table herepdf icon.

We designed our lessons to assist building personal character through drama.  We've made it simple for you to implement in your class: JOIN today and see!

Character Education and Building Self Esteem

Drama and self esteem are natural partners. All of the fine arts, including drama/theater, give people insight into themselves. Participants in the arts gain insight about their potential and function in the greater world.  prideDrama/theater specifically uses tools (body, mind, voice) that are one with the user. For younger students, the use of play in the classroom gives students immediate success because they have spent their early life learning through play. They are experts. Older students and adults need to revisit play and become comfortable with that mode of learning. Exploring self, defining self, and coming to understand one’s interrelationship to the natural and human world is what drama/theater and self esteem are both about.

Through drama students achieve:

  • + Pride and security
  • + Self knowledge
  • + Trust and belonging
  • + Control, partnership, and mission
  • + Competence

 

  1. Drama/theater is a high risk activity (sometimes for both students and teachers).  When a safe classroom is created* and students are successful their sense of pride and sense of security with the teacher and peers soars.  (*See the Classroom Management Tips for Drama)
  2. Drama/theater impacts and individualizes self-knowledge. Children who need to be "perfect" will learn not to expect perfection all the time in drama because the tasks rely on multiple intelligences.  Everyone will shine in some aspects of the program and struggle with others.  The Debrief and Learn sections of each lesson in this book are designed to encourage students to discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Students learn to trust others and develop a sense of belonging in a group.  In this drama program teachers are encouraged to reassign groups each new lesson or unit.  Drama is a strong motivator leading to cooperation because cooperation is the only road to a completed activity they can share.  In a safe classroom, all students love to have completed dramas to share!!
  4. The drama program sets realistic achievable goals that give students a sense of self-management and partnership in their work.  Students should learn concepts, skills, and terms presented to them in each lesson at one level before moving to a higher level. Teachers should discuss with students the outcomes for the session during the Starters section of each lesson.  The teacher should clearly state what is to be learned.  If students don't achieve what is expected, the Debrief and Learn activity provides a place for the teacher to ask the students for a better approach, strategy, or method of accomplishing the goal.
  5. When the drama program scope and sequence is adhered to, students gain a sense of competence.  By becoming aware of their strengths and weaknesses in lower grades, they are able to choose the roles and jobs in more complex upper grade drama activities which allow them to take the next steps toward reaching their potential.

Character Education and Conflict Resolution

The essence of drama is conflict and tension. It is the conflict in drama that propels the story to its resolution. Because drama is a heightened and controlled expression of life, relationships, and emotions, it can be a safe place for people of all ages to work through frustration, anger, and violent tendencies of character. 

Good drama leaders begin by establishing a safe, non-judgmental environment, then engage students in discussing the causes and effects of violence in the context of story. They can reshape the violent moment into alternate choices, and they can design dramatic moments, distanced from the violence, to let participants gain new perspective on events, attitudes, and actions.

Conflict is no stranger to theatre; drama is built on the premise of conflict.  What could be a more natural resource with which to explore conflict resolution?”  - Patricia Sternberg, Theatre for Conflict Resolution


Three major areas through which drama can impact violent behavior are:

  1. Developing personal character traits
  2. Learning to handle conflict
  3. Learning to like and care for the self

The chart that follows (also available as a PDF file) offers some ideas on how and why to integrate drama and conflict resolution:

Use DRAMA for: What can be included in Character Education Curriculum?Kindergarten Drama Activities from Erickson Drama/Learning Program:Concepts K-8 to Integrate Drama:
DEVELOPING PERSONAL CHARACTER TRAITSPracticing Empathy and Respect• Identify emotions
• Identify actions that cause emotions
• Analyzing consequences
• Alternative courses of action
• Finding Myself in Drama
• Henny Penny
• The Three Billy Goats Gruff
• Group process skills
• Character development from cross cultural perspectives
• Problem solving
• Imitating emotions
• Praising others and self
Studying the Lives of Real People• Great leaders
• Historical choices
• Current conditions related to past choices
• Biographies• Adding details
• Types of conflict
• Solving conflict
• Listening
LEARNING TO HANDLE CONFLICTConflict Structure• Types of conflict
• Beginning, middle, and end of conflict
• Stereotyping/ labeling
• Alternative courses of actions
• Analyzing conflict in literature/media
• Causes of conflict
• The Three Billy Goats Gruff
• Caveman
• Seeds & Plants: Carrot Seed
• Types of conflict
• Solving conflict
• Beginning, middle, end of story
• Imitation
• Critical analysis
• Action/Reaction
• Character stereotypes
• Character analysis
Predicting Consequences• Analyzing events
• Analyzing consequences
• The Snowman
• Humpty Dumpty
• Charlie Lesson
• Prop Box
• Seeds Grow/Greedy Little Fish
• Seeds & Plants: Empty Pot
• Action/Reaction
• Characterization
• Plot details
• Dramatic/story structure
• Comparing story to everyday life
Negotiation Skills• Negotiation strategies
• Group process skills
• Listening
• Brainstorming
• Finding Myself in Drama
• Working with Space
• Elves and the Shoemaker
• Caps for Sale
• Concentration
• Listening
• Communication
• Collaboration
• Personal space
• Body movement
• Group process skills
• Negotiation strategies
Emotion Management• Identify emotions & body response
• Anger management
• Making choices
• Identifying actions that cause emotions
• Emotions Lesson
• Caveman
• Introducing 5 Senses
• Magic Carpet
• The Three Billy Goats Gruff
• I Woke Up this Morning
• 4 basic emotions
• 5 senses
• Use of voice and
• Space
• Action/Reaction
(Cause/Effect)
SELF-ESTEEM & SELF-CARELearning to Like and Care for Self• Building pride & self knowledge
• Create trust & belonging
• Control learning & self expression
• Build competence
• Mirror
• Caveman
• Seeds & Plants: Carrot Seed
• Risk taking
• There is more than one right answer in drama
• Focus on process not perfection
• Praising others and self

Next section: Tips for Kindergarten (& pre-K) Drama -->

Pre-K and Kindergarten Curriculum

start_sign
Classroom teachers and drama educators: all you need to implement this program in your classroom is a group of students, a space large enough in which to move comfortably, a signaling device, and you! MISSION This curriculum is a first step ...
Take me there
Character Education for Kindergarten
Drama & Character Education Building character is a life long process.  The formation of good character begins when people are very young.  There are many human qualities that make character: honesty responsibility, resourcefulness, etc.  Many of these qualities can be ...
Take me there
pdf-icon-sm
 Tips on Using Drama with Pre-K and Kindergarten  Working with children in the pre-K and Kindergarten age requires special skills.  Managing the classroom with active, developing children can be a challenge, but employing drama skills to assist can make things ...
Take me there
Learning_Level_Pyramid_color
The Erickson Drama/Learning Program is organized by four distinct and progressive levels and a Five Word Focus. These Five Words cover the five beginning skills in drama: concentration, imagination, transformation, imitation, and collaboration. Each successive level builds upon the previous ...
Take me there
Kindergarten Drama Objectives & Standards
Kindergarten Drama Objectives  Drama Objectives Alignment to National Standards  These objectives cover essential learning in the art form for five- to seven-year-old students.   This first PDF download above contains objectives used in our Kindergarten Curriculum (appears below for members) in a handy printout for ...
Take me there
Kindergarten Lessons
Recommended Lesson Sequence for Kindergarten Purchase Lesson Sequence Outline only
Purchase or download individual lessons below This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching. We put these lessons in a recommended delivery order below, but you may revise, ...
Take me there
Pre-K Lessons
Recommended Lesson Sequence for Pre-Kindergarten This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching for Pre-Kindergarten students. This is adjusted and shortened from the longer schedule for older students in Kindergarten. We put these lessons in a recommended ...
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Kindergarten Curriculum Overview

Classroom teachers and drama educators: all you need to implement this program in your classroom is a group of students, a space large enough in which to move comfortably, a signaling device, and you!

MISSION

This curriculum is a first step to introducing the youngest students to drama and creative expression through movement, verbalization, and role-playing; it is the initial grade addressed in our Scope and Sequence Curriculum.  This program lets teachers implement and experiment with the creative process and the basic skills of drama, while stimulating learning and integrating drama with other curricular areas.  Teachers are supported through training and can receive help by contacting the author.

PROGRAM GOALS

The Goals of this Program are to enable students to:
  • develop poise, initiative, and ways to express their ideas clearly;
  • work cooperatively with others;
  • gain experience in, and an aesthetic appreciation for, Drama as an art form;
  • learn the vocabulary of the art form;
  • develop skills of evaluation, self-management and audience response;
  • understand the cultural, social, and historical significance of drama/theater;
  • understand the artistic process, the craft processes, and the tools of drama/theater.
The Goals of the Program are to enable teachers to:
  • gain experience with this art form as a teaching methodology;
  • learn to incorporate the knowledge and skills of the art form into their daily teaching;
  • and integrate Drama work with the teaching of other curricular subjects.

UNDERLYING BELIEFS

These are a few of the underlying philosophies that govern this Program.  These statements should give you insight into the development of the curriculum.
  • Drama is for ALL growing humans: Infant to Senior Adult.
  • Any lesson can be modified and used for and with any age older than its original intent.
  • This Program uses "drama" for Kindergarten – Third grade.  (A minor transition to "theater" is introduced in grades 4-6.  A solid introduction to "theater" is introduced in grades 7-8. This follows the development of the children in their grasp and understanding of theater as an art form.)
  • Words like “pantomime” are used in theater not drama.  The word "imitation" is used to refer to the act of creating images using movement and/or sound (voice).
  • Anyone who has been a child and who has played can learn to teach drama.
Philosophy of this Drama/Learning Program

Organizing Philosophy of this Drama/Learning Program by Karen Erickson

Drama is an organized exploration into self-awareness and self-expression using movement, rhythm, verbalization, and role-playing.  It creates an environment that allows the participant to safely explore his/her own feelings, behavior, and ideas.  Students learn to create new perspectives from familiar actions, stretch the imagination, and share experiences that work as a springboard to group interaction and cooperation. 

Drama is a natural process through which human beings can explore and expand their own ideas and potential.  Drama is process centered.  Theater is product centered.  Drama is for all growing humans.  Theater is for the talented.  Drama is a basic human art form out of which the more complex art of theater has sprung.  Drama is where we begin so that theater might evolve

Read the PDF for an overview of the Philosophy of the Erickson Drama/Learning Program.   This will clarify the site's intent.  A special welcome to our subscribers: this FREE download does not count against your monthly limit.

Difference between Drama and Theater

Difference between Drama and Theater

One of the top six questions asked by teachers learning to integrate drama is:

"Do I have to do a play?"  

The short answer is NO, and here is the longer explanation why:

Drama is about the process of experiencing the art form and sharing the experience with co-participants. Drama isn’t used to create a performance for an audience; rather we strive to integrate Drama because it builds naturally on our ability to play.  With play, we can build powerful memory connections.  Drama is improvisational and, since it is not for an outside audience, there are less formal structures and performance rules.  You will only see participants, not an audience, in any of our images on this website. Pair Drama with each academic subject to enhance learning outcomes.

Theater, or creating a play, tells a story for the benefit of an audience. Theater focuses on performance as the end product and can be VERY difficult to integrate, as time must be spent on memorizing lines, rehearsing, and gathering props, sets, etc.  Performing plays is a wonderful endeavor; we have even included some play scripts on our site. However, doing plays is NOT the same as drama integration.  We encourage you to provide students with both drama AND theater opportunities, when possible. You understand now, right? 

Download this PDF for a snapshot of the difference between drama and theater.  A special welcome to our subscribers: this FREE download does not count against your monthly limit.

"Drama is where we begin so that theater might evolve."


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Here are some tips for getting the most out of this curriculum:

  1. Numbers-BlocksFIRST, read through this overview and general materials.  It won't take that long.  There's no reason to skip it.  This is a curriculum guide and does not contain all of the theory and history that you find in textbooks.  Choose a good text on early childhood drama to accompany this curriculum guide because you should find out as much as you can about the subject.  Familiarize yourself with the Drama Learning Levels.
  2. SECOND, read through the lessons.  Make notes in the blank column.  Add other strategies in the "hints and strategies" column you think might be needed.  If time is a problem, divide the lessons into shorter segments.  Look up the vocabulary words in the glossary.  When you are ready to teach the lessons, take the "LESSON AT A GLANCE" page and use it to teach from if you feel you can get by without the full lesson.
  3. THIRD, when you have taught the lesson, make notes in the blank column next to the lessons. Highlight items from the lesson you forgot and want to remember to include next time.  Draw a line through anything you want to eliminate the next time you teach the lesson.
  4. FOURTH, begin downloading activities, lessons, stories, and other ideas to continue building your own drama/theater program, or curriculum for your students or participants.  Do it your way.
  5. FIFTH, have fun.  If you need support, don’t hesitate to contact us.  If you need a lesson developed to integrate with something you are teaching, we are here to assist with that as well.

​Move to the next section on Character Education for Kindergarten -->


Pre-K and Kindergarten Curriculum

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Classroom teachers and drama educators: all you need to implement this program in your classroom is a group of students, a space large enough in which to move comfortably, a signaling device, and you! MISSION This curriculum is a first step ...
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Character Education for Kindergarten
Drama & Character Education Building character is a life long process.  The formation of good character begins when people are very young.  There are many human qualities that make character: honesty responsibility, resourcefulness, etc.  Many of these qualities can be ...
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 Tips on Using Drama with Pre-K and Kindergarten  Working with children in the pre-K and Kindergarten age requires special skills.  Managing the classroom with active, developing children can be a challenge, but employing drama skills to assist can make things ...
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The Erickson Drama/Learning Program is organized by four distinct and progressive levels and a Five Word Focus. These Five Words cover the five beginning skills in drama: concentration, imagination, transformation, imitation, and collaboration. Each successive level builds upon the previous ...
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Kindergarten Drama Objectives & Standards
Kindergarten Drama Objectives  Drama Objectives Alignment to National Standards  These objectives cover essential learning in the art form for five- to seven-year-old students.   This first PDF download above contains objectives used in our Kindergarten Curriculum (appears below for members) in a handy printout for ...
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Kindergarten Lessons
Recommended Lesson Sequence for Kindergarten Purchase Lesson Sequence Outline only
Purchase or download individual lessons below This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching. We put these lessons in a recommended delivery order below, but you may revise, ...
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Pre-K Lessons
Recommended Lesson Sequence for Pre-Kindergarten This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching for Pre-Kindergarten students. This is adjusted and shortened from the longer schedule for older students in Kindergarten. We put these lessons in a recommended ...
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