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Drama at Key Stages 1 and 2

Resourcing Drama from Literature

Exploring a story through drama

It is important for student teachers to engage in some drama at their own level to demonstrate the power of extended drama through imaginative involvement and reflection. There are many ways to plan drama from fiction.

Short stories and picture books are useful supports for planning drama around key themes which the text explores, e.g. jealousy, bullying, fear of the unknown, community. After introducing a story to the student teachers, it could be read and at moments of tension or open ended points in the narrative the student teachers can be invited to use a drama convention to find out more about the characters or the situation. The printed text can then be revisited and connections between the unfolding imaginary world and the actual text drawn.

Try to build in TIR with the whole group, and allow the student teachers' imaginative ideas and insights to shape the drama. In this way a new work of fiction will be built by the whole group digging down into the substrata of the text and reflecting upon the characters, the situations, problems and themes. This can help student teachers make connections and develop their understanding of the text and subtext.

Some recommended picture books which are both powerful and engaging and have worked with student teachers and with primary children include:

Resourcing Drama from Literature - Exploring a story through drama

Blue John by Berlie Doherty, Illus. Tim Clarey (Penguin) KS2
The Watertower by Gary Crew and Steven Wooland (Era) KS1/2
Rose Meets Mr Wintergarten by Bob Graham (Walker) KS1/2
The Gardener by Sarah Stewart, illus. by David Small (Farrar, Straus, Giroux) KS1/2
The Magpie Song by Laurence Anholt, illus. by Dan Williams (Heinemann) KS2
Rose Blanche retold by Ian McKewan (Jonathan Cape) KS2
The Minpins by Roald Dahl (Penguin) KS1/2
The Rainbow Bear by Michael Morpurgo (Doubleday)KS1
Mr Bear and the Bear by Ruth Brown (Red Fox) KS1/2
The Time it Took Tom by Nick Sharratt (Hippo) KS1
The Boy and the Cloth of Dreams by Jenny Koralek (Walker) KS1/2
Nobody Rides the Unicorn by Adrian Mitchell (Doubleday) KS1/2
Sophie and the Seawolf by Helen Cresswell (Hodder Headline) KS1/2

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