My first Additional Qualification Specialist was in Dramatic Arts. When I signed on at my current school board I worked as an overlay teacher between two schools and taught whatever I was assigned by the Teachers for whom I provided preparation time. I was mostly asked to teach art, drama, dance, and music. These curriculum areas are my passions but not all Teachers feel qualified or comfortable teaching these subjects. Drama seems to be one of those courses that some Teachers “tack on” for a week or two just before a reporting period and with good reason, they aren’t comfortable teaching it and it can become difficult to manage behaviour during dramatic arts.
Drama lends itself well to all areas of the language curriculum. There is a misconception that Drama and Theatre are the same thing and that scripts and plays are the end goal of the Dramatic Arts curriculum. However, there are many ways in which to incorporate Dramatic Arts activities into the daily language curriculum and you don’t ever have to mount a full scale production. Drama doesn’t have to be scary.
One of the best resources that I recommend to Teachers who have Dramatic Arts Anxiety is the DramaNotebook website. It has all of the Drama games you will ever need all in one place and is especially handy for Occasional Teachers for transition times. In addition, it has poems and scripts that you can access from 2 parts up to 30 parts. All grade levels are represented and the best part is; it is absolutely free so long as you sign up with an email.
Another great Canadian source for drama lessons is Larry Swartz. He is an Educational Consultant, author, speaker and Dramatic Arts specialist. His book, “Dramathemes” is in it’s 3rd edition and is used in many Education Faculties in Ontario. It not only provides “activities” but it creates units that are easily integrated into the language curriculum.
The Council of Drama and Dance Educators has a fantastic website and there are many free resources which are written by educators and can be accessed even if you are not a member of CODE. In addition, they have a conference each year held in the fall which provides opportunities to learn along with other Educators.
I would also highly recommend the Arts resources from ETFO. The Primary ETFO Arts and Revised ETFO Arts resources provide an integrated approach to all of the Arts. You can find them at Shop ETFO on the website by following the link below.
Revised ETFO Arts (2014) $23
Ref. #91.129 The Revised ETFO Arts book is a practical step-by-step handbook for junior/intermediate grade teachers who want to include the Arts in their classroom program by introducing all the elements of dance, drama, music and visual arts.
Primary ETFO Arts (2013) $20
Ref. #91.169 Primary ETFO Arts is a publication that features 10 picture books that will pique children’s interest with their universal themes, issues and questions. Each section of Primary ETFO Arts includes engaging verbal and non-verbal activities to stimulate imagination, communication and critical thinking.
I hope that these resources provide you with some ideas and inspiration. I am always looking for more. If you have some other resources to recommend; please add a comment.