Teaching Dramatic Arts-Resource Recommendations

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.  There is a sign up for a cost, but there is also many free items including 40 drama games for teachers.

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.




The Author

Michelle Fenn

I am a teacher with the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board and teach a combined class of grades 4-5. I have been teaching for over 20 years. I am going back to the junior grades after what feels like a lifetime in the primary grades. I feel like a brand new teacher again! The arts are my true passion in teaching and in life. I use technology extensively in my classroom and I may have a bit of an obsession with professional learning. I have been mucking about in inquiry for the last few years and every day is new and exciting. When I grow up I want to be Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus.


Add a Comment
  1. Kendra says:

    Hi Michelle,
    Thanks for the drama resources. I’m going to be starting a drama unit in the next couple of weeks, so these will come in very handy. I wanted to let you know that the link you’ve included for DramaNotebook doesn’t seem to be working and when I tried searching for it online it takes me to a site that costs 9.95/month, so not free . . . I’m wondering if this is the same site you were talking about?

    1. Michelle Fenn says:

      Hi Kendra, Thanks for the tip on the link. I have updated it and hope it works now. You are absolutely right; Drama Notebook isn’t entirely free but there are TONS of free things on it that are wonderful to use and many links to other sites through it as well. I have edited my post so as not to be misleading. Thanks for letting me know! It means a lot to know that the blog is being read!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve before submitting! *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

© 2015 The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario | ETFO Website | RSS Feed | Login