Literacy & Drama Opening the door to Literacy through Drama
Using dramatic activities as an instructional tool in the language arts classroom is based on the principle that drama directly involves the child, and an involved child is interested in learning.
The Purpose of Theatre Arts Through theatre activities that foster creative expression, discipline, collaboration, self-awareness and personal transformation, students of diverse backgrounds and abilities channel their energies into inspiring artistic endeavors.
Students learn to value the literary, oral and cultural traditions of societies. Students learn to express themselves and develop empathy for their own and other’s situations.
Students begin to understand universal themes and ways of looking at the world, and they develop their own vision and ideas. Students develop into confident learners who are better prepared to participate actively in their education, community and social lives.
LEARNING THROUGH EXPERIENCE Students learn best when they are allowed to experience something for themselves. Experience leads to understanding. “A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” -- Mark Twain
J.C. McMaster reviewed research studies regarding the use of drama in literacy education and found that drama is an effective medium for literacy development in NINE areas. FIRST, students develop affect through drama. Drama creates motivation for students to participate and facilitates students' responses in reading instruction.
SECOND, dramatization is a source of scaffolding for emergent readers by providing rich background experiences for future reading. THIRD, dramatization leads students to develop symbolic representation, which is the same concept children require in order to understand the alphabetic principle.
FOURTH, dramatic activities provide students a meaningful environment where they can practice oral reading repeatedly to develop fluency. FIFTH, new vocabularies presented in the drama context provide students opportunities to acquire the meanings visually, aurally, and kinesthetically.
SIXTH, drama helps students acquire the knowledge of word order, phrasing, and punctuation that contribute to the meaning of a written sentence. SEVENTH, drama activities help students read different forms of discourse, especially in familiarizing children with nonfiction.
EIGTH, students monitor their own comprehension in drama and develop effective reading strategies. NINTH, teachers can use drama as an assessment tool since it provides immediate feedback about students' understanding of new reading materials.
New York State Learning Standards Standard 1: Creating, Performing, and Participating in the Arts Students will actively engage in the processes that constitute creation and performance in the arts (dance, music, theatre, and visual arts) and participate in various roles in the arts. Standard 2: Knowing and Using Arts Materials and Resources Students will be knowledgeable about and make use of the materials and resources available for participation in the arts in various roles.
Standard 3: Responding to and Analyzing Works of Art Students will respond critically to a variety of works in the arts, connecting the individual work to other works and to other aspects of human endeavor and thought. Standard 4: Understanding the Cultural Contributions of the Arts Students will develop an understanding of the personal and cultural forces that shape artistic communication and how the arts in turn shape the diverse cultures of past and present society.
New York City’s Blueprint Theatre Making: Acting, Playwriting/Play Making, Designing and Technical Theatre, and Directing Developing Theatre Literacy Making Connections Working With Community and Cultural Resources Exploring Careers and Life long Learning