Using Drama to Teach English

Get Your Act Together: Four Separate Ideas Using Drama to Teach English Lessons

1. HARD TALK                                                                                                              Find a photo of a person in today’s newspaper that piques your interest. Paste the photo on a piece of lined paper. Underneath the photo write 10 questions about the subject of the photo or questions you would like to ask the person. Create possible answers for each question. You can be as imaginative as you wish. With a partner, conduct an imaginary interview with the person in the photo, you being the interviewer and your partner playing the role of the person being interviewed. Use the questions and possible responses you drafted earlier. Once you have worked out a possible dialogue, write it out in play script with stage directions.
 

2. Useful Tools
Choose an item from a display ad in today’s edition of the newspaper. Cut it out and paste it on lined paper.Think of three possible settings or activities for your item, and write them under the cutting. With two other classmates and their items, decide on one setting involving the three items you have chosen, and create three characters.Work out a possible storyline involving your three characters and items. Once you have worked out the plot and dialogue, write it out with stage directions in a play script format. Act out your script in front of the class.
 

3. Position Vacant                                                                                               Pretend that one of the characters in a comic strip must be replaced. On lined paper, write a classified ad to fill the position. Be sure your advertisement includes specific personality and physical traits required to fill this position. In pairs, create an imaginary interview with the successful candidate for the position advertised. What sort of questions would a potential cartoonist ask? How would the character behave during the interview? Act out your interview in front of the class.
 

4. Talk Show Issues
As a class, choose a news story about which people have strong views. Brainstorm the ideas and arguments the different factions might hold. Nominate class members to take on the role of talk show hosts and guests. The rest of the class members take on the role of the audience. The talk show host(s) should introduce her/his guests. Continue the activity as a talk show, with the host also fielding questions from the audience.

Lesson was written by Jennifer Ingham, The Royal Gazette, Bermuda and courtesy of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Benton County Daily Record, & Northwest Arkansas Times.

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