” Tell me and I will forget Show me and I will remember Involve me and I will understand. “ – Chinese proverb
Drama, as we all know, is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance ( a play, opera, mime, ballet, etc ), which is performed in a theatre, or on radio or television. Drama is one of the most ancient forms of art and it is a very important aspect of performing arts. The importance of teaching drama to the young ones is immense. Today’s schools need to develop creative leaders because the future of our nation depends on our ability to create and to be creative. In reality, dramatic activity is already a natural part of most children’s lives, even before they start school, in the form of make-believe plays, which forms a part of every child’s growing up years. Learning drama in school encourages them to think and act creatively, thus developing critical thinking and problem solving skills that can be applied in all areas of learning. Through drama practice, children are encouraged to take responsible roles and make their own choices. Thus through structured play and drama, pupils can be encouraged to learn actively and interactively, not only in their primary years but all across the curriculum.
ADVANTAGES OF LEARNING DRAMA IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS :
Just as the quotation in the beginning of the article suggests, statistics show that people remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, 50% of what they both see and 90% of what they see, hear and do. Drama, in that way, is one of the most effective teaching methods, as it enables the child to get invlolved in the process, do, live, feel, implement and think. Drama enables the children to become active in learning process by placing him/ her in the center. Children are able to think creatively, critically, multidimensionally and freely; they show cognitive, social, affective and psychomotor development; have fun, create empathy, implement their knowledge and develop co-operative skills through drama. Some of the key advantages of learning drama are :
• Drama builds confidence • Drama helps concentration • Drama enhances imagination power • Drama develops language and communication skills • Drama develops emotional intelligence • Drama assists physical development
WHAT ARE TAUGHT IN THE PRIMARY STAGE?
While teaching drama to the primary children, it is very essential to keep in mind their understanding/comprehending capacity, their natural tendencies, their level of concentration, etc. To begin with, some drama ice-breakers can be practiced. Then some games are often played. After this, basic introduction about acting is given followed by interactive session. The regular activities that are done in primary classes include :
• Narrative pantomime stories – This is a technique in which the teacher tells a story and each student, usually working independently, acts it out.
• Physical and pantomime activities – These activities teach physical control and pantomime communication.
• Role drama activities – These lessons use the technique known as Role drama, in which students play roles and they must make their own choices. Through these roles, they relate to one another.
• Writing activities – Writing activities are not much applicable to young ones. These lessons focus on writing processes like a play writing exercise, etc.