Sunday, January 18, 2015



  1. Thank you to Madam Yee Bee Choo for sharing the ppt slides.

  2. Dear teachers,
    What are some of the drama activities that you have used in your primary ESL classroom with your pupils? Provide some examples and justify your selections of the selected drama activities.

    1. Based on Piaget’s constructivist theory, drama is a natural part of the development of human thought and language. Life itself is a drama. That is the statement I always mentioned in my lessons. Pupils then tended to ask why I make that statement. I drew my pupils’ attention by choosing two or three pupils to come forward and dramatize some simple situations by giving or sharing some cued cards. The chosen pupils act out the situation picked and other pupils try to guess them one after another. I pointed out my opinions about the acts and surprisingly pupils tended to make few statements too.
      My pupils and I chose to do puppet shows a few times. We make our own puppets from scratch. The pupils showed a good interest in making their own puppets; designing, cutting, assembling parts, gluing and make the finishing touches. We started making the puppets during the first week lesson on the same topic. Usually we make the puppets on the fourth day lesson for language art learning activities.
      I could recall clearly one drama that we did on the topics; Animal Fair. We learnt the same topic for two weeks so we started planning about the drama on the first day’s listening and speaking skill lesson. I opened the discussion with questions to provoke my pupils’ interests and surprisingly they gave positive feedbacks. We discussed over all the details and settle down with division of assigned task. I of course took notes for future reference.
      The pupils then make used of my reading and writing lesson task for the drama. Pupils assigned themselves in groups. They divided among themselves the characters of the drama they were doing. I provided the outline puppets’ designs so that they have the basic looks for every puppet. They completed the design of their puppets at home with the help of their family members as I am told. I was feeling happy that my pupils were successfully organized themselves with the given task.
      The day finally came. My pupils were very excited till to the extend they asked other subject teachers to give way for my lesson on that day. They can’t wait to act after the recess time. They clad in their physical attires and prepared the stage to be used on my account. We choose to flip up-side down the teacher’s table on top off two other pupils’ desks. I helped with the decorations of the stage. When the time finally came, the pupils drew lots to determine the groups turns performing a very simple Animal Fair show. The animals’ characters were talking among themselves about escaping from fair taken from my dialogue task in the previous lesson. At the end of the drama performances, I decided to give away lots of rewards for each one of them. My pupils showed tremendous efforts in making the lesson a success. I summarized the lesson instilling a few moral values gathers from the drama itself.

  3. Sun (2003) found the nature of drama is flexible, plastic, and continuous, so there are no fixed and constant models for drama activities. Drama gives them chances to create a new plot and characters for the story. It is an enjoyable experience for them. In English as a Second Language classes, role play is very common with teachers .It also encouraged teachers like me to explore the different types of role play, such as dramatic plays, storytelling and interviews. As what I experienced, I feel it is worthwhile to apply different types of role play according to different levels and demands for students. Role play and simulation are my favourite activities in the class.

    A realistic setting is the key concept in simulation while role-play is defined as “an activity which requires a person to take on a role that is real or imaginary”. It gives them a good chance to express their own opinions and practice how to use languages. Miming also been effective enough appropriate for warming-up. “Its strength lies in that although no language is used during the mime, the mime itself can act as a catalyst to generate and elicit language before, during, and after the activity”. For example, pupils like charade games in English as a Second Language classes. Miming makes charade games more effective. It is where I divide my pupils into teams; one member of the team shows the picture of the word or expressions, and the volunteer of the team has to mime without saying any words for his own team members made the atmosphere of my class to become more relaxed and also facilitate learning activities with dramatic techniques.

    In English as a Second Language classes for elder pupils, I asked them to create a skit to deeply comprehend the vocabulary term or encourage them to make a story by using a list of new vocabulary items. It is where I helped my pupils to extend and reinforce the new vocabulary through the relevant literature pieces .I have also tried Improvisational drama in English as a Second Language classes. It required pupils to produce appropriate words emotionally by using gestures and facial expressions. Pupils are to be free to act and create the character that they want to be.

    Ganesan Veerappan
    PPG Tesl
    Sem 6

  4. I once did The Jungle Book in my classroom where I asked my pupils to clear the middle of the classroom for staging. I provide some the masks for my pupils while some of them volunteer to create themselves. For the drama I divided the pupils into 3 groups of ten each. Asked them to choose the character they want. For the drama, I did the dialogue by adapting the Jungle Book graphic text book and give 1 chapter to each group. This way each pupil will have the chance to act and the play will be different. The result of this activity amaze me and the also my pupils.
    The reasons I choose the drama are;
    1. The drama is adapted from their textbook. This will make the drama easier to be done because they are doing something that they already learnt.
    2. The props used such as masks are easy to be found or make as the masks only represented the face of animals. I googled some of the masks while some of my pupils made themselves.
    3. The scripts adapted from the story are easy for my people to comprehend as they alrady learnt the story.

    Mohd Nizam Mohamed
    PPG TESL S6 2015

  5. Drama is part of the language arts program involving listening, speaking, reading and writing. Teachers can use drama to support these aspects of literacy development. In the primary schools especially, children find drama playful and entertaining and become actively engaged in the dramatic process. There are some of the drama activities that we could used in our primary ESL classroom with our pupils. Here are some of it :-

    a) Ice Breakers: These are ideal drama activities to help the participants get to know one another in a friendly, low-key environment. They can also provide a nice friendly warm-up for your actors before delving.

    b) Speak Loudly and Clearly
    It doesn't do students any good to be creatively warmed-up if the audience (or the teacher) has no idea what they are saying. These enunciation exercises provide a fun way to alleviate the dreaded mumbling, mush-mouth syndrome.

    c) Be an Ice Cream Cone:
    Okay, maybe our students don't need to specifically become an ice cream cone (as the mean drama teacher mentioned). However, one of the best ways to develop out-of-the-box thinking (and acting) happens when we imagine ourselves not just as other people but as a completely different species. Or even as an inanimate object.

    d) Funny Faces
    Explore facial expressions of characters at various points in the story. Invite the children to stand in a circle. Explain that they are going to use their faces to show how characters felt at different times in the story. Choose a character and a moment, for example the fox when he first met the mouse. Count downThree-Two-One and clap your hands or shake a tambourine as a signal for them to make the face. You can pick out some of the expressions to show the others. How would they describe the feelings being shown on other pupils’ faces? Then choose a different moment/animal, for example the fox when he sees the Gruffalo in the story of ‘The Gruffalo’.

    Uma Mageswari Balakrishnan
    Sem 6

  6. I always want my pupils to participate in any activities in the classroom. I did puppets making last week and pupils loved it very much. The topic was Dilly Duck Doughnut, English Year One. Most of the pupils were average level and just some of them able to read clearly. I divide then in group with 4-5 members and provide them with boxes,glue,marker pen and coloured paper. Each group will make a puppets according to characters in the story. After that, they say out the dialogue in the story. Even slow learners pupils participate.

  7. Kitty in the corner
    This is a classic children’s game. Four players sit on chair at the corners of the playing are, with one player (Kitty) in the middle. Two people at any of the corners try to swap places by making eye contact with each other and then moving as quickly as possible, before Kitty can capture one of the corners. Whoever doesn’t manage to sit down becomes or remain Kitty in the middle. You are not allow to return to your seat once you have left it. With a large group you can make a circle of chair.

  8. Role play because plays provide practical experience in communicating, they give children the opportunity to learn to work together and to be part of something, to belong in a group and to develop tolerance and empathy as they begin to see the world from different perspectives. They promote active learning, enriching and reinforcing their more traditional school experiences. In addition most children are excited by the prospect of performing in front of others as a chance to be the center of attention. So, when it comes to teaching English as a second language, no matter the age of the student, drama and children are a winning combination.

  9. I’m teaching year 5 this year, and recently I turn short story into drama. It is the 3rd topic from the text book about a superhero. What I did was, I turn the short story into a drama, and it is mix ability class, so I used simple language so that they can memorize it easily. I also did some group projects for example make a superhero costume using old news papers, and a week after that we did superhero mask as individual activity. For the mask I give them some input on what to say in front of the class, and they have to come out, wear their masks and tell their friends who is she/ he, and what are their special power or special abilities. I found that, by doing this kind of activity, they gain their confidence and they want to show more of what they can do to their friends.

  10. I chose a story entitled “The Giving Tree” which was written by Shel Silverstein. I think that this story is very suitable to be used for primary ESL pupils because this story is a children story as Shel Silverstein himself is a famous author who had written so many children books and this story have many values in it that we can teach to pupils. This story is like a portrayal of a mother and a son, the tree as the mother and the boy as the son. This story tells about how an apple tree being so generous in giving to a boy to make him happy though he keep asking and never gets enough until she had nothing else to give. The story is very suitable with the proficiency level of the primary ESL pupils because Shel Silverstein use words which are simple and not of higher level words. Thus, the pupils can understand the story easily. In this story, he used simple and clear sentences to tell the story and use many repetitions which are important for children’s stories to make them understand better and make the story comprehensible for the pupils. In addition, he used new vocabulary for the pupils in the story that will make pupils learn new thing when the read this story.

  11. Drama is concerned with both the product (the performance) and the process of language learning. Using drama in the young learner (YL) classroom gives children who are shy when speaking a foreign language a character to “hide behind.” Dramatizing, as Phillips (2000) suggests, is perhaps a better word for this than drama. Dramatizing means that the children become actively involved in a text. This personalization makes language more meaningful and memorable than drilling or mechanical repetition. Drama helps children to activate language and have fun. Using drama activities has clear advantages for language learning. It encourages children to speak and gives them the chance to communicate, even with limited language, using nonverbal communication, such as body movements and facial expressions. The use of drama can reduce the pressure that students feel, so they become ready to talk sooner. A number of other factors also make drama a powerful tool in the language classroom. Reading dialogue aloud from a textbook is different from acting out the same dialogue. Drama involves children at many levels—through their bodies, minds, emotions, language, and social interaction.
    I just selecting a simple activity that my pupils can catch up.
    Classroom drama activities
    Miming practice
    Students learn gestures to go with words that are repeated in a story. Then, as the teacher reads the story aloud, the children do the actions when they hear the key words.
    1. Select a story with repeated words such as the story of The Big Cat and the Big House (below).
    2. Select gestures to go with the repeated words.
    e.g; Cat:Show gestures like cats washing themselves, licking a paw
    Maria binti Zainal
    Semester 6

  12. Making puppets and acting with puppets are the drama activities that I have tried to use in my primary ESL classroom with my pupils. As a teacher, I will always want all of my pupils to participate well in each of my lesson or any activities done.

    Previously with my year 2 pupils, my pupils and I did the sock puppets together. We create the puppets for the story of “The White Radish”. There were 4 character for it, they were the sheep, goat, horse and a rabbit. I divide the pupils into group of 4 and provide the pupils with the materials. They create the sock puppets creatively with my guidance because some of the pupils had never seen a sock puppets before. Here each pupils had to complete their own puppets but they can help each other.

    After completing the puppets, the pupils can used it to do the miming part to act according to the story. My pupils love to use the sock puppets when I ask them to hide and only put their puppet on the mini stage. The pupils watch their friends’ presentation. For the weaker pupils, they can read the dialogue at the back. This can encourage them not to so timid.

  13. i really like doing role play in my class because for me it more infective for the pupils in learning English where thy have to memories the line in the story. even the lines are simple and easy but it quite impective in giving them self confidence to speak in front among their friends. I also like to ask them to make the mask about the character in the story..where shoe their creativenes.

  14. The following activity can be used in as an introduction to role-play, body language, or emotions in the Drama class. Using intonation and facial expressions, students apply different emotions to a scene. This helps them practice expression when speaking. It also helps them identify appropriate body language to use when trying to convey a particular emotion.

    1. Building Background:
    a. Ask students what makes a play or movie interesting to watch. Try to elicit the following from students:
    i. Interesting plot
    ii. Movement
    iii. Action
    iv. Emotion
    2. New Information:
    a. Tell students that when they are given a script (the text of a play, the text that tells you what to say), they must add emotion to it. The emotion is not written in the words. The emotion in your voice and in your movements tells the audience what you feel. It helps the audience know the meaning of the words.
    b. Ask students to generate a list of emotions on the board. (This will be a resource for them later)
    3. Practice: Students practice facial changes for each emotion.
    4. Apply:
    a. Tell students that they will first practice with an unusual scene. It’s called a “contentless scene”. Ask them if they can think of what a ‘contentless scene’ might be. Elicit responses (A contentless scene means that means that there is no content, or meaning, to the words that the characters are given). The script can mean many different things. The way that the audience knows what is happening is through the emotion in your voice and the way you move.
    b. Tell students that they will work with a partner with one contentless scene.
    c. Each student finds/is assigned a partner.
    d. Tell students that they will each choose an emotion. The emotions can be the same or different from each other. They may refer to the board for examples of emotions.
    e. Students should work with their partner to identify appropriate facial expressions and gestures for their emotion. Give them a couple of minutes to discuss this and “get into” their emotion. Circulate the room to give feedback.