I did a presentation with a colleague called The Power of Arts in the Classroom. In that presentation we shared various lessons integrating dance and drama. Below you will find the explanation of the lesson and a video.
1. Character Traits & Dance
Make a timeline of the character’s traits throughout the book. (If the character didn’t change much you can use this activity with sequence of events.) Using a book that has already been read, have the students get into small groups. Using their timeline, they need to develop a movement for each section. Then they put each movement together in order to form a dance. Have them perform in front of each other and compare/contrast the movements each group created. Discuss how they represented the traits (or events).
Character Traits and Dance from Marly Parker on Vimeo.
2. Inference & Dance
After a book has been read, have students work independently or in groups to create a movement that represents a particular character or event in the story. Play a game where the student(s) perform their movement and the class has to look closely, analyze and infer what the movement represents. This could be a series of movements or just one.
DANCE MSA from Marly Parker on Vimeo.
3. Interpretation & Drama
Get copies of an illustration from a picture book you will be reading with the class. In small groups have student “closely read” the illustration. Have them share their interpretation of the illustration. Encourage them to include character, setting, what’s happening, etc. Using their group interpretations they will create an improvisation skit to perform. They don’t write a script.
IllustrationInterpretation from Marly Parker on Vimeo.
4. Summary & Drama
Read a book to the class. (The first time you do this activity a picture book is strongly recommended.) Write a summary of the story. Make a list of characters from the book. Use the list of characters to write a script of the summary. The list will help you to make sure you include all characters. (Narrators can be added to help tell the story.)
Summary and Drama from Marly Parker on Vimeo.