Although role on the wall and hot seating are strategies used in many classrooms, there is still lots to learn here. Beginning with role in the wall, Ruth covers how important it is to use this technique at several points throughout a text to see how a character develops, and she illustrates this by showing how it applies to the Alexis Deacon story, Beegu. In this example, we see sticky notes added to a flip chart to map four distinct phases of the book and the visiting alien’s changing emotions and experiences.
To demonstrate how this can work for older children we focus on Malorie Blackman’s Cloud Busting, and the development of the bullied boy, Davey, from the start to the end of the text.
Role on the wall then becomes the ideal lead in to hot seating - an activity that can fail to deliver if children are not already familiar enough with the characters they are questioning. A hot seating session, we’re shown, is most likely to be successful if the children have a clear overall objective for their questions, and some questions stems are provided to encourage a more analytical approach.
We see also that hot seating does not have to be the focus of a lesson, and can quickly and easily be integrated into regular book talk sessions.
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Former headteacher Ruth is now an independent education advisor, supporting schools, trusts and other organisations across the UK. She is currently chair of the National Association of Advisors in English (NAAE), an associate consultant for the National Literacy Trust (NLT) and a member of The United Kingdom Literacy Association's (UKLA) awards and members committee.
About the Course
Ruth demonstrates a range of drama and role-play teaching approaches for Year 1-Year 6, showing how important drama is in connecting children to narrative by eliciting personal responses as well as supporting children in developing a deeper understanding of the relationships between characters, making inferences from their actions.