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Using drama to teach narrative

Unit 1


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Though it is not directly mentioned in the National Curriculum, drama is a very powerful tool for supporting the teaching of reading. In this course, presented by Ruth Baker-Leask, we find out why that is, and what using drama to teach narrative looks like in practice. A key benefit to using drama is that it helps to develop empathy, which is incredibly important when it comes to reading and understanding characters in books. It’s a way to support pupils in accessing higher order questions and to help all children in engaging with texts they might otherwise find difficult. We look at an example from the KS2 SATs reading paper and consider how children who might have been involved more regularly in drama would be better equipped to make the necessary inferences. Later in the same paper, the benefit of drama is proven once again - with pupils who have experienced taking key verbs from a text and acting these out being better able to picture the action in a scene. To finish, Ruth gives an overview of all 10 drama-related videos in this course.

Course Materials:

Presentation Slides - Download

.pptx file

Training Handout - Download

.pdf file

Course Creator

Image of Ruth Baker-Leask

Ruth Baker-Leask

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.

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