Drama as a Resource for Giving Language More Meaning
by Sam Smith
Warmer - To introduce the topic and begin the lesson.
class / Pairs - 5 mins
tells the story of how he once crashed his car when driving
to work, (a minor accident where no one was hurt) and students
listen to decide who was to blame.
Speaking - To activate students' schemata and practice
- 6 mins
spend a minute to think if they can remember anything similar
and relate this to their partner.
They then spend a minute to recall / imagine their partner's
feelings at the time and again compare.
Setting the scene - To give the students something to
- 3 mins
in pairs are given a picture of 2 motorists arguing at the
scene of a minor road accident. They assume the positions
of the 2 people and on the command 'Go' begin a dialogue.
The teacher stops them before they do more than 2 or 3 exchanges.
Working out the mime - To plan & contextualise a future
- 9 mins
in pairs, work out a mime of the scene between the two motorists.
Performing and watching - To contextualise paralinguistic
group - 6 mins
perform their mimes for the other pairs and elect one of them
to put words to.
Writing the dialogue
- To use the context of the mime to activate language.
- 15 mins
write the words for the chosen mime. The group whose mime
it is, writing both parts, but, the other students in 2 groups
writing the words for only 1 of the participants. The mimers
can be asked to perform all or part of the mime again. The
teacher monitors and actively asks the students to think carefully
about the language they are using and provides any needed
Second performance - To provide speaking practice while
having to adapt to an unexpected message.
class - 6 mins
original mimers perform their mime again while the other students
from the 2 groups working in pairs perform the words of each
participant, changing their original scripts accordingly as
they watch the mimers and listen to their partners.
Third performance - To compare the different versions.
class - 4 mins
original mimers perform their mime with words while the others
watch and listen to compare the differences.
Discussion - To round off the lesson and focus on the
/ whole class - 6 mins
in pairs followed by plenary session students discuss what
language they used, the differences between the 3 versions
and the importance of having visual clues to clarify meaning.
for the discussion:
What language structures did you and your partner use?
2. Did you use them well?
3. Why do you think your versions were different?
4. How did looking at the mime help?
5. Do movements and gestures and language go together?
6. Do you think English and Spanish people use the same gestures?
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