How drama develops skills for our future
Samuel Craig, Lily Poon
How drama develops skills for our future
Primary school Drama classes often appear to be nothing more than fun role-playing activities yet they are more extensive and meaningful than perhaps you realise. Drama studies play a practical role in developing students’ collaboration, communication, creative and problem solving skills that are transferable across subjects and highly valued in future careers.
Our semester 1 Primary 6 Drama curriculum offers students comprehensive training to turn classroom practice into product by creatively reinterpreting Shakespearean scenes and monologues. At the beginning of the process, students’ misconceptions and preconceptions around Shakespeare are identified.
Visit this website for Misconceptions and preconceptions about Shakespeare:
Students then come to understand the social, cultural and historical context of the Shakespearean and Jacobean era, learn to analyse Shakespearean language and take ownership of the text by turning 400 year old literature into relevant and modern adaptations.
Hamlet “to be or not to be” adapted monologue:
Students are then divided into groups and asked to select their roles playing to their personality, strengths and abilities. Those who enjoy performing may choose to be performers, creative types might prefer roles such as directing, designing or script writing, while practical and organised students enjoy producing and stage managing type roles. Students are also encouraged to take on roles which they may have no experience with yet are eager to explore. The whole team works together to create, communicate and problem solve challenges as they work towards a common goal.
In real-life, the front-of-house teams in show business such as producers and marketers have to ensure that tickets sell. Opinions from the audience are important. Students are given opportunities to present their ideas in a portfolio of work and to be informally assessed with frequent peer and teacher feedback on story conceptualisation, script work, designs, discussion questions, reflections and rehearsal observations. Finally, each group performs their script for an audience.
Example portfolio by James Cai, Chan Vin and Joshua Sim.
Recording of their performance:
The productions this academic year looked different. Normally, students meet face to face to brainstorm, rehearse and perform, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our students’ engaged collaboratively across various online platforms like Google classroom/applications, Zoom, and messaging apps. Primary 6 students took the challenge in their stride and became creative problem solvers who were able to complete a production collaboratively under pressure towards a goal and deadline. Performances were impressive, ranging from radio dramas, Zoom dramatic readings, short films and animations.
After completing the unit of work, students developed a greater appreciation for Shakespearean literature, became confident collaborators, communicators, problem solvers, and established deeper, positive relationships with peers proving yet again the meaningful and transformative power of the Arts.
Our P6 students Nina Chia, Cassandra Koh, Cayla Kwok and Elizabeth Zhong worked as a team and produced a wonderful adaptation of Act 4 Scene 1 of Macbeth where the witches brew a magical potion. Every one of them participated as a voice actor, and shared other roles such as portfolio manager, animator, scriptwriter, prop designer and more. Before selecting the animations in the app they used for production, Elizabeth drew the sketches of the characters.
They designed settings and movement of the characters for each scene.
Let’s enjoy the production of Nina, Cassandra, Cayla and Elizabeth’s Performance.
Reflections of team members
My contribution towards this project is a voice actor, Main portfolio manager, Work agenda organiser. My role in this text is a contestant of a cooking contest, namely Chef Cupid. I really enjoyed working with this group as I can communicate with them well and easily come up with a compromise. I found that each and every one of us have different abilities and are strong in different areas. All of us are in some way responsible and jobs and roles have been given out equally. There were some challenges that were easily overcome in the making process of the project. Our agenda was organised and we managed to finish our tasks on time.
My contribution towards the project is a voice actor, scriptwriter, props designer and outside audio. My role in this text is Chef Siren, a contestant of a cooking show, “Bake That Cake!” I really enjoyed working with this group as I can communicate with them well and can easily come up with a compromise. Each of us have different abilities and are strong in different areas. Even though there were some challenges but we managed to overcome them.
My contribution towards this project is a voice actor and a character designer. My role in this project is Chef Oni, a contestant in “Bake That Cake!”, a cooking show. During this project I enjoyed having fun with my team and designing the characters. I communicated nicely with them and worked together well. There were few challenges but we managed 🙂 I felt like each of us were responsible, and did our roles properly, leading us to a good act.
My contribution to this project is as the director, prop, set and character designer, animator, scriptwriter and voice actor. In the skit, I play the extra character Soren Grand, the host of “Bake That Cake!” cooking show. I enjoyed working with my group and cracking jokes, it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed designing the characters and animating the skit (although it was a pain). There were a few problems (putting together lines, recording, etc.) but we’ve managed to resolve them and get to this point. So, I’m happy to say, we have finally finished our project and hope it is enjoyed!
25 February 2021