Recently, a teacher friend stopped by my house. I showed her my Performing History Series books.
She shook her head. “No one would ever use drama to teach history…or anything else.”
Immediately, my mind went into over-gear as I thought of a dozen ways teachers can use drama (or the arts in general) when immersing students in classroom topics. I was about to enlighten her when I hesitated.
My mind went back to a kindergarten reading class.
One of my students raised his hand with a real concern. “What if a word doesn’t start with a letter?” I wasn’t sure where he was going with this, so I responded to his question with a question. “What IF a word doesn’t start with a letter?”
Well, I decided to use the same technique with my friend: I asked a question. “If you were required to use drama in your classroom, what’s one way you could use a skit?” The conversation then began.
When students engage with skits (and background information I provide), they understand issues with clarity and emotionally connect with people from another time. That kind of immersion stays with them long after they leave the classroom.
I encourage history, music, or English teachers to add a bit of ah…drama to their classes!