Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Play's the Thing: Using Scripts in the Classroom

My local library has fabulous resources. Yesterday I scored a stack of Plays Magazine, drama scripts for young people.

Occasionally our library goes through old magazines that have had poor circulation and makes them available for patrons to take for free. Recently stacks of business magazines were set out. These can be used for clip art projects, actual clipping and pasting with glue as opposed to the digital copy/paste but not anything I needed.

Then I saw a stack of Plays magazines! These are fabulous resources for and school drama class. Published monthly, each edition includes eight to ten scripts arranged according to grade level. Some scripts are modifications of classics works and others are simply dramatic stories. When appropriate, staging direction, costuming and props are described.

Even if students do not put on a full scale performance, reading scripts in a round table setting is a great way to engage and develop reading skills. Drama encourages students to identify a character's emotion and motives, developing empathy. Students become creative participants instead of passive readers.

By combining video technology, students can easily share their creativity with a larger audience. And the more students engage actual scripts, the better they will become at planning and writing their own stories. Stop motion, animation or puppet shows are all creative ways students can demonstrate critical reading skills.