Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Want to Build Dramatic Skills? Go Back in Time

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Want to Build Dramatic Skills? Go Back in Time

Article excerpt

At my school, we explore one period of theatre history a year in key stage 3 drama (ancient Greek in Year 7, medieval in Year 8 and Shakespearean in Year 9). This not only gives students a range of drama skills and an awareness of how theatre has developed through the ages but it also provides an opportunity for cross-curricular learning. This is particularly true for our medieval theatre module.

When faced with the task of writing a scheme of work on this topic, I was aware that I was not just looking at drama but at history and RE too. But how to structure a lesson that demonstrated this? I decided that medieval guilds and the impact they had on the theatre of the time were the perfect vehicle.

The lesson begins with some context: a brief overview of medieval guilds, including what they were and what they did. Each group of students is given a guild name and an information sheet and is assigned a guild leader (an opportunity for gifted and talented pupils).

The task is to perform "a day in the life of the guild", with the guild leader determining the roles. …

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