The majority of my teaching experience has been in intermediate grades, specifically 3rd grade. In intermediate, we have a tendency to focus on learning, learning, learning, with no time for play, and if we do play, it’s a game or a puzzle. We definitely don’t take the time for dramatic play. However, this year I am trying to change that some. I have a third grader at home and he still spend about half of his playtime in dramatic play. On the playground, I have watched my students (3rd and 4th graders) play out slumber parties, knights and princesses and a variety of other “dramatic play” situations. So, I’ve decided to try to use dramatic play anywhere appropriate in my classroom. Here are some ideas I have for integrating dramatic play into the intermediate classroom:
1.) Acting Out Stories – I regularly use reader’s theaters, but I also plan to have my students act out other stories we have read, as well the fiction stories they are beginning to write themselves.
2.) Problem Solving Skits – During our health and wellness unit on Mental and Emotional Health, we created skits to show how we would deal with problems we have in the classroom.
3.) Be the Rock, or the Animal or the Electron Particle – Acting can help students make abstract concepts more concrete. My students will be acting out the changes in rocks made with erosion, the animals in different stages of their life cycle and the electron particles in an open and a closed circuit.
4.) Act Out History or Government – With past classes, I have acted out the election process and process it takes to turn a bill into a law. This year, my class will study Ancient Rome and I can’t wait to act out the jobs of a Roman city.
5.) Acting Out Solves Math Problems – We always talk about the math strategy “Act it Out”, but do we ever really act them out? Letting students play store or bank or hardware shop or restaurant can help them to solve math problems. Give them an actual problem to work out using dramatic play and see the real answers come to life.
6.) Use Costumes to Work on Adjectives – Let students dress up in a costume and then have their fellow students describe them using as many adjectives as possible. Change the costumes and talk about how the adjectives change.
Do you have a great way to integrate dramatic play into an intermediate classroom? Please leave me a comment so we can share from each other.