Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March is Reading Month, Tip #29: Find a Little Drama!

Find a little drama!

Dramatic play can have a huge impact on young children's language development and reading and writing lives. This experience can range from acting out familiar stories to acting our original stories to ad-libbing. Just like puppets can inspire, so can some drama!

I feel lucky to have a drama-queen in our neighborhood who comes over and helps the younger kids all work together to put on some "shows". That facilitating she does sticks- and they do a better job acting out stories even after she has to go home.

Acting out stories can be a huge tool in developing comprehension, especially with understanding a character's feelings and motivation. Claudia and I act out the Three Little Pigs regularly. She has a fantastic wolf growl. Her play is inspired by her love (going on about two years) of the three little pigs and perhaps also our wolf hat. We* also play "Bears," which seems to be inspired by a dreadful Magic School Bus reader. And when Fran is around, we play plenty of Star Wars (typically with new story ideas- maybe he'll write some fan fiction.)

* I am often not a willing participant in the game of "Bears."  For example, on Sunday, I was forced to be "Baby Bear" while "Mama Bear" Claudia shoved pattern blocks (food) in my face. I had to say "Mmmmmm" and stay under the covers (cave) for my own safety.  I think we may have a tempestuous director on our hands.

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