Why should we use drama when we teach English language arts?  Here are just a few reasons!

  1. Enriches our lives
  2. Socially constructs meaning
  3. Helps us better get to know ourselves
  4. Builds on personal strengths and potential
  5. Fosters self-confidence
  6. Encourages self expression
  7. Builds confidence in others
  8. Builds trust
  9. Encourages collaboration & sharing
  10. Encourages acceptance of differences of opinion
  11. Encourages divergent thinking
  12. Fosters empathy
  13. Encourages play
  14. Examines values
  15. Encourages good social skills
  16. Teaches acceptance of positive criticism
  17. Nurtures concentration
  18. Nurtures imagination
  19. Encourages self-reflection
  20. Provides a chance to explore new skills and talents
  21. Provides opportunities for reading with understanding
  22. Teaches about aesthetic values
  23. Brings meaning to human situations
  24. Brings communication alive
  25. Provides social interaction and shared learning
  26. Encourages collaborative problem solving
  27. Encourages positive interdependence
  28. Encourages acceptance of cultural diversity and individual differences
  29. Increases emotional involvement in group accomplishment
  30. Provides opportunity for revision, refinement, growth
  31. Provides an alternative way of communicating knowledge and understanding
  32. Teaches a sense of audience and register
  33. Provides a meaningful vehicle for content learning
  34. Allows for real opportunities to apply what we know, understand and can do
  35. Brings experience from outside the personal realm into imagination and possibility
  36. Encourages interpretation
  37. Fosters personal pride and persistence
  38. Gives everyone a chance to shine
  39. Engages students in learning

A Few Examples of How You Might Incorporate Drama in your Literacy Program
Choral Reading

  1. Can be used successfully regardless of space or class size
  2. Opportunities for speech improvement
    1. Pitch, volume, rate and tone quality
    2. Clear diction, vocal expression, enunciation of speech sounds
  3. Suitable for any age level (K-adult)


  1. Select a piece (poetry works well)
  2. Divide voices into light and dark voices (not high & low), but according to quality and resonance as well as pitch
  3. Divide lines into whole group, solo and duets/trios, etc.
  4. Can incorporate sound effects (music, bells, drums, vocal sounds, etc.)

Ways of Reading

  1. Unison:  whole group reads together (most difficult to get right)
  2. Antiphonal:  division into 2 groups
  3. Cumulative: accumulation of voices; for the purpose of building toward a climax (crescendo)
  4. Solo:  lines or stanzas (or single words) read alone for certain effect
  5. Line-around: solo work in which each line is taken by a different reader

Dramatic Techniques

  1. Choral reading
  2. Tableau
  3. Mime
  4. Role playing
  5. Improvisation
  6. Story telling
  7. Teacher-in-role
  8. Movement drama
  9. Mask-making
  10. Puppets
  11. Reader’s theatre
  12. Story theatre
  13. Hot seating
  14. Mantle of the expert

For more ideas please see http://www.ite.org.uk/ite_topics/drama_at_KS1-2/001.html