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10 Ideas For Teaching Drama Lessons with ILP

Posted by Emily Cummings on 8/15/20 11:25 PM

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Worried about teaching your first drama lesson in a classroom of ILP students? Yeah, I was the same way. Hopefully these lesson ideas will help you prepare, which is half the battle! 

I was definitely the most nervous to teach my first ILP drama lesson. I had the little chairs all lined up against the wall to make the rest of the room a sort of stage and a big bag of fun props (of course!). 

That first week of teaching, my kids came running in and starting grabbing all my props, sort of doing their own drama lesson. Yeah, so class didn’t exactly go as planned (but I did get much better as time went on). Once you figure out how energetic your class is, what things they like to pretend (classic kid stories or things like superheroes?) you'll be able to find lesson ideas that more accurate fit your class. 

And actually ... it turns out that drama is a pretty fun class! So don't be stressed about it. It's not like you're acting in front of a crowd or memorizing lines here, it's all about reading stories and helping the kids use their imagination to create some fun scenarios.

But for even more help, here are 10 drama lessons to make planning a breeze: 

Drama Lesson Ideas:

  • Roll Emotional Dice
  • Have A Puppet Show
  • Pretend Alien Invasion
  • Go On A Trip
  • Surprises In A Hat
  • Meet My Friend
  • Pretend Superheroes
  • Act Out A Story
  • Restaurants Charades
  • 1-2-3

Roll Emotional Dice

Grab some markers and paper and create your own story book where the main characters goes through different emotions throughout their day. Maybe they woke up and saw the sun, so they were happy. And then maybe they smelled breakfast so they were hungry.  And then maybe they ran downstairs excited but tripped and fell, so they were embarrassed or sad. You get the point. Just make a fun little story that will get the kids laughing.

On squares of paper, draw a picture or write down those emotions and feelings that you'll be going over in your book (joy, frustration, anger, boredom, etc) and tape them to a pair of huge foam dice. Depending on the age of your kids, you can get more basic or more advanced here with the emotions.

During class, you'll read the story with the kids and then play the dice game afterwards. It's pretty simple, they'll roll the dice and then act out that emotion until the class guesses what it is. I love the idea of the book here so that your students can look back at the book's illustrations if they need a refresher on what that emotion is. Pile up a bunch of props for your class to dress up as they roll their dice, dress up and act out the emotion.

Have A Puppet Show 

You can either make puppets for your class (maybe as an Arts & Craft Activity) or have your kids be the puppets themselves. Make a little stage and act out a favorite story (your kids might want to make up their own — just play it by ear, but always have a story ready to go as a backup).

Take turns acting as the characters and the audience and switch every few minutes. 

ILP adventure

Pretend Alien Invasion 

Oh no! Aliens have invaded your planet — line the seats up as a space ship and get exploring what this new planet is like. Maybe you could create some sort of hats out of tin foil, you must have your hat on when you're inside the spaceship.

Have different stop off stations where you act out what life is like here: have kids only move in slow motion, or act like things are super super hot (or cold). You can make this game last as long as your ideas do. 

Oh and I definitely recommend having some moon juice on your new planet! I just got some juice or flavored water and if you can get it green with a little food coloring that's really fun, but any bright colored drink gets the kids pretty excited.

Go On A Trip 

You can play this game over and over again as long as you switch out where your vacation is. Make little tickets and have their kids pack up imaginary suitcases and head to wherever you want.

Draw or print pictures of places you're going to to help them understand. You could even take them to America — show them photos of your family and your home.

or dive deep down into the ocean. 

ILP Ukraine

Surprises In A Hat

Grab several hats, bags, or bowls, and fill them full of random items.  The kids will get to choose a bag, be blindfolded, and then reach in the bag to find the surprise! 

There's lots of variations to this that you could work with. Maybe one bag is all about their sense of touch. You could put things in that feel different like jello, play dough, sand, etc. The kids could reach in and guess what it is.

You could play around with their taste and smell senses, and have them close their eyes and try something — maybe have them taste a bit of sugar and a bit of salt. Or maybe they put their nose in the bags to smell different items, like flowers, an orange, and a pineapple.

Meet My Friend 

Put your kids in a circle and tell them to introduce their friend standing next to them. The kids can say whatever they want about their pal. “Hi class, this is my friend the cat; she loves to swim in puddles of pudding and suck lollipops” — the crazier the better.

That friend (the student sitting next to them) needs to act out exactly what their introduction says. Costumes are also fun for this activity. 

ILP Ukraine

Pretend Superheroes

Swap out your emotions on your emotion dice instead for superpowers for this drama lesson; Get really creative with what the superpower is and get the props necessary to truly act out “being able to talk to fish” (or whatever superpowers you want to see your kiddos act out).

Trust us, the boys will love this one.

Act Out A Story

This one’s pretty simple; get out a storybook and read to your kids. Be sure to point out the details on the pages and talk about the illustrations. Act out the story as you go through each page. Be sure to ask questions about what your class is doing to keep them talking — this is English class, after all. 

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Restaurant Charades 

Get the whole class involved and have some students act as the customers (let them act out ordering, eating, etc) while the rest of the class bustle around like busy waiters — call out different scenarios (there’s a fly in my soup!, balance your plates on your head, restaurant is closing in 2 minutes) to get things moving.

1-2-3

Circle up your cute little kids and number them off by counting 1,2,3 over and over until each kid has a number. Then, make your announcements!

All one’s need to walk their dog across hot lava, while number two’s are hopscotching like froggies, and your number three's have to eat a 14 scoop ice cream cone as fast as they can. You know, stuff like that.

Act out their parts, switch numbers, then assign new roles till class ends.  You might want to give them something like a paper headband to help them remember their number/group if your kids are little. 

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