Drama is an excellent tool for bring lessons to life. It not only stimulates creativity and imagination in a fun and enjoyable way but it can heighten a child’s self-confidence and improve concentration and co-operation skills. One of the most effective drama techniques that I have used in the classroom is “Teacher in Role”.
Teacher in Role
The teacher takes on a role as part of a story and the children interact with the teacher inside the confines of this role.
This technique allows the child to engage with the story of the drama. If the teacher is fully immersed in her/his role it makes an easier for the children to use their imagination and enter into their own roles. It is an effective way to get the children involved in the story.
The teacher explains very clearly at the outset that they are going to take on a particular role/s in the drama. It is important that the teacher chooses the roles carefully. The must think about what the learning objective is for that particular drama.
If the objective is to:
To stimulate the imagination – the teacher could take on the role of Aladdin and the children could ask what he had seen the magical cave.
To help reach a consensus – the teacher could be a police officer who has come to sort out an accident and the children could be witnesses to the accident.
To help make suggestions – the teacher could be someone with a problem looking for a solution. The children could offer him choices.
To offer advice – the teacher could be Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk. He could be looking for advice whether to accept the beans, climb the beanstalk, etc..,
The teacher can assume more than one role in the drama. However she/he should make it very clear to the children whenever H/she uses a certain prop or costume they are in role as that particular person.
If she wears an apron she is Jack’s mother
If she picks up a baton she is the police officer.
It is important that the teacher comes out of role at certain times during the drama as this will allow the children and teacher to feedback and reflect what is happening within the drama.
The teacher in Role (TIR) technique can be used at any age or level however it is particularly effective with younger children as they are willing to take on any role they are given without question. They are very quick to use their creativity and engage in an imaginary world.