Telling the Truth – with Drama!

March has been a very busy time for our young Thespians. Drama helps children to boost their confidence and express themselves. Through games, team building and improvisation each child has the opportunity to develop their stage craft – and perhaps reflect upon and ponder life lessons along the way.

We have been looking at fairy tales this month and how we can tell a story through improvisation and storytelling. Each selected group devised a fairy tale and made up an ending. This was their version of the “true” ending of the story!  Young children can relate to stories with moral dilemmas, and we explore these stories as games wherein we present two versions of the same story: one that reflects honesty and integrity and one that does not. We discussed the fairy tale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” and how Goldilocks enters the bears’ house when they are away. We talked about what would have happened if she had sat and waited outside for the bears to come home. The children then devised a short play about this, and we talked about being honest.  

We have also played a few games this month that centered around the idea of honesty. One game was called ‘The Circle of Truth.’ In this game, everybody sits on a chair in a circle and one person stands in the middle. They must then say something true about themselves and potentially others, e.g. anyone who has brown hair, anyone who ate cheerios for breakfast, etc. Anyone for whom the statement is true must stand up and move to another chair, and they are not allowed to go back to the chair they were in initially. It is a game that allows us to learn basic things about each other and to be honest. 

‘Truth or Lie’ is another simple game that helps us understand the basics of honesty. In this game, a player makes a statement about themselves. The surrounding children must then decide if they think that the player is being truthful or telling a lie. Our honesty – or lack thereof – might show in the way we hold our bodies or in our facial expressions. Each child has a chance to express themselves and to say something truthful or not about themselves.  

Children of all ages need opportunities to explore the effects of dishonesty and honesty. By giving them these opportunities, we as adults let them know that we value honesty and truth-telling. 

We have also been learning the simple way of greeting people. How do we greet people? A fun simple game to play is to ask the children to walk around the room greeting each other. At first, they will do this in the way that they typically do on a day-to-day basis. I then ask them to greet each other in a specific way, e.g. as though the other person is a long-lost friend. I encouraged them to continue walking around the room greeting different people each time. This can then organically lead into an improvised scene. This helped the children to interact, make choices, be respectful, grow confidence and also act a little silly in front of each other. 

As we come to the end of term in Drama, it has been very exciting to see the children grow in confidence, get up and speak or perform in front of friends, and most of all, be able to work as a team and trust one another. 

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