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Discuss the nature and quality of make-belief play, and the particular ways in which it relates to drama.

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Introduction

Discuss the nature and quality of make-belief play, and the particular ways in which it relates to drama. Drama in education requires an atmosphere of 'playfulness'. We must be prepared to play with ideas, our bodies, voice, self and others. Young children do this naturally, learning by thrilling experience of living. Children 'make' their world in ways not dissimilar from theatrical form. Children's play and theatre can be seen as constituting two ends of a continuum. These are theatre games and theatre. Drama in education inhabits the area in between. It can move towards the play end, where very young children are engaging in drama that is close to their own form of free play. The difference, however, is that it takes place as a result of teacher intervention, in that the teacher locates the drama activity in a particular aspect of living. Older students may work very close to the 'theatre' end of the continuum, where performance skills and communicative intention are paramount. ...read more.

Middle

Children have the freedom to be active and spontaneous in dramatic play, because, as Eden says, "it can be undertaken without regard for external goals and sanctions." In one of my first classes of drama (I was in a class with Peter O' Driscoll) I participated in a game called 'fruit salad' where their was just enough chairs for every body. The chairs were placed out in a circle and one of the chairs was in the centre of the circle. Each person was given a name of a fruit and one person stood at the centre and called a fruit and everybody who had that label had to get up and sit on another chair. However one person would have to sit at the centre and call the name of another fruit. In this game, student's ordinary identities are suspended as they are given a new name and a clear role, which involves, in turn, a clear set of actions. ...read more.

Conclusion

In addition, play props provide good opportunities for children to learn new words, such as stethoscope, coupons, etc. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of helping young children learn the language arts through play is that children learn to talk by talking, and read by reading. Doing them is the best way of learning these skills. Dramatic play also provides meaningful opportunities through which children can be introduced to reading and writing. Food cartons in a grocery store theme are wonderful sources as are signs in a traffic theme. A "let's go grocery shopping" sequence of dramatic play could have children wishing to try to write their own shopping list. The interest may yield only scribbles, but the interest remains. To conclude, Drama plays such and important part in our lives and we do not even realise it. I feel that it is a terrible pity that adults stop playing. I think the following sums up the importance of drama in our lives. We do stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing. ...read more.

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