Tag Archives: Drama

Sit still or wiggle?

Just because children are told to sit still, that doesn’t mean that’s the best way to study.

“Put a group of 8 year olds in a room and play some music with a clear rhythm, and they will move.  Some will move gracefully, others may jump about waving their arms and kicking out.”

We looked at my colleague as he said this – still an enthusiastic and highly energetic dancer himself, although well past the age most people associate with anything more than a slow waltz.

“So it’s a primitive response to rhythm,” said another of the editorial team in a ‘I’m stating the obvious’ voice.  “Does that help children learn French?” 

“Yes,” said the dancer.  He swears by dancing, dances modern styles rather than ballroom several nights a week, and travels across the country, even across Europe whenever possible.

“But most people don’t dance,” came the counter argument.

And then I got the point.  True, in our society most people don’t dance – but children do dance.  In most cases, no one has taught them, they just do it.  Which is why dance and movement are ways to teach other subjects – in this case French.

Because if you can actively involve the body, learning comes more naturally and stays in the memory far longer.

Which is why we have a DVD of simple routines which combine movements with repetition of important phrases, making learning languages easy and enjoyable.

To see how click on this link, it takes you to a part of the les couleurs video where Lynn Dryden, the author of Jouez, Dansez et Apprenez le Français demonstrates her dance routine with the children of Mountfield Primary School in Newcastle.

“Show me research that suggests that sitting still enhances learning,” I said, and there was silence for once in my office. 

“Movement is distracting,” replied the main objector on my team (why is there always one nay-sayer in every group?)  

“But not when everyone does it,” I replied.

And so here, for each topic, in addition to the main dance routine, there is also a bank of movement activities that introduce and reinforce the vocabulary, enabling the whole topic to be taught actively.

These tried and tested routines and activities have been developed by a language specialist who is also a qualified dance teacher and have been utilised with pupils and students of all ages, achieving outstanding results throughout.

There is more information on Jouez, Dansez et Apprenez le Français on our website.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, French, Key Stage 2, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Music, National Curriculum, Physical Education (PE), Primary school, Teaching Ideas

A dramatic approach to teaching French

9781783172450 Fun French Fairy Tale Plays Brilliant Publications

Fun French Fairy Tale Plays

Make a drama out of teaching French in the primary classroom

It is imperative that a diverse range of teaching and learning methods are used in the primary classroom, not least because one child will have a very different preferred learning style to the next. Yet there are very few French teaching resources that respond to the needs of kinaesthetic learners, which is why we have produced Fun French Fairy Tale Plays, written by Dot Hamilton.

These 10 specially written plays are adaptations of well-known stories; however each story is given a special twist to add humour. For example, Rapunzel lives at the top of the Eiffel Tower and Snow White loves to play sports, especially golf!

The plays provide an ideal way of motivating children aged 7–13 to learn French. Indeed, pupils will enjoy the challenge of learning a French script and will subsequently gain confidence through performing it to an audience of adults and/or their fellow pupils.

The plays use simple repetitive language and are easily adaptable. Each play has a specific language focus, making it easy to link the plays to topics that the pupils are studying.

The book contains reproducible scripts, English translations and suggestions for performing the plays, and the CD-Rom contains audio files of native French speakers performing the plays, as well as a pdf version of the book.

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Filed under French, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

What is the most effective way of preparing young children for primary school and beyond?

Introducing regular drama activities to young children is a highly effective way of developing the self-confidence, social skills, and understanding of the world that will prepare them for primary school and beyond.

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Filed under Drama, Early years, Key Stage, Key Stage 0, Key Stage 1, Nursery and Preschool, Teaching Ideas

Get dramatic with grammar

The last place you might expect to find drama is in the teaching of grammar.  And yet between the full stops and the capital letters, there is movement …

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Filed under English, Key Stage, Key Stage 2, National Curriculum, Teaching Ideas

Help children develop self-confidence and social skills

Children who get regular opportunities to work in groups and express themselves invariably develop self-confidence and social skills more rapidly and more comprehensively than children who don’t.

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Filed under Key Stage, Key Stage 0, Key Stage 1, Music, Nursery and Preschool, PSHE, Teaching Ideas