High Interest Primary Novels Drama Workshops

by Sue Marshall

Now your pupils can be gripped by a novel before they've even read a word!

HI Drama CoverI Didn't Do It! CoverHere's a novel way to encourage your pupils to get into a good book.

We know that these High Interest stories are enjoyed by just about everyone in the class or reading group – no matter how long or how short a time it takes any one child to read any one story. So we know that just about everyone could be engaged in discussing a story: very inclusive!

The problem, though, is to encourage some of the pupils – those more reluctant to read any book at all – to open the cover in the first place. And that's where the Drama Workshops come in. In simple-to-manage classroom scenes, you – and the members of your group – can bring these pacy, action-packed and relevent stories to life even before they've read a word. Before they've even seen the cover!

How do the Workshops work?

Sue Marshall comes from an acting (Theatre, TV and Radio) and teaching (both State and Private) background. Working with Birmingham Rep Theatre and the Family Learning Services from Birmingham City Council, Sue produced a wide range of workshops which were used in schools throughout the West Midlands and beyond. The Robinswood Workshops prepared by Sue Marshall have been created to:

– establish an understanding of the characters involved.
– generate empathy with situations in the plot.
– help pupils 'visualise' a story for themselves.
– motivate pupils to read the book voluntarily.

Each low-cost download Workshop provides Teachers and Teaching Assistants with all the guidance necessary to run a simple drama workshop around a particular High Interest Primary story. And each has been prepared using elements from that story. These include characterisations which reflect actual characters within the story but without necessarily establishing precise or defined personalities. And they incorporate situations – or 'Scenarios' – from the story, but not the story itself. And certainly not the ending... for that, they'll have to read the book!

"But I don't do Drama – I just teach Literacy!"

Even if a teacher has little or no experience of using drama in the classroom as a formal 'Workshop', many of the skills required will already be in use in general teaching practice and classroom management. There are various techniques that can be used in running simple workshops – such as improvisation, mime, freeze-framing – which are all described in these Workshops. Each downloadable book also includes a series of familiar and popular 'warm-up' games which help to overcome any initial inhibitions or lethargy (should there happen to be any...).

The 'Scenarios' and drama techniques are all there to provide a resource. Every teacher, every setting, every reading group will require a slightly different approach. But the end result should be the same: the request by all to read the original book.

Where do I get them from?

The first Workshops are still available on a 'Free-Trial' basis throughout 2016. From Spring Term 2017, the downloads will be priced at £5.99 (including VAT).

The workshops available at present are:

I Didn't Do It! CoverPump CoverThe Crash Cover'I Didn't Do It!'


'The Crash'

– and they're all still FREE! – download now!

Click here to go back to the High Interest Primary novels.

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