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5 tips to learn your script lines inside out!

How to know your lines inside out and back to front ready for rehearsal!

The first job is to highlight your characters lines so they are easy to identify.

Then chunk your lines into sections or scenes to make the process more manageable.

Learning lines for your part in a performance requires commitment and dedication to the company or team of actors you are working with.

Here are a few great tips to help you:

1. Verbalising your lines will cement them. Repeat saying lines aloud to yourself. Try looking into a mirror as you speak. Mix up your voice changing your pace, pitch or volume. Speak with different emotions or sing your script. Say lines in different locations, the car and the shower are always good spots!

Practicing a little and often is a good approach. Studies have shown that instead of counting sheep - learning lines before bed leads to optimum recall.

2. Move around as you say your lines. This helps to find a rhythm as you speak and assist with retaining dialogue. Try moving in different ways or at different speeds. Say your lines doing various activities like dancing, tidying up or putting laundry away.

3. Have someone read the line before and after yours so you learn the script sequence and your cues to speak.

4. Write your lines out! Putting pen to paper puts the lines in slow motion enabling you to ponder the plays characters and their dynamics.

5. Make a recording of your script and listen to it! (Depending on script length, either a whole cast recording could be made or you could record yourself reading the script). This also helps you to reflect on how you are delivering your lines.

Becoming confident with your lines enables the rehearsal process to flow with ease, so that full concentration can be focused on extracting the best performance from an actor.

Drama games and activities to help celebrate the Olympics Rio 2016


Drama games and activities to help celebrate the Olympics Rio 2016 

The Olympics kick off in Rio on the 6th of August. Here are some great drama games and activities to support drama or classroom teachers, or fun ideas for lounge room drama at home!

Mime:

1. Olympics Charades

 Students to mime out different sports. You could use the Pictograms for Rio. You can do this as a whole class or in groups.

2. Pass the Sports Gear Present

You are having a send off party for Olympic athletes. Sitting in a circle, a student takes a present (size and shape, determined by the way that they carry it) to another student and puts it in front of them. They then open it and mime what is in the 'package'. The rest of the group guesses which piece of sports gear was in the parcel.

3. Medal Ceremonies / At the Finish Line

Create mimes depicting these glorious moments of victory. In groups of 4, have the medal winners walk in and receive their medals and wreaths from the presenter, sing the anthem and then congratulate each other.  Or capture that moment the cyclists or marathon runners cross that finish line!

You could use these medal templates for props!

 OR

Add in Freeze frames and thought tracking to build character.

OR

Create mimed scenes or improvisations based around 'Drama at the Podium'... what could go wrong?

Improvisation  

4. What are you Doing? - Olympic Style!

Student begins improvising a scene eg, practicing kicking winning goals.  A student enters the scene and asks "What are you doing?" The student kicking the ball replies with a completely different sport or related activity "I'm warming up for the 100m final". and the game continues...

5. Live - Three News

Two students are the sports experts and another the reporter. The reporter is interviewing the experts about a new sport debuting at the Rio Olympics, one that is completely made up, either by the children or offered by the audience/teacher/parent. The reporter asks question relating to the sport such as rules, the training involved. Then the experts can demonstrate the sport  - like we are watching footage on TV.

For fun someone could have a pretend remote control - add in fast forward, rewind instant replay and slow motion. (*Younger children could create mime's of different sports and apply the use of the remote control! Click here for Zany Sports Ideas!

6. Let the Games Begin ( for older students)

The Opening Ceremony is all about all the countries coming together and for the hosting country to share their culture and history. Group children into four or five.  Provide a written snippet about the countries history. The groups must then prepare a short presentation through movement, dance, dramatic reading to share their piece of history.

7. The Chores

Imagine that vacuuming the lounge was an Olympic sport! In groups of four, 2 performers are the athletes and two are the sports commentators. The athletes dramatically participate in the race to complete the challenge whilst the announcers provide the running commentary.

Some ideas for comment include:

  • The athletes race itself from warm up to finish
  • The history of the game
  • Who the reigning champions are
  • Sport skill required
  • Training involved
  • What they need to eat to be fit and healthy for this sport
  • The athletes younger days - how they got started in the sport
  • Previous set backs, wins and successes!

Again add in slow motion fast forward for fun!

8. Gibberish Meeting

Scene: the Olympic Village Cafeteria. Three players. One speaks English, they other is non English Speaking (in this case gibberish) and an interpreter/friend. The scene starts with all three eating lunch.

The English speaker says to the non English speaker: "can you please pass the salt." The translator jumps in with "(name) doesn't speak English and the scene continues with the conversation between the two and the translator - well translating! (Could also play this game as a sports interview or as podium conversations).

9. Sport Star Profile

Provide or ask for an unusual sport. - Eg: Tight rope walking. Two players. One narrates TV interview style and the other listens and acts/mimes out what the narrator is saying. A visual card prompt could be used depending on the age of the children. *See 6. The Chores for interview prompt inspiration!

10. Olympic Location and Situation.

In groups of four, children can create interesting scenes, based on the location and situation/problem provided. The players need to build characters, story line working through the motions of resolving the scenes problem.

You could replay scenes calling freeze and having another member of the group take the place of a student to change the scenes direction (a quirk could also be added Eg; can't stop dancing, does star jumps etc...

11. Your Stories, your Sports

Group of 4-5 students. Groups to select a story they all know. Such as Little Red Riding Hood. Decide on a related sport (can be as zany or unsporty as you like) e.g. a  tree chopping contest.

One player is the competition host, introducing the competitors, getting them organised and narrating the race, and presenting the winner with the prize.

And action!

Other Useful Links:

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/

http://www.sparklebox.co.uk/topic/world-around-us/society/leisure/olympics.html


Our School Holiday Drama Class Poems

Our School Holiday Drama Class Poems

Thanks to all the children and families who attended Sunshine Drama's School Holiday Creative Drama Classes last week.

Wibbly Wobbly Jungle Bridge

The preschoolers and I had a great time on our jungle safari. We explored role play moving as different animals and making their sounds through the jungle, challenging our coordination, balance and spatial awareness.

Together we drew on our prior knowledge and imagined what the jungle looks like.

We carefully navigated trees, streams and wobbly bridges! Towards the end of the session we rested under the letter A apple tree. We picked delicious apples working on crossing the mid-line and we wrote the letter A using our lions whiskers, elephant trunks and tigers paws!

Scrambled Snake

In the Scrambled Snake session we all took on the role of Private Eye Monster Spotters. The Butterfly from the forest called the office to tell us she had sighted The Gruffalo!

Fortunately she then flew down to the office to make an official statement. We explored, telephone conversational skills, hot seating and devising open ended questions using the W's and H as prompts.

Next we carefully packed our bags (mime) and set off on our quest to hunt for the Gruffalo.

After some trekking over varied terrain and portraying a few animals along the way, we finally found him!

We made Gruffalo freeze frames following the description from the story and revisited hot seating this time to gain some insight into the Gruffalo himself - who was indeed very friendly and just wanted to join us for lunch!

Twist a Poem 

Our 'Twist a Poem' class explored three contrasting poems. With Spaghetti By Pauline Cartright, students created an improvised scene whereby a spaghetti cooking disaster occurred in the kitchen!

We work-shopped the scene to build dialogue between the characters. Following on, we used a spatula (from the cooking!), to introduce the quick thinking Theatre Sports game 'Many uses of an object'.

We then created some frozen images based on Rachel Lyman-Fields poem, I'd Like to be a Lighthouse.

Adding spoken thoughts to each still image. From there the students devised and presented a short script centred around a problem on board the ship.

Lastly, it was onto an all time favourite poem - Daddy Fell into the Pond by Alfred Noyes. We played Freeze Frame Camera, and collated descriptive language based on the natural resources found in the garden from the poem.

Learning Intentions

Although the learning intentions for each session were different to meet the needs of each age group, there were two applicable to all classes.

We are learning to:
  • Develop our quick thinking skills
  • Confidently share our creative ideas with others.
In all classes, we used some natural resources (rocks, pine cones, leaves and twigs) as a stimulus to share descriptive language. We talked about what the resources, felt, looked and sounded like.

The children provided some great descriptive language which I have collated into poems (see below) for all to enjoy.

Well done authors, you should be very proud of your  thoughtful responses! You did a fantastic job!

Wibbly Wobbly Jungle Bridge (Preschool)

Jungle Explorers

Smooth, cold rocks,
crunchy leaves,
big twigs and bumpy pine cones.

 Scrambled Snake (Years 1-4)

The Forest

Hard, smooth, wobbly rocks, it feels rough... watch it roll - thump!
Pine cones are bumpy and lumpy and long tree twigs snap!
Soft, squashy, crunchy and rustly winter leaves!

Twist a Poem  (Years 5-8)

Winter Leaves

Light, but rough like sandpaper
Crinkly, rustling
Feels like paper.
Crunchy, flakey
Coiled and springy.

Stones

Thump on the ground
Like a loud shouting human.
Heavy and round,
Rough and tough.

Tree Twigs

Sharp, pokey
Cracking…
like broken bones.
Flaking twigs sound like ripping trousers
Snap!

Ten creative and economic school holiday activities to do in Wellington!

Screenshots from Room on the Broom and Stick Man
Holidays start next week, middle of winter… Eek!  - what to do??

Look no further, here are 10 great activities that I have located and collated for your convenience.

Naturally the first on my list are my very own Sunshine Drama Holiday Classes

Sunshine Drama enable students to explore creative thinking, build confidence and become effective communicators and performers. Come along for a creative blast and see what our lessons are all about!

Cost: Gold coin / koha donation
Date:Thursday 14th July
Session Times:
9-9.40am 3-4 yr olds - Wibbly Wobbly Jungle Bridge      
9.50-10.50am Years 1-4, Scrambled Snake
11-12pm Years 5-8, Twist a Poem
Location: Karori Community Centre, 7 Beauchamp Street, Karori
Bookings: Are essential. Click the above link or 028 402 6793 or sunshinedrama.nz@gmail.com

Kapital Kids Theatre - DinoRock - A Musical for Kids

Written and Directed by: Aaron Blackledge

Cost: $10 per person (2+ years) $9 for groups of 10 or more
Times: 11am and 1pm Tuesday – Friday and 11am on Saturdays 
Location: Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street
Ages: All ages
Bookings: 934 0468  / http://www.kapitallkidstheatre.co.nz/bookings


Synopsis from the website:
“DinoLand is overheating, and the only way it can be stopped is if all of the volcanoes erupt at once through the power of rock music’s vibrations. Enter DinoRoar, the best dinosaur rock band there is! With very little time left and the band unsure of their song choice, things are only made worse when the bass player Snarl decides she wants complete control and decides to steal the instruments and hide them. Will the band be able to find their instruments? What song will they decide to play? Can DinoLand be saved?"

Southern Cross 

Check the link for all of the awesome activities on offer at the Southern Cross during the school holidays! From puppetry, to art classes to interactive theatre, the Southern Cross has it covered!


Below are two of their free events. Info from the Southern Cross website…

“Interactive Kids Theatre - Saturday 9th July 11am
Join Playshop Theatre in the Guest Room for some entertaining and interactive kids’ theatre, using classic fairy tales. This free event is on the second Saturday of every month in the Guest Room.


Puppet Show and Workshop - Friday 15th July 11am & Saturday 23rd July 11am

Come see Fingal from KidzStuff Theatre perform an extra special School Holiday show with her puppet pals - then make your own! This free event is on the fourth Saturday of every month in the Guest Room.”


Kidzstuff Theatre - The Owl and the Pussy Cat

Written by: Rachel Henry, Directed by: Sherilee Kahui

Cost: $10 per person (2+ years) $9 for groups of 10 or more
Times: 11am and 1pm Tuesday – Friday and 11am on Saturdays 
Location: 4 Moncrief Street, Mt Victoria
Ages: For the whole family
Bookings: fohkidzstuff@gmail.com / 04 385 0292

Synopsis from the website...      

                          
“This charming new work uses rhyme, song, and dance to tell the love story of feline and fowl, as our hero Pig Robinson leads young audiences on an adventure through time, across the sea and up into the bong trees. Come along to see how the Owl met the Pussycat and just what a Jumbly is! With our usual kiwi twist on traditional fairy stories, songs and audience participation (as well as a few jokes for the adults) The Owl and the Pussycat is sure to delight!”

Junior Detective Trail - NZ Police Museum
          
Cost: Free admission
Times: Thursday 7 July 2016 – Sunday 31 July 2016 10:00am – 5:00pm
Location: Papakowhai Rd, Papakowhai, Porirua - Mana
Bookings: fohkidzstuff@gmail.com / 04 385 0292
Age: For all ages

Event Info from the website:

“The Junior Detective Trail is an activity sheet that leads children throughout the museum. The Trail is jam packed full of activities that will keep children of all ages entertained!


Plus: We have all the usual favourites including police uniform dress ups and the M.O.T. motorbike; they make a great photo opportunity for the young and the young at heart! For kids who want more of a challenge, try the Senior Detective Mystery.”

Room on the Broom and Stick Man - animated films

Cost: $5 Per person (Under 3 Free)
Times: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 11am, both weeks of the hols
Location: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, 84 Taranaki Street
Bookings: see website
Note: “Classification: PG - some scenes might scare very young children

Synopsis from the website:

“Iggety, ziggety, zaggety, ZOOM! Multiple award-winning Room on the Broom!

A kind witch invites a surprising collection of animals to join her on her broom, much to the frustration of her cat. But is there room on the broom for so many friends? And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon?


And then, meet Stick Man! Stick Man lives in the family tree, with his Stick Lady Love and their stick children three.


Out for his regular jog, Stick Man is picked up by a playful dog and launched on a series of unfortunate adventures that take him ever further away from home. The seasons pass, until Stick Man meets a surprising friend who might just be able to help him get back. But will he make it home in time for Christmas?”

Weta Holiday Programme


Cost: $30- $50 per student
Times: 2 hr workshops and different times during the day. See the link above.
Location: Corner Camperdown Rd & Weka St, Miramar, Wellington

Ok, a little bit not so economical but I couldn’t resist adding it in!A chance to go behind the scenes and see how the magic at Weta evolves! From working with props, sculpting or rocket building, there is something for everyone! See the link for more details of each workshop.

The Magical Fantasy World of Roald Dahl

Cost: Free of charge
Times:
Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: Thursday 14th July, 11am
Miramar Library: Friday 15th July, 2pm
Karori Library: Tuesday 19th July, 11am
Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: Tuesday 19th July, 2pm
Central Library: Wednesday 20th July, 11am
Johnsonville Library: Thursday 21st July, 11am
Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: Friday 22nd July, 11am

 Ages: 6-12 Years              
Bookings: No booking required

Event Info from the website:

“Due to the release of the movie The BFG and with 2016 being his 100th birthday, we are celebrating that amazing author - Roald Dahl.


During the school holidays kids can whizz-pop their way into a library for some whoopsy-splunkers fun! We will be exploring the life of Roald Dahl, learning Gobblefunk (the language of The BFG), competing in a clever matching game, and creating dream jars. Your kids will be frothbuggling if they miss this one.”

Hutt Welly Libraries 

This is just one of the awesome creative events our Hutt Welly Libraries have on offer these hols! Check out the above link to check out the event schedule.

Cost: Free of charge
Times: Monday 11 July 2016 3:00pm – 4:00pm  
Location: Lower Hutt War Memorial Library Cnr Queens Drive and Woburn Road, Lower Hutt
Ages: All ages                  
Bookings: No booking required
Event Info from the website:

“Join Peter Wilson, creator of the award winning children's theatre company, Little Dog Barking, and meet some of their cherished handmade puppets up close.
Peter will read the books 'Guji Guji' and 'Duck, Death and the Tulip' which their shows are based on, and demonstrate how to make your own special little puppet.”


The Great War Exhibtion: School Holiday Adventure Programme

Cost: Child Educational Tour- $5.00. For the Poppy Workshop, Book Reading, & for Supervising Adults, their is no charge
Times: Monday 11 July 2016 – Sunday 24 July 2016 10:30am – 12:30pm
Location: Dominion Museum Building, 15 Buckle Street, Wellington
Ages: All ages         
Bookings: No booking required. Children must be accompanied by a supervising adult with a maximum of 3 children per adult.

 


 Event Info from the website:


“Created by Sir Peter Jackson and supported by ANZ, The Great War Exhibition tells the story of the First World War in brilliant colour. This world-class exhibition melts away the last 100 years and creates an engaging experience for children to learn about and understand this pivotal time in history. Explore, learn and create with our inspiring guides these school holidays.

- Educational tours departing daily at 10:30 am, helping children to connect further with the exhibition.
- Free poppy-making workshops in our on-site cafe - creating poppies to take home or to put on the memorial in the Exhibition, available daily at 11:30 am.
- Free book readings from a selection of the stunning books from our themed Exhibition shop, available daily at 12 pm.”

“Kids also receive a complimentary adventure pack to enhance their understanding and make it all even more fun.”

Happy Holidays!


Dramatic play with Building Blocks!

Colourful Building Blocks

What is Block Play and what are the benefits?

Playing with single unit building blocks is a valuable learning activity for all ages with so much scope for creativity. They are available in different materials, shapes, sizes and colours to best suit different age groups.

Using blocks is a fun, imaginative and engaging way that enables cognitive development to take off. It develops fine motor skills, hand - eye coordination along with planning and organisational skills.

It enables children to develop emotional and social skills (respect, turn taking, and cooperation) when working with others.

Building with blocks develops concentration, persistence and patience as children work through the process of overcoming challenges and finding solutions.

It teaches children that we all have different perspectives as they share their ideas and listen to others and it of course brings a great sense of satisfaction to share in the happiness of completed projects!

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” - Albert Einstein


What can block play tell us about our children?

We can learn a great deal about children by observing their approach to block play. Here are some reflective points:
 
  • What is their consistency in application / level of concentration? 
  • Method of construction - any planning? 
  • How do they overcome challenges? 
  • Do they take take risks? 
  • Are they forming Independent work habits? 
  • How do they verbalise their process? (describing how and what they have made) 
  • Do they prefer to work alone or collaboratively with their peers? 
  • Is the child a leader, follower or a collaborator?

Rather than asking "What is it? or saying "fix it like this" some suggestions are:
  • Tell me all about your building? 
  • I wonder why your structure is falling down? 
  • I've noticed you keep using that blue block, could you try an different one? 
  • Tell me about your jungle? 
  • How will the monkey's swing from tree to tree? 
  • How did you start? What did you do next? 
  • This part is awesome, can you tell me why you built the tunnel like this? 
  • Who might live here? Where would they eat dinner? etc 
  • What is your favourite part of your construction? 
  • Is their anything you would like to or could add?

How blocks can be used for dramatic play?

Use picture books to fuel imagination. Build a scene from a story. You could display the book as an inspiration point. For example, build the forest from The Gruffalo.

Using a story such as the Three Billy Goats Gruff, build a bridge with blocks and act out the story using popsicle stick goat puppets or change the story up and choose different animals.

Stick a full sized photo of a child onto a block and cover with wide tape or clear book cover. The children can then put themselves and their friends into the construction. For example if the children have made a town, the block people can go shopping. Great for role play!

Use plastic animals, dinosaurs or toys, stuffed animals, action figures to play in the block constructions. Build a zoo, jungle or park etc to suit the toy. Model creating a story line with the toys and play alongside children to develop their understanding of plot development.

Make roads in all sorts of shapes and patterns. Drive the cars down the road! Create a story around this. Where are the people in the cars going? Are their any stops on the way?

Provide pictures of constructions such as towers, bridges, sky scrapers, castles etc and let this be the start of where the imagination goes!

Throw fabric over a block construction and create a scene. Maybe its a dark gloomy forest or tall castle nestled in the hills. Who lives there? What is the characters problem? How will they solve it? All great oral narrative story telling development.

You don't just have to use wooden blocks to build. Here are some things that you might like to add to your collection: DVD covers, CDs, tins, paper towel rolls, cracker boxes, yogurt pottles.

Wrap blocks in tin foil or paper and role play birthdays or Christmas! This is one of my little one's favorite things to do!

Use diggers and the like to move the rubble (blocks) at the construction site! Some kids are big transporters and love to move blocks and make piles!


Some other fun ideas!

Make towers outside to form a shadow and draw around the outline with chalk.

Using a large shallow tray, shaving foam, and blocks (along with supervision!!) let the kids have fun using the foam like cement to build, build build!!

Draw a shape and get the children to fill the shape with blocks (can make it into a challenge, racing against the clock or other friends) Get children to draw their own shapes and fill them.

Use blocks to develop maths' concepts: make patterns, sort and classify blocks by shape and or colour. Lie a mirror on the floor, add blocks and check out the reflections!

Take pictures of all of the magical and intricate structures and scenes that grace your lounge or classroom floors - capture the success, creativity, learning and fun!

Creative Commons image used courtesy stevendepolo on Flickr.

Calling all Countdown Card Collectors!!!


How to use Countdown Collector Cards in Drama

I am a self confessed Countdown Card collector. I have exchanged many 'I still need...'texts (text recipients you know who you are - I'm not alone), filed and organised, swapped and posted cards and been really nice to check out operators in the hopes they might slide an extra few cards my way! That sense of achievement as I slid the 'last' card into the pocket - so satisfying (I clearly need to get out more!).

With completed albums (out of the reach of little hands), there is still the excess that are regularly strewn around our lounge room floor with the accompanying paraphernalia - projectors, stickers, animal making sound machines and the like.

So here are some suggestions of ways to use these precious little rectangles in other creative and productive ways to engage your children or students!

The ultimate guessing game - Charades!


The ultimate guessing game - Charades!

What I like about the game Charades, is that that can be enjoyed by young and old alike.

Charades is word guessing game where by the performer mimes (no speaking) out a word, action or a phrase.

I have played it with primary school classes, creative drama students and with my own family at home!

Primary teachers, it makes for great transition time game while you wait for everyone to join you on the mat.

It teaches the performer:
  • Imaginative, quick thinking
  • How to use facial expression, gesture and movement
  • Ways to convey emotion non verbally
  • To interact with an audience
  • Vocabulary/language development 
 It teaches the audience to:
  • Concentrate
  • Make observations
  • Listen and respond
  • Show appreciation of a performance
  • Build their vocabulary
The Game

There are many variations of this game. With under tens I keep it simple with drawing a card from a hat or a box. Cards typically have an animal, action or phrase written on it.

With under fives and junior primary school, I use picture cards with the word underneath.

The performer selects a card and acts it out whilst the class watches and offers their observations.

With bigger groups, its best to limit guesses to three so that you can let the next student choose a card and the game can continue.

 "Charades for Kids" is is an essential for your teacher tool kit. Here are some cards I made when I couldn't find my copy of the game.

The Game for older students

Equipment:
  • Stop watch or egg timer
  • Basket/hat
  • Slips of paper with ideas on them (Categories can include: quotes, movies, books, songs, TV shows, Plays, People, Locations, Events, Word or a phrase
  • Pen and paper for keeping score
Rules:
  • Divide into two even teams
  • Taking turns, each player chooses a card with word or phrase written on it (can be a category, see above)
  • Set the timer to indicate time frame that the player has to perform
  • No sound or lip movement, or pointing to objects to assist
  • Teams take turns until all members have had a chance to act out a card
  • Keep score if you wish!
Charades Cards offers some great playing tips:

Players can indicate category by:
  • Quote/Saying - Make quote signs with 2 fingers on both hands
  • Movies - Pretend to use an old fashioned film camera, cranking a handle to operate it and looking through the lense
  • Books - Open a pretend book with your hands
  • Music/Songs - Simulate sound coming out of your mouth with your hands
  • TV - Draw a television shaped rectangle in the air with your hands
  • Plays - Pretend to pull the ropes of a theatre curtain
  • People - Stand with your hands on your hips
  • Location - Draw an Earth with your fingers, then point somewhere in the middle
  • Event - Point at your watch (or just your wrist if you're not wearing one)
  • Word/Phrase - Similar to Quote/Saying, make quote signs with your hands
Some Non Verbal  clues can be given:
  • Think!! - point at your head and wave your finger in a circle
  • Number of words in the phrase - Hold up the appropriate number of fingers, e.g. hold up 5 fingers to show it's a phrase with 5 words
  • Which word you are working on - Hold up the number of fingers again, e.g. hold up 3 fingers to show you're working on the 3rd word
  • Number of syllables in the word - Rest one finger per syllable on your arm and show the audience
  • Which syllable you're working on - Rest the number of fingers on your arm to show which syllable you're working on
  • Length of word - Make a little or big sign with your hands as if you were measuring a fish
  • Sounds like / Rhymes with - Pull your earlobe
Inspiration for Four Categories:

Movies: Frozen, Lion King, Madagascar, Toy Story, Happy Feet, The Sound of Music, ET, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Transformers, Jurassic Park

TV: Sponge Bob Square Pants, Pingu, Sesame Street, Peppa Pig, Magic School Bus, Care Bears, The Wiggles, Fragle Rock, Scooby Doo, The Flintstones

Locations: The beach, supermarket, ski field, Australia, movies, school, soccer game, park, pool, zoo

People: hairdresser, mechanic, ballerina, rugby star, gardener, shop keeper, mailman, artist, florist, reporter

Have fun!

20 Picture books that can spark the imagination!



There's no such thing as a Gruffalo!

Here is a list of our favourites, many of which have been well road tested by my son! A great go to list if you want to buy a gift or change up your reading material.
    These stories come in handy when devising a thematic drama lesson, containing lots of potential to cover key drama learning areas. I look forward to choosing a story and sharing a lesson plan down the track!

    20 Picture books that can spark the imagination!
    1. The Gruffalo By Julia Donaldson
    2. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt By Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
    3. Mr Muggs the Library Cat by Dave Gunson

    Let the climbing frame become the Pirate Ship!

    An adventurous pirate
    Let the climbing frame become the Pirate Ship!

    Parents and caregivers, here's 10 quick ideas to bring out some creativity when you're at the park with your little ones:

    1. Use park play space structures to your advantage.

    “Ahoy! Where be that treasure? Arrrgh!?” Build stories with your children, role playing your quest to search for buried treasure!

    Utilising playground equipment is an easy way to develop gross motor skills.

    Climbing and hanging help strengthen muscles, swinging and seesawing support the vestibular system, which is to do with balance.

    Playgrounds help children develop their spatial awareness and depth perception, given the many levels that can be found in the construction of playground equipment.


    2. Grab your binoculars, magnifying glasses and set off on your expedition! Take an explorers box and gather things of interest from nature or hunt for insects.

    You could use these things to take home and create pictures, or make 3D scenes. Leaves, pine cones, stones and bark have lots of artistic potential.

    3. It’s a race - explore space! Give instructions, skip to the swings, hop to the slide, balance on the rocks, wiggle like a worm to the see saw and the list continues.

    Let your children share their own movement ideas too!

    4. Roll!

    Literally roll down any grassy slopes you can find! Rolling is a great sensory experience.
    It builds strength and coordination and assists with both vestibular and midline development!

    5. Cup of tea? Don't mind if I do!

    Take Teddy to the park and have a picnic! Let the kids take the reins (with you as the helper) preparing food, packing and setting it out once at the park.

    Pretending twigs, leafs etc are delicious foods is another fun option!

    6. Take bubble wands and imagine!

    Chase them, catch them, run away from them, jump on them!

    Turn them into monsters, robots, fairy dust... etc. Bubble play has many educational benefits. It helps develop fine motor, oral and visual tracking skills along with hand/eye coordination.

    7. Don’t just feed the ducks, be the ducks!

    Quack, waddle, preen your wings! Pretend to dive and swim in the water.

    Observe and talk about them, chase and feed them. You could even go home and draw them and write a story about your experience.

    8. Get set go! Plan an obstacle course that uses playground equipment.

    Up the steps backwards, down the slide, run and touch the swing frame, race around the rubbish bin and then up to the top of the climbing frame.

    Super heroes run pretty fast! Are you game to wear your capes?

    9. You can’t go wrong with Hide and Go Seek, Tag, Follow the Leader or Eye Spy. Timeless games that all children love to play!

    10. Scavenger Hunt!

    Kids love to look for things. Give them a bag to collect things from a list or a pencil and paper to check off found items. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Something as simple as:
    • Find a smooth leaf
    • Find a pointy leaf
    • Find a Brown leaf
    • Find a big leaf

    This could be just what you need to keep your little ones busy searching!

    Pirate image copyright Jenae Ryan

    How creative drama is like doing long division (in a good way!)

    long division calculation

    How creative drama is like long division (in a good way!)

    While I'm all about moving with the times and equipping children with the skills they need to navigate their way around the many electronic devices at their fingertips, creative drama classes ensures the art of confident communication and self-expression isn't buried under a pile of laptops and smart boards.

    Participating in such classes is a bit like long division.

    Effective communication isn’t a quick calculation. It requires thoughtful teaching steps, giving children tiers of skills to build upon.


    It's important that the art of effective verbal communication is not lost amidst hours of screen time watching Youtube videos.

    There is no doubt that children need strong verbal skills to become competent inquirers as the ability to communicate competently with a dash of 'pizazz' is what takes students down the path of success in all areas of their life.

    Exploring drama is an excellent way to develop these skills.

    Here are some examples of how it helps students to connect with others, so they can convey ideas, opinions, emotions and meaning through a range of genre, purposefully, appropriately and effectively.

    Lessons teach students to:
    • Speak clearly loudly and expressively such as by using tongue twisters
    • Look after their voices by utilising vocal warm ups and short songs
    • Use eye contact developed through games such as eyes up, eyes down
    • Listen and concentrate by following instructions, watching and engaging as their peers perform
    • Form and share opinions by participating in conversational activities based on a topic. This could be for example by telling a class mate about your favourite animal, give reasons. Next step: act it out
    • Reflect on learning. Verbalise a process, what went well, what might you do differently next time?
    • Think quick such as by use of  theatre sports games 
    • Team work. Encouragement of cooperative activities such as pass the hoop around the circle
    • Social skills and role play.  Having dramatic telephone conversations, pretending to be in different settings like the hairdresser or a spaceship, a great way to extend vocab! 
    • Understand their emotions, imagination and empathy. This can be done by games such as ‘Genre Re-play’ and improvised work enable students to explore a range of emotion and develop an understanding of their impact)
    Like tackling a maths problem the old fashioned way, each of these areas are steps in achieving the desired result.

    Unlike evolving technological breakthroughs where the need to do long division has passed, these skills are timeless.

    This makes creative drama an exceptional platform to provide fundamental life skills which can only but hold our children in good stead for their future endeavors.