Right, just ventured from our Viking Settlement, my character Eric, the Chief’s son, has been busy preparing for battle with our sworn enemy. I’ve been working with Chol since September, right from the start the children were engaged and excited to share their ideas. They worked collaboratively, in a way that I have never seen before, to develop their characters and their backgrounds. The uninterested boys in my class were suddenly discussing their characters emotions and responses to different situations (something which they had struggled to do previously in story writing and guided reading). Children bonded with each other (including myself), forming new relationships with the help of their characters. They have become more confident speakers, performers and most importantly they have become more confident writers.
The greatest impact I have seen in their work has been during our story writing. The clear difference that can be seen between their story written before building their community and after is incredible. I believe this was because of the link they felt between themselves and the characters they had created.
As a teacher this experience has opened my eyes to new methods of teaching and new ways to use the classroom to help children express themselves and their ideas. I have been taught new ways to tap into children’s imagination and have had my eyes opened to the benefit of drama in children’s education. I cannot wait to continue using the skills I have been taught in my own practice!
Cassie Dunlin, Year 5 Teacher at Cleeve Primary, Hull.