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Teaching The Elements Of Drama – An Easy Teacher’s Guide

The five elements of drama are the building blocks for how drama is created. Many school curriculums (including the Ontario Drama Curriculum) use the elements of drama as a major component of their learning expectations. When teaching the elements of drama, it’s important to consider the age but also previous experience of your students. The complexity with which you are able to study each of these elements will depend on the prior knowledge of your students, regardless of their grade. Unfortunately, particularly within the Ontario school system, many of the teachers tasked with teaching drama have little to no training or experience, making it increasingly difficult to meet the expectations of each grade level.

Role / Character

  • voice – diction, pace, volume, projection, enunciation
  • emotion
  • body language
  • gestures and movement
  • attitude
  • point of view
  • maintain focus in role
  • communicate character traits through body language
  • inner/outer life of a character
  • differentiate between authentic characters and stereotypes

Relationship

  • Listening & responding
  • developing relationships between characters
  • analyzing character based on relationships with other characters
  • how relationships influence character development

Time and Place

  • using an established setting
  • creating a fictional setting
  • relating character to the setting
  • use objects and props to suggest time and place

Tension

  • sense of mystery or problem to be solved
  • identify factors that contribute to a mystery or tension
  • use audio, visual, and/or tech/stage effects to heighten suspense and engage audience

Focus and Emphasis

  • main idea, issue, or theme
  • draw audience’s attention to specific aspects of the drama
  • use drama conventions to reveal/communicate key emotions and motivations to the audience or draw audience attention to specific aspects of the drama
  • reveal or communicate key emotions, motivations, perspectives, and ideas to the audience