Exploring Drama Conventions

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Learning about the components of drama, including conventions
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New Zealand Year 2 Drama Lesson Plan: Exploring Drama Conventions


This 40-minute drama lesson is designed for Year 2 students in New Zealand, focusing on introducing the basic components and conventions of drama. The lesson aligns with the New Zealand Curriculum standards for the arts at Level 1, encouraging students to develop practical knowledge and skills in drama.


Students will be able to identify and apply basic drama conventions through collaborative storytelling and enactment.

Resources Needed

- A selection of simple props (e.g., hats, scarves, small objects)
- A storybook with clear narrative structure
- Space for movement and group work

Curriculum Area and Level

- Curriculum Area: The Arts – Drama
- Level: Level 1, which corresponds to Years 1-3 in primary schooling. According to the New Zealand Curriculum, students at this level are expected to "communicate and interpret simple ideas and feelings through drama."

Lesson Plan Outline

1. Introduction (5 minutes)

- Welcome and setup: Greet the students and briefly explain that today, they will learn about drama conventions.
- Warm-up activity: Engage students in a simple warm-up game such as "Freeze Frame," where they move around the room, and when the teacher says 'freeze,' they must stop and pose like a statue.

2. Introduction to Drama Conventions (10 minutes)

- Discussion: Introduce the concept of drama conventions as "special tools that help us tell stories in drama." Use simple language and examples, e.g., speaking in a funny voice, pretending to be animals, or using a scarf as multiple props.
- Visual aid: Show images or short video clips (if feasible) demonstrating drama conventions in use. These clips can come from child-friendly plays or movies.

3. Storytelling Activity (10 minutes)

- Story selection: Read aloud a well-known children's story with a clear beginning, middle, and end (e.g., "The Three Little Pigs").
- Group brainstorming: Invite students to discuss which parts of the story could be enhanced using drama conventions. For example, how could they show the wolf's anger or the pigs' fear?

4. Practising Drama Conventions (10 minutes)

- Group work: Divide students into small groups of 3-4. Give each group a specific part of the story to present using drama conventions discussed. Provide props to encourage creativity.
- Rehearsal: Allow each group time to plan and rehearse their scene. Roam around to assist and encourage groups to think imaginatively about how to use their voices, expressions, and props.

5. Presentation and Review (5 minutes)

- Performances: Have each group present their short scene to the class. Encourage applause and positive feedback from peers.
- Discussion: After each performance, discuss what drama conventions were used and how they helped tell the story. This reinforces understanding and appreciation of the conventions.

Conclusion (Wrap-up and reflection – 5 minutes)

- Invite students to reflect on what they learned about drama conventions. Ask them to name their favourite convention and why they liked it.
- Mention that in the next lesson, they will have the opportunity to create their own mini-stories using the conventions they've learned today.

By the end of this lesson, Year 2 students should have a foundational understanding of drama conventions and how they can be applied to storytelling, setting a solid basis for further exploration in subsequent lessons.
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