The first thought I had when I was considering registering for TMA 352 was: “There sure is DRAMA in the elementary classroom!” I also talked to a friend who had taken this class and she highly recommended it. I learned that it was theatre-drama, not drama-drama (if you know what I mean…). I’m so glad that I took her advice and registered for this class. It was awesome! I can see myself using pieces of everything we learned in my own classroom someday.
My teacher was Carson Center, a graduate from BYU in Drama Teaching. The themes covered in the class are puppetry, storytelling, process drama, and more! We began the semester learning about different learning styles. We took a quiz to determine what color learning style we were. Here is a breakdown of the different styles. See if you can determine one or two that describe you.
Gold: punctual, practical, sensible, organized, stable, thorough, dependable, conservative, detailed, hard-working, solid, orderly, consistent, structured, positive, and reliable.
Green: scientific, curious, complex, abstract, independent, ingenious, intellectual, inventive, fact-oriented, logical, cool, calm, collected, and theoretical.
Blue: caring, humane, artistic, spiritual, subjective, sympathetic, insightful, compassionate, personal, peaceful, sincere, empathetic, romantic, poetic, sensitive, accepting, patient, giving, and true.
Orange: bold, entrepreneurial, generous, witty, problem solving, spontaneous, enthusiastic, competitor, performer, optimistic, charming, courageous, independent, fearless, adaptable, easy-going, mechanical, persuasive, wild, fun, and crazy.
(Learning style breakdown from George D. Nelson’s book: Breaking the Learning Barrier for Underachieving Students)
I scored very high with blue and gold learning styles. I thrive in an organized environment and artistic ways of learning tend to be most beneficial for me. In this course, we learned that drama is a great way to teach students of all these learning styles.We learned that it is easiest to teach those of your own learning style, but that we need to branch out so that every student benefits.
Our class put together a display of the many things that we learned in this course in a final presentation. We held it on the last day of class and invited our roommates, friends, and family. It was so fun!
Our program began with our classmate, Hilary, and her modern story-telling of Cinderella. Her story was set at BYU with graduation day drawing near and handsome Mr.BYU not having gotten married yet (gasp!). With the help of an awesome RA, Cinderella tries to make it to the Ball (at the Wilk, of course!), dance with Mr. BYU, and make it back to her apartment before the bell tower strikes twelve. Hilary’s story ended with Cinderella and Mr.BYU getting married in the temple for time and all eternity. It was very creative!
Next, some members of our class performed a puppet show. In this course, we all performed in a puppet show, but we previously voted on our favorite performance, and this group got to share their show in the final presentation. The assignment given to this group was “First-Grade Health.” Their puppet show taught the importance of eating healthy food, covering your mouth when you sneeze, and brushing your teeth. Look carefully at each puppet, because we made them in class.
Next, Madison performed the story of the Three Little Pigs, from the perspective of the Wolf. He was on trial in court for having blown down three little pigs houses, but he really just needed to ask his pig neighbors if he could borrow some sugar to make his old Grandma’s birthday cake. He happened to have a cold that day and when the little pigs didn’t answer the door, his eyes started to water, and his nose started to tingle, and he SNEEZED! The poor innocent wolf didn’t mean to blow the straw, stick, and brick houses down, he just missed his elbow when he sneezed. Poor guy. This story left you perplexed and wondering if maybe the big bad wolf wasn’t really so bad at all.
Next, half of our class performed a play titled, “The Woodcutter and the Mermaid.” We read several tales before choosing this one and organizing all of the actors, props, costumes, etc. This story is a tale that tells how much good comes from being honest. Below is a picture of the actors in this play: Hilary, Stacey, Madison, Jenny, and me. Audience participation was one of the biggest aspects of our presentation. We made it fun for everyone present, from the grandmas to the little kids!
Lastly, the other half of our class performed a play titled, “Blue Bonnets.” It was about a tribe of people who had been experiencing a drought. They needed to make a heartfelt sacrifice of a most prized possession in order for the Great Spirit to bring rain. A young girl in the tribe decided to sacrifice her favorite doll, and it did bring rain to the tribe. Flowers grew, and the people of the tribe performed a rain dance to celebrate. This story taught that the pure in heart are the most willing to sacrifice for others.
We wanted to teach about charity, honesty, and sacrifice through this project, and we enjoyed ourselves so much as we prepared and performed. Each member of my class learned so much in this course. It was a class I will never forget. I hope to implement the techniques I learned to teach students of all learning styles and to help my students to have fun while learning. I highly recommend taking TMA 352. It was a blast!