From toddlers to teens: thrive through theatrical teamwork

From toddlers to teens: thrive through theatrical teamwork

Contrary to popular belief, drama is not about ‘me, me, me’. Drama is an opportunity to step out of yourself and really work with others. It’s about opportunities, collaboration and self-confidence. Therefore Copenhagen International School offers drama to children from the tender age of three to the end of high school.

“Drama allows very young children to practice in life as an” adult “, according to Sabrina Mannhartz, principal of early years and primary School.

“Three- and four-year-olds do this automatically. That’s what they do when they play, and drama provides a certain structure to stretch their thinking. ”

Learning through drama

In the early years and in Primary School drama classes, children learn to listen, create, collaborate and reflect. The activities and drama plays they participate in help build focus and respect – everyone has a voice, and the skills they learn go with them to all their other classes, according to Lizzy McIlroy, who teaches drama to Primary School children on Copenhagen International School.

“Give young children the opportunity to experience learning through drama, and they will work together to explore concepts and create understanding,” McIlroy argues.

Take a scientific topic like ‘body systems’. Students demonstrate their learning by creating a play that represents how a system works – for example, the digestive system. Two students work together to create a mouth, while others representing the food crawl through and are pushed between a series of students as if traveling down the esophagus to the intestines before creating organized chaos to represent digestion in the stomach. ”

Such an approach encourages teamwork, McIlroy argues: “Students need to organize to determine their positioning and movement to tell the story. This physical approach can be a powerful tool for learning and can be applied to pretty much anything. That’s the beauty of the drama. ”

Clowns for self-confidence

One of the most satisfying moments of teaching drama is when a student who is generally quiet as a mouse in the ordinary home-room setting connects with a drama activity and shines with unexpected confidence.

“Learning without words can really help kids get out of their shells, so I invited a professional clown,” McIlroy revealed

“The most notable part was seeing children, who are usually quieter and more introverted, develop confident naughty personality through mime once they have put on a red nose. The homecoming of the experience was resounding: ‘I can have a voice through my inner clown’. ”

In another unit with the older primary children, drama took a major role in tackling the sensitive topic of puberty. Students created their own very simple oversized doll and operated it to supply a monologue they had written that addressed an element of puberty that they had learned about during their study unit.

With the doll to ‘hide’ behind, the children felt safe and secure in presenting their work. Drama offers a safe environment for students to work in and explore ideas in all possible ways. It gives them a superpower, ”McIlroy claimed.

“Drama is not about the end product, although it can be fantastic. It’s about the process – and the acquired skills and knowledge. ”

Learning to let go

By the time the kids reach the middle School, they are in touch with their inner self – the perfect time, claims teacher Lena Noring to teach them techniques to harness their focus.

“Each class begins with a guided meditation, where students are given tools to focus on the present moment and learn to deal with stress and deal with change of emotions. It promotes students’ awareness of themselves and their ability to grow as artists and people – inside and outside the drama class, ”she revealed.

“First, meditation develops their focus and self-awareness, and this is followed by warm-up exercises that use both body and voice to stimulate creativity and imagination.”

Students respond positively to the meditation – it is clearly the nozzle through which the vapor can be released.

“We achieve peace of mind and body, while releasing thoughts or feelings that may have drained. It makes you more aware of yourself and your surroundings, ”remarked a class 7 student taught by Noring. “It calms you and your body,” added a classmate.

“You can let go of your mind and it really helps me focus on the things I need. Today, when I started class, I was tired and I had a lot on my mind. After the relaxation, I was far more relaxed and I could now focus on my task! Excited a class 6 student.

The relaxation effect of the relaxation is that the students become more open to change, build ensembles and promote creative freedom, and in the unit ‘Trust and improvisation’ they end up surprising themselves and others with their ability to create.

Again, just like with Primary School classes, the skills they learn through improvisation, such as thinking about the place, listening and reacting to the ideas of others, quickly permeate other classrooms.

Find your voice

When students reach High School teacher David Chapman, they have come full circle. They have discovered creativity that they did not know was there, learned to collaborate, improvise and even meditate and honed many skills. Now students can have the confidence to embrace their individuality.

“It’s about finding your voice: what do you have to say? How can you say that, and how can you make others understand it? Said Chapman.

“As teachers, we can introduce them to different tools to shape their message. Whether it’s through acting, singing or dancing, it’s just about finding ways to make the world see the way you do things. ”

Again, the environment is crucial. “We encourage children to make mistakes and try things and let things explode – and that’s fine, because that’s where learning takes place,” he said. “They can make new discoveries that take them along different paths.”

The program for visual arts, theater and music differs from others, Chapman claims, as it really challenges the children to “throw ideas out and really show what they can do”.

An enviable environment

It’s also on High School that the children get the opportunity to put on many more hats. For example, they may choose to get involved behind the scenes. Certainly, the excellent facilities for visual arts, theater and music departments at Copenhagen International School is the breeding ground for multi-talented commercials that can act, control and even create their own special effects!

“Specifically in the theater class, we have ‘Small Blackbox’, which allows the children to experiment, not only with performance, but with the technical side,” excited Chapman.

“This means they get to explore light and sounds to create new worlds – basic design things – as part of the mastering lab. And let’s not forget the 300 – seat auditorium with its enormous light and sound potential. So they have the two different areas where we go back and forth and explore – both in the classroom as well as after-school performances. ”

It is an enviable environment. That schoolThe 900 students come from all over the world, giving them an undeniable leg-up when it comes to having a global perspective.

Source: The Nordic Page


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