Part 1: getting started in drama

This part provides techniques, tools, activities and a start-up lesson that leads students into the creation of a puppet play to explain the mystery of an abandoned bear.

A series of activities is provided to help prepare students to work in drama. These activities focus on:

  • team building activities that practise self-control and awareness in a group situation – team skills are vital to the creation of drama action. Offering and accepting offers, listening and taking turns are part of the process as students create and engage with each other.
  • opportunities to create and develop roles and situations – developing roles and situations requires practice as students create verbal and non-verbal expression.
  • an investigation that requires the creation of a narrative to solve a problem – a pretext will be used to stimulate the devising of a narrative that the children transform into a puppet play.

These activities can work sequentially or they can be done independently of each other. The team-building activities are appropriate warm-ups for any group work. The role and situation activities can be very useful as literacy tools and the curriculum focus in the classroom should guide the use and choice of vocabulary. These drama activities allow early childhood students to embody words, using their bodies to gain a deeper understanding of words and key terms.

The last section, creating a puppet play, provides a series of activities that could run over several lessons and culminate in students creating a small puppet performance. Puppet play is very useful in early childhood and allows all students to contribute even if they are feeling shy.

There are some key messages for how to work together. Before a drama lesson, take time to explain to your students:

'The word freeze is very important. When the teacher says "freeze", we all stop whatever we are doing and freeze.'

'As we are working in pairs and groups it is very important to look after each other and not push and shove – be respectful of each other.'

'Listen carefully to your group or your partner.'


  1. Activity 1.1: team building
  2. Activity 1.2: role and situation (literacy tools)
  3. Activity 1.3: creating a puppet play