Ways Into Text workshop - School of Education

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Star conference Oxford Brookes University
28 November 2012
Workshop: Ways into text- using drama strategies to develop
understanding
Using Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, we will use a variety of games
and drama strategies to explore the text.
Boal dual: In pairs (of similar size) partners stand facing each other with
one arm outstretched with a pointed finger (sword) and the other behind
back with palm facing outwards (target). Each tries to score points by
touching sword against the other’s target saying the words
“You liest, thou cheating monkey” and “Come not between the dragon
and his wrath.”
First one to three is the winner. This game can be moved from partner to
partner.
Prospero’s magic: Played like stuck in the mud, players walk around the
room and Prospero (teacher) touches student on shoulder and says “ I
give thee power”. The student now is able to touch any other student and
say “thou art inclined to sleep” at which point the student freezes and
closes their eyes. They can only be released when another student taps
them again and says the words “thou shalt have freedom”.
Whoosh of The Tempest: Students act out the Tempest whilst the
teacher conducts the story with a magic staff. At the end of each section,
the teacher says “Whoosh” and the students return to their seats so that
everyone is included.
This is a simplified version of the story using some of the language from
the play.
Martha game: Students make a physical representation of the island one
by one. As they take up their position, they say what it is they represent
e.g. “I am a cave”
Soundscape: Once the island has been formed, students will think about
the sounds they can hear on the island. Teacher will read verse from the
play that describes the island. This will be practised (and possibly
recorded) with the words being read at the same time.
Prospero’s footsteps: Played as Grandmother’s footsteps, but with
Prospero using “I’ll rack thee with cramps” to send a moving body to the
back of the line. At this, the moving student needs to move back whilst
clutching their stomach.
Sculpting: Students get into pairs. 10 seconds is given for each of the
following : brothers, the perfect daughter, a duke and his kingdom,
servant and master, slave and master, monster and mother.
Group tableaux: We hear that Caliban is a “feckled whelp hag-born, not
honoured with human shape”. Each group of three now makes a group
image of Caliban. This can be brought to life- how does it move? What
noises does he make? Share some of this work.
‘Make me a ……’ in groups of 4, 30 seconds to make the following: a
family; magical powers; a ship; invisibility.
Extension work: ‘Make me a…’ students to make a still image based
on the lines below. They will then decide how they are going to speak the
line (chorally, individually, sharing the line) and they can add one piece
of movement. Begin and end with a still image. Share work.
“thou liest, malignant thing”
“my high charms work”
“Now my charms are all o’erthrown”
“A howling monster, a drunken master”
“Pray you tread softly, that the blind mole may not hear a footfall”
“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”
Recommended reading:
‘Improve your Primary School through Drama’ by Dickinson,
Neelands and Shenton Primary School.
Published by David Fulton. ISBN: 9781843123064
‘Beginning Shakespeare 4-11’ by Winston and Tandy
Published by David Fulton. ISBN: 9780415618489
‘Teaching English Creatively’ by Cremlin
Published by Routeledge. ISBN: 9780415435024
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