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Classics Teaching Resources

Drama in the Classroom

OK, so the Greeks invented drama. And we can study plays and theatre buildings and the religious significance in the Classical Civilisation syllabus. But drama in the classroom?

My answer is Yes! Here are a couple of occasions for classroom play-acting.

  1. When studying Greek or Roman plays, acting them out has several benefits. It points up theatrical effects more efficiently than discussion alone - you need the discussion as well. When acting the scene in Electra where Electra clutches the urn containing the supposed ashes of her brother, while her brother is alive and with her, the whole class felt the poignancy of the moment when she is compelled to give up the urn. Rehearsing for a performance of key parts of a play helps students to memorise the work, and they will be able to quote the text in exams.

  2. In language teaching, to act out a scene helps both understanding and memory. Both the Cambridge Latin Course and the Oxford Latin Course provide dramas as reading material. They will be far more useful as scripts for real acting. Remember the principle that ends: 'I do and I understand.'
There is often an option group on classroom drama at the ARLT Summer School. For details visit the ARLT website.


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