Dramatic Literacy by J Daniel Herring, J Lea Smith. Using Drama and
Dramatic Literacy

Dramatic Literacy

Using Drama and Literature to Teach Middle-Level Content

By J Daniel Herring, J Lea Smith
Foreword by Jerome Harste, Lin Wright

    I know two things: The first is that Dramatic Literacy is going to become a staple in the Teaching to Learn/Learning to Teach teacher education program we run at the Center for Inquiry in Indianapolis. The second is that we are going to have fun.
    —Jerome Harste
    Having a solid foundation in the discipline of drama and a collection of sound strategies for the classroom will lead to success for teacher and student. Here is an outstanding text to do just that.
    —Lin Wright
Our students spend a large part of each day studying content that seems unconnected to the stories in their lives. J. Lea
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Full Description

    I know two things: The first is that Dramatic Literacy is going to become a staple in the Teaching to Learn/Learning to Teach teacher education program we run at the Center for Inquiry in Indianapolis. The second is that we are going to have fun.
    —Jerome Harste
    Having a solid foundation in the discipline of drama and a collection of sound strategies for the classroom will lead to success for teacher and student. Here is an outstanding text to do just that.
    —Lin Wright
Our students spend a large part of each day studying content that seems unconnected to the stories in their lives. J. Lea Smith and J. Daniel Herring have discovered that drama is the perfect medium for making that connection. By integrating the dramatization of children’s literature into content studies, we allow students to show their interpretation of the characters, plot, and setting. Literature dramatizations then become the lens through which the content is viewed, enabling students to live the curriculum firsthand.

Smith and Herring begin Dramatic Literacy by explaining the several different roles drama can play in the classroom as well as the essentials of the art form. Two different approaches for structuring the dramatic experience are presented, followed by lots of helpful examples of both approaches in dramatizing a story in language arts, social studies, science, math, and second language instruction. The examples are soundly presented with objectives and focus questions organizing each lesson, clear descriptions of classroom procedures, and suggestions for final evaluation of the work.