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Jackie Baldwin jackie@story-lovers.com
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Innovative Projects

Stories Tame the “Drama Class from Hell”

by Mary Garrett

Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Missouri - Fall semester 2004

Keywords: Language arts, oral presentation, dramatic art, writing, classroom behavior, student/teacher relationships, secondary education


What does a teacher do when confronted with a “drama class from hell”? — a large, undisciplined group of talkative, resistant and disruptive students, with a minority group looking for any excuse to claim racial bias. This seasoned teacher used her storytelling skills first to entertain the students and then to inspire them to learn to tell stories themselves, using folktales that emphasized positive character traits. Breaking the class up into groups of two, the students first told to each other, then in small groups and eventually to the whole class. Positive results were exhibited by every student in the class, including those who were very shy, as they were encouraged in their growing storytelling skills by their enthusiastic peers.

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