Social Emotional Learning Through Drama

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Amy Ressler
Healthy Learning
200 pages
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With social-emotional learning objectives at the core of this one-of-a-kind book, award-winning educator, theatre artist, and camp director Dr. Amy Ressler outlines a practical model of working with large groups of young people to devise exciting, effective dramas that satisfy their thirst for adventure. The book includes 15 devised story drama plans, with enough practical detail to be replicated as is or used as a springboard for other original adventures. Each of the adventures was enacted in real time with participants from ages 8-18. Mindfulness and reflective practices are built into the model to underscore social-emotional learning goals. 

This book is designed for camp directors, theatre directors, and drama teachers who are looking for alternatives to formal theatre production. The book focuses on devised drama as an art form, as well as a tool for the development of emotional intelligence. The dramas in this book can be done in a day or extended as long as a week. Two models for devising are provided: one, director-led, with scenarios created in advance; and another, generating ideas and action with a group of young adults who provide the plot elements, create characters, and run the action for the participants.  

Resources include lesson plans, engagement games, directions for maypole dance and construction, and suggestions to adapt and lead story dramas for all ages.