Teacher Talk: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

June 26, 2015

What’s with the drama? As parents, you may be noticing that drama and other performance-based activities seem to be appearing in every subject area these days. It is true, and there are some very good reasons. First, studies have shown that incorporating drama and other forms of artistic engagement allow students to take more ownership and control over learning. This unique format also allows for improvisation and exploration, building confidence along the way. In addition, presenting a play, even informally, shows students the importance of flexibility and organization. Students learn and synthesize information in context much more readily, which comes naturally and automatically through the arts. Most notably for me as a literature teacher, play performance helps students improve reading fluency, develop vocabulary, and grow communication skills, in general.

This past spring, fourth graders presented Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume in literature class. We have done readers theater activities throughout the year, but this was an opportunity for students to act out a play, planning for stage direction, props, and even costumes. Not at all surprisingly, several students demonstrated a flair for all things theatrical, and all of the students participated enthusiastically and constructively. It was a fun activity to round out a fantastic year of growth and progress. There will, undoubtedly, be more drama in store next year!

Glenda Bedard
Grade Four and Five Literature Teacher