10-second review: 17 fourth graders served as actors, characters and critics.
Title: “Learning to Act/Acting to Learn: Children as Actors, Critics and Characters in Classroom Theatre.” SA Wolf. Research in the Teaching of English (February 1994), 7 – 44. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
Quote: “The children began with a warm-up to prepare both voice and body, followed by mental preparation…to practice the necessary skills of an actor’s trade…script interpretation, rehearsal, performance and follow-up critique.”
Summary: Students moved from a “perception of drama as a free-for-all to a greater understanding of…theatrical interpretation.”
Comment: The focus was on meaning, thus, beyond phonics and word-calling. They read, interpreted, acted and critiqued the performance. Reminds me of the recommendations by the Folger Shakespeare Library that scenes from Shakespeare’s plays be acted in order to help students appreciate Shakespeare’s language (English Journal, September 2009). RayS.