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Elementary Drama


New Member

I teach Drama at an elementary school and I am wondering if there are any other people out there who teach the same. It is difficult to find resources for Drama at the Elementary Level. Mostly, however, I am interested in how your program is set up.

For example do you teach the whole school? Do you have a Drama Club where you require students to audition? Do they have to be in a certain grade to audition (3-5 only?)

Just trying to revamp my program and interested to see how others have theirs set up!

Thanks a bunch!!


Senior Member
I teach at a small school for elementary kids with mild disabilities. Out of about 150 kids I get an average of 20-40 signing up for a full year production, rehearsed once a week during a structured class time for 45 minutes. Everyone auditions to let me see "the part that's right for you" but the audition this year consisted of everyone sitting in a room together. I would read the line in character and ask others to try it. I got to see who was comfortable in front of the group, who had a natural affinity for different types of characters, etc. I never turn down someone who wants to be in the show but reserve the right to cast them in whatever manner I feel they'd be of best help to the production.

Let's talk and share ideas!


drama club

I work at a private school, and we have two Music teachers. One of them teaches Music to Nursery age children to students in Pre-K and other teacher has 1st-5th grade classes. One of our Music teachers had a background in doing musicals. We are a small school, but we feel music is important part of education. We have two musical productions during the school year, one at Christmas and one called the "Spring Sing". Both teachers work together to put on this production and these shows have roles that the students get to audition for. Kindergarten-5th graders fill these positions. The Music teachers notify parents that rehearsal is imperative if these children receive roles in the show. They have rehearsals during after school and usually our school performances receive lots of kudos from parents. Shows we have done in the past (since I have been there)are: Annie, Guys and Dolls, A Christmas Carol, etc. of course these smaller versions of the bigger productions, so it's called Annie, Jr., Guys and Dolls II.
We do not have a drama teacher, but I feel that the background of the Music teachers' expertise is enough to get our musicals done.

Erin Jay


Im studying to be a high school drama teacher, but have done quite a bit of work with elementary aged students, teaching outside of schools.

Drama can be great to teach to all the students because it is something that encourages creativity, self exploration and increases self confidence and body awareness. The fact that it can all be taught through games makes it highly interesting and engaging for all students, and they have the opportunity to be working at all levels. It also gives the students important skills that they can and will use throughout their lives - such as public speaking, communication skills and use of body language.

I think that if you are doing a school play you should audition, but give a few years the opprtunity:
The lower years (1-3)could put on a short skit night for their parents - get up and tell a story, or read a poem, or act out a short scene, etc.
The middle years (4-5) could put on a short drama.
The upper years (6-7) could put on a one act musical.

This way, everyone feels some measure of pride and success, but also can feel as though they can make progress throught the years and the development of their skills.

Hope I've given some good ideas :)


New Member

Tell me a little more about audtions for elementry schools kids. Children have to audition for parts and those who are able early on to speak and sing in front of people get great parts. Those who are not capable, are in the chorus. Since on the children that audition well or are fearless are rewarded, I am not sure how great this is for the childen who are not--in fact, it may be harmful. Some children stop even auditioning. Do you have any thoughts or suggestion. We are involved in Schools Attuned too.


Senior Member
djapley, your message assumes that "chorus" parts are undesirable or less important to a show than main roles, which is not the case and something I try to stress to the kids. If you look at most musicals, you will see a large group of actors and actresses in supporting roles basically holding up the show with their singing, dancing, crowd reactions, etc. When something dramatic is happening onstage, you need the chorus to "sell" it by reacting. I've had many talks with my big cast about how help the audience focus its attention and know how to interpret what's going on.

My audition took place in our art room, with all the kids sitting around. I said the line, and then asked who wanted to repeat it. Kids who felt the most confident went first, and then kids who had to warm a bit tended to see their peers going for it and decided to do the same. Most of my kids have language processing issues, so I would often break down a line into small parts or just have them say something that approximated the meaning. Some of my "stars" have severe receptive language deficits but can nevertheless speak with confidence - they just learned their lines the way they learn everything else, slowly with a lot of repetition and support.

A kid who doesn't feel comfortable repeating a line out loud in front of fellow actors probably isn't going to want to perform a large role, all by himself or herself, in front of an audience with lights and microphones. Those kids almost never request a big part and like to act and sing within the context of a crowd. Sometimes they come back to me next year and say that they feel ready for a bigger role, which is great. Two of this year's main characters both have had supporting or even non-verbal roles in previous productions.


New Member
Drama Club

I was a Teacher Assistant for 3 years, now I am a 4th grade teacher. My last year being a TA I started a Drama Club for 4th and 5th graders. At first I had an informational meeting and hoped for 10 kids. Fifty-two kids came and fifty stayed. I didn't have any audtions. I split the kids into two groups, and met with 25 of them Tuesdays and 25 of them Thursdays. The fall semester we did a lot of voice and movement exercises and drama games. Around the end of October I put them into pairs or groups and gave them each a choice of two scenes to choose from. We presented them in December on two different nights for the two different groups.

Before the Christmas break I found a free play online that sounded really interesting. So I put up sign-up sheets in each of the 4th and 5th grade classrooms and had kids sign up for eith acting, assistant director, costumes, tech crew. Then I assigned kids to roles. Assistant director basically helped during the actual show. Tech crew helped move props. I sent home flyers asking who could sew, and got back several responses. One mother took charge, brought the fabric, made patters, did measurements, calculated costume costs. SHe was amazing.

That was my most favorite year working in a school. Next year I will be starting a Drama Club at my new school, but it may have to be just for 5th graders because we have a lot more kids. Throughout that year I found a lot of good resources online. If you need any more help, just let me know! :)


drama games

I am interested in starting a small informal drama club at my school with 4th grade ESOL students. I am an ESOL teacher and think this would be a good opportunity for students to become more comfortable speaking in front of groups and to read with more intonation. You mentioned in your posting last year that you did drama games with the students. I have no background in acting, can you recommend some games (or websites that might be helpful) that I could do with the students?



Hi, I enjoyed what you wrote, I started a drama club at our school last year and we are about to start this years. I was looking for some ideas on how to ease the kids into things. Every child has a role whether it is acting or behind the scenes. I try to promote all skills, and nurture their creativity, but I was trying to find some ideas for games to start off with. I want them to feel comfortable and work as a team. I would like to hear about any resources you might have. Thanks



Hello there-

I am really excited that I found this board. I have some questions for you teachers out there.
I just graduated from college with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in theatre performance with an emphasis in Performance for Children. I am working for Disney World right now but am looking at becoming an elementary school drama teacher. I would love to teach something else but I honestly don't know enough about dance/music/art to be able to teach it.
My question- what sort of degree do you need to teach Elementary School? Do you have a Masters in Education? As I said, I have a degree but need to know if I should look at grad school for a Masters. I took a class my senior year called Arts in Education and it taught us games and activities and how to go about teaching art, music, and theatre to young ones.
Thanks in advance!



Elementary Art Teacher

I have a drama club for 3rd and 4th grade students. They must audition and I try to reserve large speaking parts for 4th graders. Students that audition and do not get a part may remain a member but be part of costume or set design. Sometimes I do musicals and they may sing with the chorus. We meet once a week until it gets closer to production time. I too have a very hard time finding resources for elementary productions.


I know your post is from about 10 years ago but are you still teaching drama in an elementary school? This is my second year in elementary as a "special."25+ years teaching high school. Just want to try to connect with someone else who does what I do