Dennis Jerz’s recent post on the pleasures and rewards of running a “drama game” in the classroom (in this case, teaching networking theory to advanced college students by having them play in a circle) really got me thinking. My classes are a lot of laughs, and I often try to ‘mix it up’ to keep students interested through a variety of in-class activities that I pull out of my bag of tricks (from reading passages of text out loud in lit courses to doing weird sound drills in poetry writing classes), but I don’t have students perform skits or do other dramatizations to learn lessons as often as I’d like. Or at least, I don’t think of the activities I assign as ‘drama games’ in the formal sense of the word. Drama is one of my weaknesses; I never studied many plays in college, beyond the ‘classics’ in British literary history. Because of this, my teachers rarely taught using the performative arts — and didn’t build my repertoire of models to choose from.
So I did a quick websearch to see what’s online and was surprised at the abundance of different types of drama games available for the classroom — and the realization that do I use these kind of games more often than I realize (though still not often enough). Most are applicable to very young children, and nearly all of the links are designed for K-12 learners. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not valuable as a educational strategy for college teachers, too. I can see a sing-along easily being adapted to a course in linguistic theory, for example. Anyway, here’s a sampling of some sites that I’ve only scanned and hope to return to later when I design syllabi and lesson plans: