This week I’m working in Lafayette, IN, home of Purdue University and thoughtful, caring teachers. As part of our training, we looked carefully at the drama work station, a station that often strikes fear in the hearts of many educators! I showed a video clilp on how to introduce the drama station in a 1st grade classroom from Launching Literacy Stations. At this station, two children work together to read or retell a familiar book. In the video, we use the book, Hobbledy Clop by Pat Brisson. It’s a cumulative tale with lots of opportunity for children to join in with the repetitive line, hobbledy clop, as well as to participate in making sounds, such as meow and ssssss along with the animal characters in the book.
After viewing the video, teachers worked in table groups to come up with ideas for what makes a book good for retelling at a drama station. See the chart below for our ideas. We also brainstormed ideas for some other good books for retelling, such as the following:
- The Napping House
- Silly Sally
- There Was an Old Lady (many versions available)
- Great Big Enormous Turnip (choose a version with the fewest characters)
- Mean Jean, the Recess Queen
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (and other books in this series)
- Too Much Noise
- Click, Clack, Moo
- Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Little Red Hen (and other folk tales)
- Aesop fables (for grades 2 and up)
- nursery rhymes (for PreK and K)
A great resource for books to retell, complete with retelling pieces ready to use is www.kizclub.com. Click on the Stories and Props. Below each book pictured, click on color for a colored version of related props for that book. Click on B & W for a black and white version of the same retelling pieces. Note that some of the stories there have more pieces than you’ll want to use for retelling. Choose wisely.
For more ideas on using a Drama Station in your classroom, see the following chapters in my books: In Literacy Work Stations (for K-2), read chapter 6, Drama Work Station. In Practice with Purpose (for grades 3-6), read chapter 9, Drama Work Station.
If you try the drama station, please send us pictures of your kids at work and your favorite ideas for this station. Send them to email@example.com and we’ll share them with others. Enjoy this fun station with your students!
Teachers brainstorm ideas for drama work stations
Some more great brainstorming among teachers
Our chart on "What Makes a Good Book for Retelling"
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