Archive | News

Process drama from picture books

I had the great pleasure of presenting a workshop for the Canterbury Literacy Association this week – entitled ‘dramatically enhancing the teaching of literacy in years 1-8’. The workshop focussed on how classroom drama can be used to bring picture books to life and set up opportunities for authentic literacy tasks.

I promised the participants I would share my planning. So here goes…

Two resources are attached:

The first is a plan originally developed for beginner teachers. It will be familiar to my former students as I used it for several years in preservice courses. It’s adapted from one of the units in the excellent ‘Playing our Stories’ resource (Learning Media 2001 – now sadly out of print) based on The Lighthouse Keeper’s Rescue by Rhonda and David Armitage. It’s a fairly straightforward drama designed for those trying teacher in role and drama conventions for the first time. It’s fully ‘scripted’ with links to curriculum etc.

Mrs Grinlings problem 2017

The second resource follows on from the first and gives a set of 12 steps to follow to create your own drama using the same structure with a different picture book. Again, this is a resource I developed and trialled with student teachers over many years. It seems to work pretty well, with many fabulous original dramas developed using these steps. An advantage of developing your own drama is you can choose books that suit your context (for example using texts in te reo, or more complex sophisticated picture books for senior students). As someone at the workshop pointed out, the same structure could be adapted for other books too, including novels or playtexts.

Creating drama from a picture book 2017

I do hope you find these resources useful. Just to clarify, they are not ‘mantle’ plans in the sense of setting up full-length cross curricula dramatic inquiry … but they may be useful in developing the drama skills needed for mantle teaching.

 

0

Mantle with adults – a learning story

We don’t see too many examples of Mantle used with adult learners – we tend to assume it’s for teaching young people – after all, doesn’t the imagination ‘fade’ as we get older and don’t adults tend to feel bashful and unwilling to buy in to the ‘pretend’ or ‘make believe’…? Well …… not always! It’s a pleasure to share this learning story from a course I facilitated recently through Tātai Angitu e3 @ Massey  for a group of five officials from the Ministry of Education in Bangladesh. The objective was to spend two weeks learning about the New Zealand Education system, with a particular focus on project management at secondary school level.

The learning story shared here covers only part of the two weeks: I have edited out pages on field trips to schools and sessions where we learned about the NZ education system: they are not directly mantle-related and I don’t have permission to share images etc.  However, I do have permission from the group to share these pages recording our time as “Hidden Treasures” – International project management consults.

It wasn’t perfect planning or teaching on my part (is it ever?) but I do believe the use of Mantle as a pedagogy allowed these visitors to draw on their rich existing knowledge of project management (far more extensive than their facilitator’s) and make real-world links through the fictional context of the Mantle. There was strong buy-in and a real willingness to work in role. Participants readily employed drama conventions and adopted multiple perspectives despite this being a new way of working for them. There were plenty of intense discussions arising from tensions in the drama and opportunities for writing and reading of complex texts – all carried out in English as a second language.  And there were some profound moments of reflection, particularly on the last day where the team represented the impacts of their fictional project on the stakeholders. Here are the words of appeal from a community member on the fictional island, as spoken by one member of the group standing in effigy: I hold out my hands like a scale – to remind you to please balance the realities of your work with the quality of your documents and planning. This is my environment, my land, my culture – my future I am handing to you…”

The Learning story was written as we went along as an ongoing record of our learning and a place to double check and consolidate understanding of the ‘worlds’ we were operating in. It’s shared as a google slide show via the link below. Please don’t distribute or share more widely without permission – thanks!

My thanks to Sayed, Majibur, Minhaj, Nazmul and Rizwanul for permission to use their images and words and for providing such clear evidence of adults’ willingness and ability to learn through dramatic inquiry.

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1heKULr3dJ4PW3CRIP0-5RzfOliiIv4omubsDZ3T-VBU/edit?usp=sharing 

0

Workshops coming up in Christchurch

Kia Ora Colleagues

I’m excited to tell you about three workshops coming up in Christchurch shortly. Drama NZ is promoting two opportunities to learn about Mantle of the Expert – a ‘taster session’ on March 7th and a more in-depth planning workshop on May 22nd. Meanwhile, Canterbury Literacy Association is hosting a session focussed on using drama to enhance literacy teaching. This is on March 9th. Further details are on the attached fliers. Huge thanks to Annette Thompson and Sophie O’Rourke for their energies in making these events happen.  Christchurch flyer March May 2017     Literacy flyer March 2017

0

Books on Mantle available

Kia Ora colleagues

Many of you will be familiar with these Mantle-related books. Thanks to the generous publishers, I have a few copies for sale at a discounted price (within New Zealand only)

Connecting Curriculum, Linking Learning (2013) by Deb Fraser, Barb Whyte and myself. It shares examples of practice from by NZ primary teachers using Arts-based integration approaches. The book includes several examples of Mantle of the Expert and has a separate chapter introducing Mantle. Usual price $44.95. Available for $40 incl postage within NZ

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Mantle of the Expert (2016) is by UK-based practitioner Tim Taylor. You may remember Tim from his wonderful presentations at Weaving our stories conference 2009 or follow him as ‘imagineinquiry’ on twitter. This is a very accessible book with practical advice on planning and teaching. Usual price around $60 from UK. Available for $55 incl postage within NZ.

To purchase copies for yourself or your school please email mantleoftheexpertnz@gmail.com 

 

 

0

Speaking truth to power

This short clip is something rather special. It was captured at the recent Te Aho Tapu symposium, in Hamilton (October 2016) and shows the climax of a teaching demonstration by Prof Peter O’Connor and a group of young people from Rototuna Junior High School. Peter and the children worked together over two sessions exploring ideas and moments from John Marsden’s Home and Away – a quality picture book about the experience of young children caught up in conflict and taken to a refugee camp.

The children were ‘distanced’ from the material by taking on a variety of roles and perspectives. Here we see them in role as advocates for Toby – a five year old boy whose application for entry  is being considered by the Minister for Immigration (Peter in role). See how Peter uses his high status position  to pose complex questions, model elevated language and press for commitment… and see how he trusts the silence – and the children. And look how well the children listen to each other, appeal for empathy and reach for poetic language to express their views… Some of the children said afterwards they were so absorbed in the moment they forgot about the circle of onlookers. Some also reflected how this experience had made them want to learn more about refugees and reach out to refugee families in their own community. Powerful stuff!

Thanks to Miguel Garcia who shot the footage and to Peter and the children for permission to share it here.

Click here for video

2

Photos from Te aho Tapu

screen-shot-2016-04-19-at-7-38-32-pm-1

Here’s an album of photos from the Te Aho Tapu Symposium held in Hamilton in October. Huge thanks to everyone who was involved in this fantastic event including the presenters, organisers, student helpers and children.

te-aho-tapu-onscreen-album

A full list of presentations is included on the ‘research’ page of the Mantle Aoteroa website.

The symposium was a wonderful opportunity to connect and reconnect with like-minded educators from around the country and share ideas, stories, tips and new research. I have received several emails from participants saying they went home feeling re-inspired in their practice … that’s great to hear!

Photo credits: Viv Aitken and Miguel Garcia

0

New look Website!

The Mantle of the Expert Aotearoa Website has been relaunched…. Hope you will like the refreshed ‘look’. The overall look and feel of the site is much the same, though you should find it easier to find your way around (including on a mobile device). The site has a few new features, including a page devoted to New Zealand research and a ‘headlines’ section where recent news is spotlighted. Right now, there’s a gallery of photos from the recent Te Aho Tapu symposium in Hamilton and some information about a new blog project… check it out!

The redesign process has taken lot of patience from webmeister Phil and my good pal Cris who both put many hours into design. Huge thanks to both… and to Emma West and Gay Gilbert for permission to use the stunning photo on the landing page.

Introductory workshop / cluster meeting for Hawkes Bay

Kia Ora

Thursday of next week Viv will be running an introductory workshop  for teachers in the Hawke’s Bay interested in learning more about Heathcote’s Mantle of the Expert approach. Suitable for primary through to secondary and for curious beginners to experienced practitioners, this meeting will be a low key gathering in the tradition of the successful cluster meetings that have run in Hamilton, Bay of Plenty and elsewhere for the last few years.
Where: Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) 501 Gloucester St, Taradale, Napier
Room L319 (third floor of the library block – you’ll find the lift by “Bean There” cafe)
When: 4.30 for 5pm until 6.30pm on Thursday 3rd September
Bring: a friend and a contribution to shared kai (finger food or drink)
Cost: Only your time
Be ready to: Actively participate and plan together, share knowledge, experience and questions,
Take away: Something to try in your teaching.
Since this is the first session in Hawke’s Bay it would be good to have an idea of numbers attending, so please RSVP to VAitken@eit.ac.nz
Hope to see you there…
0