New Podcast Series

An Introduction to Mantle of the Expert with Viv Aitken, Tim Taylor and Whakarongo Tauranga I’m so excited to announce the launch of this new podcast which has been a labour of love for the past two years. Join me as I indulge in a VERY enjoyable and wide ranging conversation with Tim Taylor and…

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Exploring local history through DI

I really enjoyed co-presenting with Claire Edwards at the Puketāpapa Kahui Ako gathering at Dominion Road school in Auckland recently. The focus of the day was on the new Aotearoa New Zealand Histories curriculum, and Claire and I took the opportunity to model how frame distance could be used to explore a story from local…

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Te Rito Toi

The University of Auckland, NZEI, the Principals Federation and the Sir John Kirwan Foundation have partnered to create www.teritotoi.org an online resource to support teachers to return to school through the arts and wellbeing. This is a very valuable, and very attractive resource with lots of inspirational ideas for using drama and other arts. The resource was…

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DNZ Workshops – on zoom

Coming up VERY SOON, Drama New Zealand is offering two FREE workshops for primary and intermediate teachers looking at dramatic inquiry for home learning / distance learning. These will be held over ZOOM and facilitated by Viv Aitken and Renee Downey. Further information below (including full flier and facilitator biographies) There has already been a…

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Drama from a picture book – Taniwha

Here’s the planning for a simple process drama based on Robyn Kahukiwa’s beautiful picture book Taniwha. This drama was shared at the Literacy conference and the TRCC course in October 2019, with participants coming up with some really thoughtful responses. Robyn Kahukiwa’s gorgeous book has enormous potential for rich exploration across the arts and the…

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Process drama – pied piper of Hamelin

This process drama plan based on the Pied Piper of Hamelin was originally written by the late Lyn Shillingford with some minor adaptions by myself. I haven’t taught it for years, but dug it out the other day after a teacher mentioned she wanted to explore the poem with her class. As I re-visited the…

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Miguel’s Mantle of the Expert adventures

Miguel Garcia is a beginning teacher based in New Plymouth. He’s embarking on his second Mantle of the Expert this term. Check out this blog where Miguel and Viv discuss planning and teaching as the adventures unfold with this class. Should be of particular interest to beginners – though more experienced practitioners are also invited…

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Process drama from picture books

  Process drama is a great way to bring stories to life in the classroom – and to become familiar with the conventions and strategies used in Mantle of the Expert. Picture books provide a wonderful starting point for planning, as they provide many of the ‘raw ingredients’ for successful drama. In this post I…

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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…

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