Archive | Workshops / Courses / PD

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 share two resources:

The first is a plan adapted from one of the units in the excellent ‘Playing our Stories’ resource (Learning Media 2001 – now sadly out of print). It’s a fairly straightforward drama based on The Lighthouse Keeper’s Rescue by Rhonda and David Armitage. Designed to support for those trying teacher in role and drama conventions for the first time, the plan is 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. This is a framework for planning 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). The same structure could be adapted for other books too, including novels or playtexts.

Creating drama from a picture book 2018

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 I hope they may be useful in developing the drama skills needed for mantle teaching.

See other posts on this site for  tips for teaching in role including dealing with uncertainty from participants and the importance of clear signalling.



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


Photos from Te aho Tapu


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.


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


Christine Hatton process drama workshop 7 Sept

There are few places still available for this workshop facilitated by Christine Hatton, from University of Newcastle.

Christine (who is fabulous) will share  a unit of work exploring  Shaun Tan’s “The Red Tree” through process drama – suitable for senior primary, intermediate or junior secondary levels. Great PD for those who want to enhance their understanding of drama conventions.

The workshop is being hosted by Drama NZ, and held at the University of Waikato.

If you would like to come, you would need to register to secure a place, so please email Gaenor Stoate [] and do pass this leaflet on to others you think might be interested.

Process drama Hatton workshop


Seminars with Brian Edmiston

A final reminder about two forthcoming seminars with visiting Professor Brian Edmiston at Waikato University.  Not purely MOtE but may be of interest. The first session (hosted by WMIER – blue flyer) is aimed at education researchers and will explore dialogism and positioning theory. NB: This session has been extended to 9-12.

The second event (hosted by TDU – red flyer)  is for tertiary teachers interested in using dramatic and active approaches  in their teaching.

Both are almost full so if you want to attend, please register with the emails shown on the flyers. For the  WMIER session, please email viv on For the TDU workshop email Lissa (address as shown on flyer)

Brian Edmiston seminar Feb 2104

Prof Brian Edmiston promo flyer 180214


Seminar by visiting professor Brian Edmiston

Here’s a flyer for a seminar on 13th Feb 2014 by visiting prof Brian Edmiston. As well as being an experienced practitioner in MOTE, Brian has researched and written extensively on positioning theory and dialogism. This seminar (sponsored by the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research at the University of Waikato) is an opportunity for students, academics or people just plain interested in teaching and learning, to come and hear more about these fascinating theories and how they have informed Brian’s work. Places are limited so please email if you are keen to attend.

Brian Edmiston seminar Feb 2104


Mantle of the Expert summer school – enrolments are now open

For those who have been waiting to enrol in the Mantle of the Expert summer school, I hear enrolments are now open.  Click HERE for more.

I am excited to be able to confirm that my co-teacher on this course will be Prof Brian Edmiston (USA).  Brian’s writing on Mantle of the Expert will be familiar to many. He’s a world leader in this area and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to collaborate in teaching and research during his visit. If you wish to join us, I suggest you enrol quickly as place numbers are capped and there has already been a good level of interest.

Feel free to email me if you need further information – or post a comment below.




Registrations open for Mantle of the Expert summer school

If you have been thinking about doing the Mantle of the Expert summer school in 2014, you can now register interest and secure a place (actual enrolments open in a month or so).

Just click  the link here 

The paper you are looking for is ALED 515 14C – Drama as Pedagogy, Mantle of the Expert.  It’s a postgrad paper (for those who already hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher). If you are interested, but have not yet completed your undergrad degree, please email Viv on  as there may be an option for you too.

The course runs  Jan 20 – 24 followed by  a further couple of weeks online and a closing weekend on campus 15-16 Feb.


* A reminder that applications for the $500  scholarships to attend TE KORE – the Drama NZ conference close on 31st March.*  Two scholarships are available, one for a beginner teacher and one for a teacher from a rural school. Check out details at

Conference is looking good – with a range of papers and presentations of particular interest to Mantle practitioners, including reports on MOTE projects at primary and secondary school, a EOTC project working with the Department of Conservation, Masters and PhD level research into MOTE and process drama.  Our keynote presenters are amazing – Waimihi Hotere is a local Maori theatre maker and advocate, Pam Bowell is an experienced process drama practitioner. Both will be running workshops as well as giving their keynote addresses. And we are also hoping to include a skype chat live with Luke Abbott from How could you miss it!

Registration is $385 including conference dinner. Amazing value for a 3 day event.

Click here to Download conference registration form

te kore banner




Mantle Masters summer school brought forward

Quite a few people have inquired when the next Masters summer school in Mantle of the Expert will be offered at Waikato University, and the reply has always been “2015”. However, there has been a change of plan and ALED 515 will now be offered this NEXT summer. Exact details are still being finalised but if you are someone who has been holding out to do this course in Hamilton, then put these dates in your diary for 2014. Oncampus intensive 20-24 Jan, online 3-13 Feb, followup weekend 15-16 Feb.  Will keep you posted…