Teaching in Mantle of the Expert draws on the skills, understandings and strategies of process drama, inquiry and relational pedagogy. The planning process is huge fun and very engaging, but it’s not straightforward. There is no simple template or set of tricks you can pick up and use … It’s more of an ongoing process of discovery, reflection, questioning and crafting of your own practice. The key advice from your fellow teachers is to start small!

Introductory planning guide for teachers

On this page are a number of planning tools, including many developed by teachers in NZ and some used with here with permission from the UK website You will find many other useful guides on that site … follow the link and explore!

A word of advice: All these planning tools are great but of limited use without the guidance of a  more experienced teacher. The best advice for someone getting started with Mantle – or wishing to stay inspired – is to find ways to connect with others. This can be done online or even better, in person. Check out the ‘contact’ page for a list of teachers and schools you can visit,  head to the NZ Facebook page (see ‘links’), book in for a workshop or event or organise some professional development for your staff. You are also welcome to email for planning advice to That way you can ask questions, share ideas and get help and support as you gradually build your understanding and expertise…

For a full-scale Mantle experience, your planning is likely to have a number of phases

1: Preplanning    2: Mapping    3: Microplanning      4: Storying

The following resources are designed to help with these phases

Phase 1: Preplanning

This is where you gather your ideas and ensure the core elements of Mantle of the Expert are in place

Pre-planning sheet

Pre-planning tool – The preplanning ‘circle’

Pre-planning tool – Possible Mantle concepts

Phase 2: Mapping

In this phase, you plan an overall sense of where the Mantle might go, taking into account the arc of a successful drama including where tensions might be introduced.

Mapping tool – a map of a possible Mantle journey

Phase 3: Micro planning

This is where you produce your individual plans for episodes of teaching, including timeframes, key questions, links to curriculum etc. Here is where you will select role conventions and other strategies for effective implementation. Use whatever lesson planning format you are familiar with for this phase

Micro-planning tool – list of Heathcote’s role conventions

Micro-planning tool – tips on Questioning

Phase 4: Storying

It is really useful for the teacher to blog about or otherwise ‘story’ the Mantle as it unfolds. This helps all participants follow the flow of the unfolding adventures AND allows the teacher to use ‘retrospective’ planning and respond to learning opportunities as they arise.

Check out blogs on this site for examples of this.