Katharine Zachest has produced another winner for the Nick Hern Drama Games series, containing 40 clear lesson plans for children aged 3 and up. Although there are many games, the focus of the book is on the lessons. Each one is themed and adheres to a lesson plan template, beginning with a warm-up and moving through discussion, a main focus activity, extension ideas and cross-curricular activities. The formula is one that will work well with young children, including plenty of teacher-led movement, child role-play, storytelling, teacher in role and games.
There is reference to nursery rhymes and songs in many of the lessons, with some of them based on well-known stories such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Where The Wild Things Are and Going On A Bear Hunt. Other themes include The Seasons, Dramatic Play - clowning and puppets - and Places and Animals, which should provide links to much cross-curricular work with the ideas given.
The book will be of great value to anyone working with Early Years and KS 1 children, regardless of experience. Each lesson gives clear instructions, with verbatim speech so that teachers have a working script if they need it. It is ideal for those wishing to develop beyond guided play to dramatic role-play, characterisation, exploration of emotions and themes.