Learning Through Drama in the Primary Years


RRP: £16.99
ISBN: 978-1-4478-7732-5
Publisher: Drama Resource
176 Pages

If you would like to engage children and young people through exciting active learning methods in virtually any subject area through the medium of drama, then this book is for you.

“A must-have for those serious about the teaching of drama in primary school settings.” – Teaching Drama magazine, October 2011

***** “Full of easily accessible advice… clear explanations and inventive suggestions.” – National Drama Magazine, January 2012

Learning Through Drama in the Primary Years by David Farmer is a practical handbook exploring how to use the greatest resource that teachers have available to them – children’s imagination. Play is a natural part of children’s lives before they start school, helping them to make sense of their place in the world. Such creativity can be harnessed through drama to enable active and interactive learning experiences throughout the primary years and across the curriculum. The book includes 36 drama strategies along with over 250 cross-curricular activities and three extended lesson plans.

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This book will help if:

  • You have never taught drama before but are considering using it in a subject area such as science or history.
  • You are familiar with common drama techniques such as hot seating but would like to try out new approaches.
  • You would like to teach thematic drama units linked to several areas of the curriculum.
  • You would like to find out how drama can be used to inspire speaking, listening and writing.


***** A clear, well laid-out book ideal for teachers seeking to use drama in the classroom, particularly useful for those teaching KS1 and 2 pupils.

“David Farmer’s new book will prove useful to all those wishing to extend their drama teaching repertoire; from complete novices approaching the subject for the first time, through to those who have been teaching drama for many years. He suggests on the back and inside cover that the book will be valuable to newcomers and to those wishing to expand their skills. However, I would go further than this, and assert that even the well-practiced and creative drama teacher will find something in this book that serves as a refresher, reminder or quite simply a new idea. The book is well laid out, with a clear introduction, and various games and exercises separated into categorised strategies (helpful in allowing you to dip in and out of the book if you want to). Each section has useful examples and diagrams, along with tips on preparation and even on effectively managing the lessons. There are extremely useful examples of how to drop drama into various areas of the curriculum, and some sample lesson plans at the end of the book that will prove invaluable to those newer to using drama in the classroom. Those with more experience will find the detail with which David Farmer explains the uses and outcomes of the various strategies both insightful and revealing, so the book will be an ideal tool for those wishing to fine tune their drama teaching practice. I wholeheartedly recommend this book, which I am sure will become a must-have publication for those serious about the teaching of drama in primary school settings.”

Helen Day in Teaching Drama magazine, October 2011.

‘I really like the way the book is structured and presented. The pictures and diagrams clarify what has been written and make it look fun and accessible. It is a great book for dipping in and out of for reference and will be really useful in schools and for teachers generally. It is also really readable and I sat and read it for a couple of hours. The whole structure of the book makes it easy to follow. The key at the top of each activity is really helpful too – timing, key stage etc. I think the ‘best bit’ is that you have come up with hundreds of subject-related ideas which could be used straight from the book or adapted. These are just fantastically useful.’

– Jane Way, Head Teacher.

‘This book is a beautifully laid-out, easy to use resource, full of imaginative and practical ideas to help learning in Primary schools become much more memorable and inspirational. Teachers will find the book a valuable part of their tool kit when writing new schemes of work or looking to invigorate and refresh their teaching methods. I have taught primary school children using creative methods over the last 20 years and can thoroughly recommend this gem of a book.’

– Hilary Lewis, Drama consultant and practitioner.

At last, a clear, thoughtfully explained guide which concisely explains the different drama strategies and how to effectively facilitate them – it is a steadying hand and should be in every creative teacher’s toolkit. It seems to work for teenagers too and I like a book with that roomy quality. It’s the best around.’

– Hattie Slim, Teacher.

Recommended ResourceCreative Steps Magazine Autumn 2011

Resources referred to in ‘Learning Through Drama’

These are links to resources mentioned in the book.
Synopsis of Shakespeare plays: www.rsc.org.uk/education/resources
Listen To Me (lesson exploring bullying issues using the story of Cinderella)
Restorative Justice Pocketbook by Thorsborne and Vinegrad
Restorative Justice: www.restorativejustice.org.uk
Away From Home (lesson on World War 2 Evacuees)
Audio 1: Children evacuated on 1 September 1939
Audio 2: Evacuees from Manchester interviewed
Audio 3: A host child describes his experiences
Audio 4: Host families interviewed