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Leanna Ward
Chapter 9
Creativity as Classroom Management
Using Drama and Hip-Hop
Art forms can help build a safe, positive learning environment. They can help create an
outage for students with behavior problems by allowing them to openly explore social,
emotional, and intellectual issues inside the classroom. This is what Evan Hastings discusses in
chapter nine, which is called Creativity as Classroom Management. She focuses on effective
ways to use drama and hip-hop in a class room to provide the safe, manageable, positive class.
Hastings starts the chapter off with her class role-playing a bullying situation. She
challenges the students to come up with an appropriate and responsible response for an outsider
and the one being bullied. Then, she has the students switch roles to experience what each role
feels like (Hastings). Hastings does this because she feels that this kind of role play enhances
students individual relationship to bullying. This lets the bullies and bullied see the mistreatment
and lets the outsiders see their role in preventing bullying. Hastings says, Dramatic acts create
an opportunity to leverage student understanding and develop self-assertion and confidence
(112). Role-playing and acting out gives students the chance to understand certain situations and
to gain a sense of confidence. In the rest of the chapter, Hastings discusses four principles that
she uses in her work; playful interventions, interpreting metaphors, excluding exclusivity and
challenging a climate of complacency (Hastings 111-21).
A playful intervention is a playful creative spirit and Hastings believes that it is important
to have in a classroom because it encourages students to stretch and explore. Playful intervention
allows students to take on new roles and perspectives (Hastings). According to Hastings, it

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teaches them to learn from their peers and their mistakes and have a greater understanding.
Playful interventions can be done through warm-up activities with feedback and reflection on
student thinking (Hastings). It is important to have trust and safety in a class room for these
activities to run smoothly. Hastings advises to set limits to prevent physical and emotional harm
(Hastings). She explains that clear instructions and routines are very helpful preventive
measures and they prevent students from getting off task (Hastings 111-21).
My favorite example of a playful intervention is where Hastings states something that
Garbarino said, Teachersmust be prepared to hear the children tell their stories in and on their
own terms this acceptance of the childs reality is the starting point for the healing process
(114). Then Hastings says, I meet the students on their terms, where they are, then join them in
their learning process (114-115). I absolutely love the example she gives here. She tells about a
time where a student came in class teasing another classmate aggressively (Hastings). Hastings
tells the student that if she drops it for the class, she will let her pick their warm-up activity. The
student picked a 2pac song, called Thugz Mansion Which is a song about what happens after
death. At the end, the two class mates who were in conflict, shared that they both lost someone
who they loved to street violence. This experience brought, not just the two classmates together,
but the whole class. If Hastings did not take this approach, the classmates could have ended up in
a serious fight after class. (Hastings 111-21).
Next, Hastings discusses interpreting metaphors. She says that reinvestigating and
reinterpreting your class dynamics will help you better understand what is going on with your
students. This helps you choose activities that meet the students where they are (Hastings). An
example she uses is a time where she uses food as a metaphor when the class seemed to lack
energy (Hastings). Another example of incorporating metaphors in her classroom is her game

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that students play called DJing images. They create an image for a single word or phrase
representing a feeling that goes with the topic of the class. She says that this activity can be used
to help learn variety of subjects. (Hastings 111-21).
Hastings briefly discusses excluding exclusivity: cooperative play for inclusive class
culture. This is talking about social classes in school. She explains excluding exclusivity as a
student who struggles to focus because he/she is targeted and on the lower end (Hastings). There
are many drama activities that can be done to help the class develop a more socially inclusive
class culture (Hastings). She gives a few examples but my favorite is the Advice Game. It is
where three students role play experts. One student gives good advice, one gives bad advice,
and one gives horrible advice. The person asking for the advice chooses which to take
(Hastings). This can be used to review subject matter, problem-solving, or just exploring. I agree
with Hastings that this enhances the students engagement and trust with fellow classmates and
the teacher. Group activities break isolation and forces people from different cliques together.
The last thing Hastings talks about is challenging a climate of complacency. She lets us know
that it may not be easy introducing this type of activities at first and we may have trouble getting
students to cooperate. (Hastings 111-21).
I have seen some of these methods in class rooms that I have been in. One example is my
English 250 class. Recently, we were made to get in groups and perform a scene in front of the
class. Then, the class had to respond with how well we did and how important the stage
directions were. Another example is when I was in Education 190, we constantly had to work in
groups and if it wasnt for this, I wouldnt have made such good friends at Francis Marion.
Putting students in groups and making them talk and work together can help them build
friendships that would not come otherwise. Yes, I am one of those students who thinks Oh,

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Lord when a teacher asks the class to get with other classmates or to do a task as a whole.
However, the activities usually do turn out of fun and I come out with a better understanding on
whatever the topic is.
How can I integrate Hastings method into my class room? There is an activity that I read
about in another book where the teacher allows free ten minutes at the beginning of class. During
these ten minutes, the teacher encourages the students to talk to one another about what is going
on in their life, but they cannot choose the same student every day. The teacher also switches up
seating. During the ten minutes, a song is playing, which the students picked out together. I like
this idea because it gives the students a chance to get to know one another and become a family.
I believe this method falls into Hastings discussion regarding excluding exclusivity.
I have used a method similar to Hastings before. This was when I taught Bible School.
Whenever the class finished a lesson, I had the students get up, move their chairs, and stand in a
circle. I grabbed a ball. The student holding the ball had to come up with their own question
about that days lesson then whoever they threw it to had to answer it. If they got it right, they
came up with their own question and threw it to someone else. However, if they got it wrong,
they passed the ball to someone else to answer. This goes on until everyone has asked a question
and answered one.
Hastings methods make a class room more than just a class room, more than just
lecturing about topics. These methods help students come out of their comfort zones and get to
know each other as a whole. I believe these methods should be used in earlier grades, as well as
older. This is because the earlier they are introduced; the easier it will be to get the class to
cooperate. I didnt have these activities in my earlier grades so whenever I got to college, I was a
bit hesitate and shy. If I had been a part of these activities before, I would have been more open.

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Work Cited
Hastings, Evan. "Creativity as Classroom Management: Using Drama and Hip-Hop." Artful
Teaching: Integrating the Arts for Understanding across the Curriculum, K-8. By David
M. Donahue and Jennifer Stuart. New York: Teachers College, 2010. 111-21. Print