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Dramatic play and role play: Teaching children in the best way they learn.

During the Prezi presentation, you were asked to watch a video and identify concepts that had been highlighted throughout it. This handout is to be used in conjunction with the video to help with an analysis of key concepts and matching theory to practice. This video shows a group of children who attend a day care service engaged in dramatic play. Their play is supported by an experienced educator who acknowledges the value of dramatic play in childrens learning. This clip exemplifies learning in literacy, numeracy, negotiation, symbolic play and the decisions made by the teacher to provide a quality learning experience. Resources Ideas from teachers on how they implement play in their lessons: http:// www.guardian.co.uk/teachernetwork/teacher-blog/2013/ feb/27/play-educationcreative-learning-teachersschools Ways to include arts education in the pre-school and school curriculum: http:// www.makebelievearts.co.uk/ A book of drama exemplars that can be implemented in classrooms from pre-primary through to upper primary: Pretending to Learn, by J. OToole & J. Dunn. Researcher, Stuart Brown, presents his argument on why play is natural and necessary: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=HHwXlcHcTHc

0 to 5 in 30 minutes Ready to learn Dramatic play.


Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6nVZ1t107A&list=UUjj0p8O9pgyjiDIy7cLHRig&index=47

Supporting childrens learning through dramatic play


Before you begin, write down your current beliefs about play as an educational experience. While watching the video, 0 to 5 in 30 Minutes Ready to learn Dramatic play, ask yourself these questions: What do you notice about the childrens play? Play is done for the enjoyment of it. During this video, identify situations or instances where children express positive or negative emotions. What are the children doing? There are a number of play scenarios being presented during the video which involves children in a range of learning situations. What is the teacher doing? In order for the children to learn, the teacher makes conscious and subconscious decisions about the way she will allow childrens play to develop. This is done through her choice of materials and where she allows play to take place. It is also evident in what choices she allows the children to make in relation to their own play as well as her engagement with children during play. What is the play space like? Take note of the environment within which the play happens. It appears that this day care centre is situated in the educators house, therefore she can encourage the use of real-life contexts. What materials do the children use? The educator explains her reasoning behind the use of kitchen utensils during pretend play. She has included other props and materials to engage children in creative play. Identify these and consider the benefits and downfalls of their inclusion.

What do children learn?

What is the play space like?

What is the teachers role?

Children engage in play because they enjoy it. It is not done with an ultimate goal in mind. Instead, it is a way of learning that is continuous and exploratory. Throughout this video we see children engaging in:
negotiation at the

beginning one child assigns a role to the teacher and herself. literacy learning children use grocery packaging brought in from home numeracy learning the use of a cash register and money is developing important counting skills and one-toone correspondence. conversations developing the conventions of listening and speaking. What other learning can you see happening in this video? What kind of learning happens in your learning environment?

The educator is able to provide a real-life play space for dramatic play that centres around the home. As children often explore situations that are familiar to them, this enables play that focuses on home experiences. This, however, bodes the questions, how does the educator promote other types of dramatic play? Within the environment, the educator has included other props that reflect popular play situations. There is an old style telephone and cash register available. As they look different to current models, they could be used to initiate conversations around past and present, allowing children to explore concepts of time and technology. In addition to props, children have access to books and clothing that reflect their interests.

Teachers are responsible for making decisions regarding childrens play, including their conscious decision to allow children to take an active role in making choices regarding how play will transpire. The teacher is explicit regarding her belief in the importance of:
providing materials that

mimic the home environment providing construction material to encourage creativity allowing children to be in charge of their learning through negotiation playing with children Additionally, the educator acknowledges how dramatic play helps children develop:
creativity and imagination social competence language skills different cultures critical thinking

What have I learned from this presentation and video? How can I connect these practices to EYLF and QKCG? What possible links can be seen between this early childhood learning experience and the requirements of the National Curriculum? How does my new understanding of dramatic play as a learning experience compare to my original thoughts?