I’m so excited to be sharing this Blog with you as it’s the first one which has been created in response to #WTDHivemind, a unique initiative on Twitter, connecting drama teachers worldwide and sharing best practice. The response to the first week was phenomenal, so we want to showcase the best ideas for ‘Drama Displays’ and allow you to connect with the inspirational drama educators who shared them.
In recent years, there has been a move towards ‘less is more’ when it comes to displays and being mindful of sensory & cognitive overload.
However, we hope you can take some of the following ideas and use them in a way which works within your studio and for your students. When they used in the right way, they can become an integral part of your daily drama lessons, an amazing way to increase student engagement & consolidate learning. Here we go…
1. Key Terminology & Techniques
This display can stay up for years once you’ve created it and you can use in every lesson. Use it for Starters, Do Now, Retrieval or Finishers by asking students to recall key words previously explored or choose X number of techniques to include in their practical work. Use it as an interactive Quiz Board, by asking pairs of students a question and asking them to ‘Splat’ the correct answer/ word with their hand.
Here’s an example of how one Drama teacher has used our FREE Theatre Design Posters from the Resource Library to create an amazing display about the ‘Elements of Set, Lighting, Costume & Sound’:
2. Make your displays interactive
Using QR codes on your displays is a great way to make your displays interactive.
Students can scan the QR code to find out more about Practitioners, Careers or a Set Text. Here’s a great example from Drama Teacher Ryan Gooderham who has added QR codes to his Practitioner display board:
Head of Drama Sharon Leftwich-Lloyd has created this amazing "interactive devising display with lots of tools for students to use. There’s also a box of cards to support and cards to challenge, each card has one practical strategy.”
3. Diversity & Representation
In addition to delivering a rich, varied and diverse curriculum, your displays should allow students of all backgrounds to see themselves in the learning. Create displays focused on nationwide initiatives such as Black History Month, LGBTQ+ Month and International Women’s Day. We love this display board, shared by Ryan Coates which showcases a range of diverse, contemporary theatre practitioners from around the world and has QR codes so the students can discover more:
4. Celebrate Students- Past and Present
Showcasing your school’s alumni raises aspirations and makes students realise what they are able to achieve within the arts. Sharon Leftwich-Lloyd’s display showcasing alumni who now work in the arts certainly does this:
5. Inclusive Displays
It’s a good idea to consider your SEND students when creating displays and using some more muted colours, as opposed to dynamic, bright contrasting colours on every display.
6. Empower students to create their own
Why not allow students to create their own displays on set texts and practitioners and see what they create? It then becomes a great revision tool to refer to. Head of Performing Arts Kirsten Watson challenged her A-Level students to create a display board on their set text Antigone and this is what they created:
7. Introduce your Department
Show the students that you are human and have a life beyond school! We love this board which Head of Performing Arts Kirsten Watson, who says she created it so that"students know who we are, where we have trained and why we teach.”
8. A creative & visual log for devising
At the start of the devising process, I always give my A-level groups a display board when they start their devising project at the end of Year 12. They use it to collate images, create collages and be visually creative with their ideas. This mirrors the devising process in the professional world, gives them autonomy and provides invaluable inspiration for design ideas later on.
9. Encourage Wider Reading
“Wider reading is SO important so here are images of the front covers of the plays we read to extend at GCSE and A level” Lead Practitioner- Sharon Leftwich-Lloyd
10. Explore Set Texts
Finally, we had to include this one on Blood Brothers, created and designed by Chloe Anderson, English teacher and deputy SENDCO. It covers themes and issues from the play. The perfect revision tool and reference board for this GCSE Set Text!
A huge thank you to everyone who took part in the first #WTDHivemind. Here are the Twitter handles of everyone who contributed to the day and this Blog. Connect with them and join us this Wednesday for the next one!
Follow us and don't miss the next Hivemind here:
We have masses of resources for Drama Displays in our FREE Resource Library, which you can sign up for here: https://www.weteachdrama.com/get-the-password