Storytelling and Role-play
Storytelling and role play are used to unpack and reflect upon core theological concepts in the RE with Soul Primary learning activities.
For example, Year 5 pupils from Blair Peach Primary School explored ‘Water of Life’ using the local church as a creative learning space. The local vicar led a series of interactive drama sketches using a parachute to engage pupils in exploring the spiritual significance of water in Christianity through Old Testament and New Testament Bible texts. Pupils then engaged in a discussion about Baptism and what it means to Christian believers in the UK, and to the church in Lichinga. They then divided into groups to investigate the textual context for the importance of water in Christianity.
Dramatising Biblical text and developing theological literacy
Dramatising Biblical text is an accessible, effective and progressive way to develop pupils’ theological understanding and confidence. Taking one of the selected texts suggested in the units, for example, ‘The Good Samaritan’ and developing drama sketches using the Bible text as a script with pupils, would be worthwhile. See below resources from Margaret Cooling’s ‘Story and Drama Toolkit’ for different approaches and activities.
James Burke Dunsmore, a professional actor in the UK who specialises in Biblical Drama, comments on the experience and value of dramatising scripture:
“Drama gives you a brilliant opportunity to experience crossroads in real time, in real life and the audience is getting involved with those crossroads. You will see actors performing as characters who are in jeopardy. They have choices and dilemmas. No other art form offers this.
When we are in real time with actors and we see them acting out real actions, something has to follow. We see a character reach a crossroads and make a decision. When you see that you see Jesus’ teachings in a new light. You can see that he offered people crossroads at every step of the way and one took one route, the other took another.” May 2016
Additional resources to support the use of Biblical drama as a learning tool in RE:
Excerpts from ‘Story & Drama Toolkit’ – by kind permission of the author Margaret Cooling and the Bible Society: