Narrative Drama Workshop

Kelly Cunnane

Workshop description

Read and participate. Speak Swahili, use the chief stick, herd the cows! Narrate, create, perform.

Perform the story together. Dress to be the chief or chepati cook... Make a soccer ball, put on your cap, and begin the day with the song of the goats and doves! Collaborate to create For You Are a Kenyan Child (or other manuscripts available below) in a rollicking narrated performance of a child's day on the edge of The Great Rift Valley.

Building self-trust and confidence, narrative drama is an energizing way to learn about another country's culture and geography while encouraging collaboration and team work as we bring the story to life. Speaking Swahili promotes language facility and the wonder and satisfaction of learning something so new and so different.

Along with encouraging physical confidence, facial expression, and speech projection, narrative drama offers immersion in reading, memorizing, and speaking, collaboration and decision-making. It promotes awareness of our unique gifts, the practice of patience, and the ability to follow a task through.

Through performance, children learn the culture and teach others. The dynamic is an irresistible learning tool for children and community alike.

Time estimate: Time estimate: 15 min./ story time; 15 min. / language and sound; 35 min. / costume and artifact; 20 min./ parts and staging; 15 min./ final read = One hour and 45 min.

Other manuscripts available

Each book can be easily adapted for narrative drama, with a half dozen characters, the parts of villagers and creatures, and the role of narrator...everyone using original village artifacts to make the book and the African village spring alive.

Picture Books

  • Deep in the Sahara (Mauritania, West Africa Arab African Sahara culture)
    A perfect coming-of-age story about Mina, a Moor girl, getting her veil and not quite getting it right...
  • Chirchir is Singing (Kenya, East Africa)
    Chirchir, a Kalenjin village girl, is eager to lend a helping hand to her family as they carry out the necessary chores of daily life. But Chirchir just can‘t seem to do anything quite right, until...

Early Readers

  • All Around the World (Kenya, East Africa)
    An early reader with Heinemann International, that explores children at the same time in different places of the world, facing childhood's universal challenges in China, North America, and Africa.
  • Mzungu (Kenya, East Africa)
    An early reader with Heinemann International about a new teacher in the village and making friends with what at first seems too strange!

Who is this workshop best suited for?

Grades 4 through 6

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"Boys in turbans on donkeys go. Men in white boubou stroll..."

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