Classroom Methods and Devices

Alberta Walker
1915 The Elementary school journal  
Dramatization, when used by teachers who realize its vital importance and its actual psychological basis, can be made to serve most of the subjects in the curriculum. There is a tendency to believe that dramatization can be made productive only when it deals with historical materials or purely imaginary situations. Why look always for ideals to the heroes of history, or to those created by imagination, when leaders who stand for big things in the present-day world may equally well be imitated
more » ... rough the medium of words and actions ? With this thought in mind a number of exercises were planned for intermediate-grade children, such as to lead them to visualize current events naturally and vividly and to put them into dramatic form. The class had been given no training of this kind. There had been no attempt toward enrichment in ideals, or toward the expression of the deeper feelings which are embodied in literature through dramatic reproduction. It seemed best, therefore, to begin by using recent world happenings which have a marked emphasis on the emotional side. Accordingly, the teacher chose for the first lesson the finding of Scott, the hero of the South Pole. The children were to place themselves on the spot at the time of the rescue and were to express the emotions aroused in the rescue party when they read the part of Scott's diary which told of hardships, disappointments, and love of humanity. To read the words of the diary even once, without a vivid personal appreciation of the wonderful meaning behind-them, would be to lose forever their deepest significance. For that reason the first expression was to be in writing. On the morning of the experiment the words at the end of Scott's diary were put on the board, and there arose a discussion as to the discovery of the South Pole, Amundsen's success, and Scott's vain efforts and death. When interest in the subject was at a high pitch the children were told to choose the 125
doi:10.1086/454467 fatcat:d6r6vbprv5f2diqeatfb4xnwfm