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Pretend Play in Drama

September 30, 2020 | Nathan Johnson

In the first week of Drama, a Tiger came to Tea (the children learned that this is special meal that comes between lunch and dinner) and ate all the food!

The inspiration came from one of Ms. Buckley’s favorite childhood stories.

This story was so much fun to recreate in drama using our imagination and the wonderful kitchen supplies we have. There was lots of laughing, yummy eating sounds, and funny tiger noises / voices.

It also gave us a change to practice essential skills such as

    • hand washing
    • sharing
    • saying please and thank you

In the second week of Drama, the children went on a Treasure Hunt!

They were so excited to leave the classroom two by two with Mr. Johnson and explore the whole hallway. While we hunted, we got to know

    • the names of the other classrooms and rooms on the floor, like the offices, and nurse’s room
    • the grownups on the hallway, where they work, and what their names are
    • review walking in a line
    • review walking on the stairs
    • practice passing classrooms quietly

When the children finally found the treasure it was a moment of great excitement and pride. They had to walk a long way, talk to a lot of people, and look very hard. 

“Now we are rich” Lena said, and they all giggled with delight.

So much fun and learning happens during pretend play in the Drama area.

Stay tuned for more Drama Area learning covering social and teamwork skills, fine and gross motor skills, deeper understanding of topics we are studying, and emotional processing and expression.

Spoiler warning: It will all look like play!

Nathan Johnson

Rivers Class Assistant Teacher & Lower School Visual Art Teacher

Nathan Johnson graduated in 2004 from Lenoir-Rhyne University with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts (focusing on Illustration, Art History, and Puppetry), Theatre, and Elementary Education, followed by further time in Europe studying Art, and in Nova Scotia working with adults with developmental differences.

Happily back at Mustard Seed (where he graduated from in 1995) Mr. Johnson has passionately committed his career to preserving the dignity and wonder of childhood. As children are more and more burdened with technology and privilege, he believes that in order for children to learn and grow, they must be given freedom within structure, choices with guidance, while being encouraged to play and get dirty and, above all, for each child to be taught that they are a beloved child of God.

When not in the classroom, Mr. Johnson can be found kayaking in the Hudson, camping in Nova Scotia, at a game night with his friends, wandering around New York City, making faces in the mirror, or spending time with his 11 nieces and nephews.

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