Community Building

Teaching Strategies
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Focus Question:  How can a Drama Based strategy be used in conjunction with reflection to create a positive learning environment that builds trust? 



"We are going to play a really fun game together today. But before we do we have to make sure we are being safe with one another. Notice how we’re sitting, crisscross applesauce spoon in the bowl. While we’re listening to others lets put our hands in our laps or our spoon in the bowl, can you do it?”

Recognize who has their spoon in the bowl.

“Next, we listen with our eyes, (point to the eyes) ears, (gently tug on the ears) and whole body (sit still as a statue). Come and try it with me.”

If the students struggle, go over the steps with them, gently guiding when needed. Whenever possible point out the behavior that is on task and ignore behavior that is off task until that student is on task and then notice by saying “you have your spoon in the bowl!“ etc.

“Last we are going to put a bubble around our body. This is your body space. You have this much room to yourself (show the amount of space the students have with your hands). Try and be mindful of each others space as we play.”

Engage (Hook):

“I can see we’re ready to use our imagination and play a game together. This game is called ‘This is not a…’”.


Explore: This is not a.......

The facilitator holds up a roll of tape (or other object) and explains that she has an imagination challenge for the group. The object of the game is to transform the tape into something it is not. The only thing that it cannot be is roll of tape; anything else that is appropriate for school is okay. The goal of the game is to explain what the object is and to use it in the appropriate manner as the phrase “This is not a roll of tape, this is a . . .” is spoken. For example, the facilitator begins by saying “This is not a roll of tape this is my camera.” Then the facilitator takes a picture of a student with his/her “camera.” Encourage the students to hold the object as it would be used, just the way you did with your tape “camera”.

“Are you ready to try it?”

“We’re going to go one at a time, and pass the tape in this direction. I can see everyone (or point out the students that are ready) is ready. Let’s try it.”

Re-do your example and then pass it to the next student. Focus on giving lots of positive feedback and if students get stuck and can’t think of an idea tell them they can ask for help and their classmates can raise hands to offer assistance. The game is played for one go round.


“Great! I saw us being safe/following directions in these ways.” Share out some specific things they did well. “Before we play one more time I’d like us to think of some new objects for this role of tape to become. What has this roll of tape already been? So, what are some brand new things it can become? How can we show each other what are objects are while staying seated?” Point out students that did small pantomime movements with their objects. “One more thing, as we’re playing, pay attention to something that someone else in your class does with the roll of tape that you appreciate, or you really like. I’m going to ask you what that is a little later.” Give an example. “Ready?



“What were some of the ways we were safe with our bodies?”

“How did we follow directions?”

 “What do we need to work on?”

“What were some ways you saw this roll of tape change into something else?”

Give appreciations as you go, to model what those look like.

Closing: Appreciations

“We’re going to go around the circle and end with one thing we liked that someone else did. It can be something that one of your classmates changed the tape into, or it can be a way that your classmate helped you feel safe in the game, like if they followed directions.”

This may be a little awkward at first but we’re going to revisit this idea in the future so it will hopefully become a ritual for building positive interaction between class members



Students can create appreciation hearts for members of their class after the activity, appreciating some of their movements, creativity or the ways they kept the class safe/on task. These can be made through out the year, or different tables or students can be assigned other students or tables to appreciate throughout the day or week. This rotation can allow everyone to have their share of appreciations to build community support.