After years of research and teaching, Carole Miller and Juliana Saxton know one of the most engaging and effective tools to draw students into language, comprehension, and inquiry - and that's drama. Into the Story is a highly practical resource for language arts and literacy development based on story drama structures that have been piloted in elementary and middle school classrooms. The book consists of ten lesson units capitalizing on the friendliness of picture books that can be found in any library. Its unique attribute is its accessibility to teachers with little or no training in drama or theatre.
Into the Story offers lessons that engage students in authentic encounters with ideas and dilemmas found in both the curriculum and their world. Story drama structures balance informational, expressive, and interactional language that appeals to generalist teachers K-7. What's more, the attention to detail will give teachers the confidence to work with what is, for many, a new methodology. For teachers familiar with drama, the same structures may be used as stepping off points or as models for planning their own lessons.
Miller and Saxton have created a resource in which teachers and students can discover how, by entering the story, drama becomes a compelling medium for learning. More than that, they've made it inviting, nonintimidating, and enticingly available. Alison Preece, a leading authority on language and literacy, says it simply: This works.
Carole Miller is associate professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, Faculty of Education, University of Victoria. Her primary area of research is the relationship of drama to learning across the curriculum. She is coauthor of Learning to Teach Drama (Heinemann, 2000). Juliana Saxton is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Theatre, University of Victoria. Coauthor of Teaching Drama: A Mind of Many Wonders and Asking Better Questions, she is a recipient of the University of Victoria Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award and of the AATE Campton Bell Lifetime Achievement Award.