Dramatic Expressions - Teaching personal, social and emotional skills through drama

Books and resources from Dramatic Expressions

Are you involved with children who don’t respond appropriately  to simple questions like ‘How are you?’ or to simple situations like the giving of a present?

I have had the great privilege of working with Black Sheep Press, creating  two new resources designed to help children respond to situations like these.

There have been two drivers for developing these social response packs. The first was the call from employers that young people emerging from school into the jobs market should have good ‘soft skills’, including interaction skills.

The second driver has been the recognition that, for a range of different reasons, a significant number of children do not develop these skills and thus are ill-equipped for adult life.

The development of these materials, in collaboration with Black Sheep Press , seeks to address this gap. Each is a set of lesson plans, with role play at the heart of the process, and cartoon pictures to reinforce the learning.

Social Responses Basic is designed for young children who  are beginning to learn the basic responses to enquiries and situations such as when a gift is given or someone is leaving.

Social Responses Intermediate is for the next age range up -around Key Stage 2- or children with learning difficulties.  It tackles, for example, what we might say if someone has just won something or someone’s cat has died.

They are Pragmatic 14 and Pragmatic 15 on the Black Sheep Press website.

*Stop Press* Pragmatic 15 has just been produced in glorious colour. It look like this now. Much more interesting.  

And now, Prag 16 is here. This resource is designed for teenagers taking their first steps into the world of adult interaction. Through this resource they will encounter scenarios such as

  • what to say to the pregnant woman on the bus who hasn’t got a seat
  • what to say if someone rings up asking for dad
  • how to apologise
  • how to introduce someone

Using Drama to Teach Personal, Social and Emotional Skills

Using Drama to teach Personal, Social and Emotional SkillsDevised to address the development of important personal, social and emotional skills in children, this practical handbook uses drama and games as its main tools in an innovative and entertaining way.

The book covers the following themes, crucial to primary-aged children:

  • Emotional literacy
  • Empathy
  • Making friends
  • Conflict resolution
  • Self-esteem
  • Pro-active skills

Each theme is represented by a set of fully useable lesson plans for the busy practitioner with additional copiable resources on CD Rom. A ‘How to Use’ section suggests ways in which the materials can be adapted for different groups of children, and the appendix contains a ‘Compendium of Games’ which gives interchangeable options of games to suit particular children.

Flexibility is a key feature of this handbook whether you are working with small groups of children or with whole classes.

Originally developed for deaf children, this successful drama programme has been used to benefit a wide range of children.

The contents of the book are completely complementary to SEAL.Alicia

Buy Using Drama to Teach Personal, Social and Emotional Skills from Amazon.


‘This book is based on the sound theoretical principal that drama can have a positive impact on children’s social, emotional and personal development. As an existing drama teacher, this book provided inspiration and fresh ideas. It would also make an excellent resource for those wishing to build experience of using drama with children, as the activities and sessions are clearly structured and thoroughly explained. I highly recommend this book to anyone working with children in either a professional or voluntary capacity.’

‘If… you struggle to combine meeting the needs of hearing-impaired students (many with additional difficulties) with following national initiatives, this new book could be what you have been waiting for…  What is very refreshing is the recognition that, as a result of delayed         language, more visual clues and detailed explanations are required. It acknowledges the importance of positioning to facilitate lip-reading or to watch signs.’

Review by a Teacher of the Deaf, BATOD Magazine March 2009