Creative Drama to Foster Participation Among Young Adolescents (9 to 13-Year-Olds)

Table of Contents


The Framework for Key Competences defines the 8 key competencies that students should acquire through schooling. Some of them are crucial in our societies but, also, quite difficult to teach: personal and social competencies; civic competence; cultural awareness, and expression. 

Although educators know the importance of these competencies for a young person’s growth, they often encounter difficulties when it comes to actually teaching them to pupils. 

Theater in education can be considered one of the few subjects that teach a child how to participate in democratic life. Acting allows the child to develop feelings of empathy and respect towards other members of the community; it also allows for self-observation and affective and cognitive understanding of problems. For this reason, theatrical education and dramatic activity should play an important role in the child’s educational path.

Creative drama is a form of theater suitable for children ages 9 to 13.

From the age of 9, children develop their identity and express feelings more through interaction with peers than with adults. Furthermore, they start to discover their own body and voice as expressive and creative tools. The adult’s task is to help the child in this search, and creative drama can be a useful tool.

In creative drama, it is the process that matters, not the result. Its main aim is to teach the child to act in a group, respecting the opinions of the other members, resolving conflicts following the values of inclusion, tolerance, and solidarity. In addition, creative drama teaches students to improvise, connect with their creative spirit, and create characters and short stories.

During this course, participants will acquire the theoretical and practical tools of creative drama, and the game itself will be the vehicle through which the participant will acquire these tools.

They will learn a series of playful activities with the aim of creating a sense of trust and disinhibition within a group, developing the ability to collaborate with others, stimulating self-expression and communication, and encouraging creativity through imagination.

They will carry out playful activities, acquire the tools to build a character and organize a story, set up and perform drama and improvisation pieces.

By the end of the course, participants will have acquired a wide set of theatrical tools through first-hand experience, which they will be able to replicate in their classes. Thus, they will feel more prepared and confident to sustain their pupils’ development of personal, social, and civic competencies through fun, experiential learning.

Concept by: Stefano Scotti

Learning outcomes

Participants to the course will learn to:

  • Design and supervise drama games;
  • Resolve conflicts and encourage participation and cooperation in your class;
  • Manage and reduce inequalities through play;
  • Promote the values of inclusion, tolerance, and solidarity among your pupils;
  • Introduce play as an expressive tool that enhances spontaneous creativity;
  • Teach how to build a character and how to organize a story;
  • Use games to stimulate your pupils’ capacities of self-expression and self-awareness.

Tentative schedule

Day 1 – Course introduction

  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
  • Icebreaker activities and warm-up games;
  • Games to present and introduce oneself;
  • Relaxing games;
  • Presentations of the participants’ schools.

Day 2 – Different types of games

  • Warm-up games;
  • Uninhibited and contact games;
  • Symbolic games, collective creation games;
  • Imitation games, pantomime games, games with objects and disguises;
  • Relaxing games.

Day 3 – Different types of games 2

  • Warm-up games;
  • Vocal games;
  • Character games;
  • Storytelling games;
  • Relaxing games.

Day 4 – Creating the scene

  • Choosing the title of the dramatic game;
  • Choosing characters and scenography;
  • Creating the scene;
  • Relaxing games.

Day 5 – Creative drama

  • Warm-up games;
  • Preparatory activity for creative drama;
  • Creative drama;
  • Relaxing games.

Day 6 – Course closure and cultural activities

  • Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
  • Excursion and other external cultural activities.

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