BOOKS

Book cover of Dramathemes
Dramathemes, 4th Edition
Larry Swartz. Pembroke Publishers, 2014, 160 pages, $24.95
*****
Reviewed by Jessica Crowley

The fourth edition of Dramathemes by Larry Swartz gives educators exciting and meaningful activities to use in their classrooms.

This interesting resource has ten chapters. A chart provides a snapshot of what is covered in each chapter. The chapters each have a title and a “dramatheme” focus. For example, Chapter 3 is called “Sparking Imagination” and the dramatheme is fantasy worlds. The chapters also include a games focus, drama exploration, a drama structure, drama and literacy extensions and assessment profiles.

All of the chapters follow a similar pattern. For example, Chapter 3 begins with a short overview about the specific theme, an explanation of the source (a poem in this case) and the learning opportunities. The chapter then moves to discuss the focus on games.  It provides various options for games and templates that can be used for particular activities. The next section is the drama exploration and, in this chapter, it is creating art. This section allows readers to fully dig into the activities presented, such as drawing and making masks. The drama structure section is next and is based on a source, such as a poem, story or script. The structure section outlines daily lessons and gives step-by-step instructions on how to carry out the lessons. There is also a drama and literacy extensions section, which gives ideas for other activities, like writing emails, having oral conversations and designing pieces like artifacts. Each chapter provides a list of resources to supplement the plan and an assessment tool such as a rubric or self-assessment checklist.

Dramathemes is an excellent resource for all grade levels, with authentic and meaningful activities for different age groups and classes. It provides great opportunities for creativity and learning about real-life social justice issues such as bullying, homelessness and acceptance.

Jessica Crowley is a member of the Grand Erie Teacher Local.

MORE BOOKS

cover of I Am Not a Number
Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer, illustrated by Gillian Newland Second Story Press, 2016 32 pages, $18.95
*****
Reviewed by Monique Pregent
cover of What Makes us Unique?
Dr. Jillian Roberts, illustrated by Cindy Revell Orca Book Publishers, 2016 32 pages, $19.95
*****
Reviewed by Elena Vandergeest
cover of The Big Book of Nature and Activities
Jacob Rodenburg and Drew Monkman New Society Publishers, 2016 384 pages, $38.95
*****
Reviewed by Stephanie Benn
cover of learning and teaching early math
Douglas H. Clements and Julie Sarama Routledge, 2014 380 pages, $ 68.31
****
Reviewed by Edward Schroeter
book covers of Being Me and Title Your Head Rosie the Red
Rosemary McCarney, illustrated by Yvonne Cathcart. Second Story Press, 2016. 24 Pages, $15.95
*****
Reviewed by Ann Pharazyn
book cover of Kid Artists
David Stabler, illustrated by Doogie Horner. Quirk books, 2016. 206 pages, $15.95
*****
Reviewed by Marlene Sutton
book cover of The Red Bicycle
Jude Isabella, illustrated by Simone Shin. Kids Can Press, 2015. 32 pages, 19.95
*****
Reviewed by Elena Vandergeest
book cover of That's Not Fair!
Danielle S. McLaughlin, illustrated by Dharmali Patel. Kids Can Press, 2016. 44 pages, $18.95
**
Reviewed by Mandi Hardy

Pages