Integrating Drama and Art into Counseling Lessons

I enjoy integrating drama and art into my counseling lessons as much as possible. In the following post I detail some lessons I facilitated and where to get more ideas!

When I was working at the charter school, I ran an after school club about tolerance and respect. We did many activities, but my favorite was reader's theater, a dramatic reading of a story in script form. The story we used was Crocodile and Ghost Bat Have a Hullabaloo: An Australian Tale of Name Calling from Teaching Tolerance. The students created their own characters for the story out of construction paper, crayons, and googly eyes. I also had them create mosaic style scenes to using cut up construction paper. The students loved this activity!

After the students felt confident reading their lines, we took our show on tour to kindergarten, first, second, and third grade.  The students were excited to share their work and the story with others; the younger students enjoyed hearing and seeing it! I included pictures of "crocodile," "ghost bat," and some of the mosaic scenes students created.

Teaching Tolerance also has a script for a "Pourquoi of Prejudice" titled Why Frogs and Snakes Never Play Together. A pourquoi is a fictional story that explains why something is the way it is. I would like to use Why Frogs and Snakes Never Play Together in the future. As part of the lesson, students can create their own ending for the porquoi.

The Three Billy Goats Gracious is another story on Teaching Tolerance's site that is interactive and could be turned into a reader's theater or play. I actually just got puppets this summer on eBay of three billy goats and a troll to use for this lesson.

I really enjoy integrating art into my lessons too. In We Can Break Down Walls, I utilized another great Teaching Tolerance story, Papalotzin and the Monarchs: A Bilingual Border Tale. As part of my lesson, students colored paper butterflies. A way cheap and easy way to make this activity a more involved craft project would be to create coffee filter butterflies. I have created coffee filter butterflies in the past by using markers and a spray bottle instead of paint. Students enjoy this activity and no two butterflies look exactly alike.

Check out some of the other lessons I have facilitated that incorporate art: BEE Cooperative, BEE Drug Free, Turn Your Cruelty into Kindness, and With Our Own Two Hands.

If you are looking for more ways to integrate art into counseling, I would recommend a FREE pdf book: Crayoloa Dream Makers Drawing on Character. I went to a conference a few years ago where one of the sessions was about a counselor and the art teacher who worked together for an after school program. They utilized Crayola Dream Makers Drawing on Character. I just got the book Crayola Dream Makers After School Programs at the end of the school year last year and I can't wait to use it!

Do you integrate drama or art into your lessons? What is your favorite? Do you have suggestions for resources? Comment below, email me, or visit the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page!

Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources.  Contact Danielle via email, follow her on twitter, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.

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