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Inter-religious learning manual about drama in Palestine
   
submitted by Arab Educational Institute
26.10.2011

Drama in interreligious education
as a method of learning


Theoretical background and practical activities













2nd by the author full re-edited version: March 2010

From: David Clement
Dipl. Social Education Worker
Mail to: d.clement@arcor.de

Arab Educational Institute (AEI – Open Windows)
Bethlehem, October 2009 – March 2010

Volunteer at the AEI from the 01. Oct. 2009 – 31. March 2010



1. Introduction and background


A – THEORETICAL BACKGROUND


2. Explanation of the used terms

2.1. Informal and formal education

2.2. Method and activity/ technique

2.3. A brief and contextual definition of drama

2.4. Holistic learning approach

2.5. Drama/ Drama-Pedagogy

2.6. Interreligious learning and interreligious competence


3. Learning-aspects of using drama as a method of learning based on the holistic learning approach

3.1. Social-learning

3.2. Group-learning

3.3. Aesthetical learning/ Sensual perception

3.4. Experimental learning


B – PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES


4. A practical preface

4.1. Ice breaking activities

4.2. Warming up activities

4.3. Drama-activities and inter-religion/ moral dilemmas


5. The “right” moment: RRCA

5.1. Introduction

5.2. Theoretical explanation of the four RRCA steps

5.3. Linking up RRCA and drama activities



















Let us be like the lines that lead to the centre of a circle
uniting there
and not like parallel lines which never meet.






1. Introduction and background

If a Social Education Worker, a Teacher or a Youth-Group-Leader (what we will hereafter simply call Educator) uses drama in education, or as I say “drama as a method of learning”, the Educator tries to raise communication and interaction among the students. As one knows, to play drama it simply means group activity. A group, mixed with diverse individuals, becomes a place of learning. Drama means moving, speaking, freezing, facial expressions and body language. So drama and group are interdependent linked with each other.
But, it is not just to play drama with a group of students. On the one hand the Educator tries to increase communication and interaction in-between the students, on the other hand the Educator focuses on an individual intrapersonal (body-) perception, means, how one sees oneself. The individual person learns, on one side, how to act and communicate in a group as well as it gets to know, on the other side, him- or herself new. “You learn about yourself through others and about others through yourself.”

The AEI long-term project “Living in the Holy Land – Respecting Differences” is a school networking project which works together with Christian and Moslem religious education teachers from Bethlehem and Ramallah as well as the Ministry of Education of the Palestinian National Authority. The main objective is to develop interreligious (Christian and Muslim) religious school education. For this reason the AEI together with the involved teachers and the Ministry develops approaches as well as methods of teaching and learning interreligious or interfaith religious education. One new idea, which came up with the volunteer Mr. David Clement is, to develop and experience drama activities as a suitable way of interreligious learning.

I was very pleased to have had the opportunity to speak to the involved Christian and Moslem teachers at two project-workshops, on the 09th of October in Beit Sahour and on the 05th of December in Ramallah too.
In Beit Sahour I still introduced briefly the idea of using drama as a method of interreligious learning in former religious education. Generally this method and the linked activities were some how new to the teachers. They asked simply for demonstration.

So in November 2009 on I visited the AEI school network in Ramallah and Bethlehem and did a mainly 60 minute demonstrating-training with the pupils, on drama activities, at each single school. The teachers were observing and giving me the floor. Those school visits were evaluated according to a standard questionnaire.
On the 05th of December Ramallah workshop, I presented the evaluated results and talked more deeply about drama as a method of learning and the demonstrated activities. One main result out of the evaluation was that the teachers need drama experience and skills themselves. The idea of holding teacher’s workshops came up.






Two three-hour workshops were held in Ramallah (11.02.) and Bethlehem (04.02.), the one with the Ramallah teachers was realized at the St. Joseph School and the Bethlehem workshop at the AEI Youth House.
The main workshop objectives were to provide religious teachers in Palestine, Moslem and Christian, with a theoretical introduction of interreligious educational methods (as you now read in this manual) and a practical possibility of exercising educational drama and communication – interaction activities (as introduced in this manual either).
Specifically the teacher should have had the opportunity of self experience the provided drama and communication-interactional activities. By experiencing those activities by themselves, he or she, on the one side, will decrease any fear of using/ teaching for instance drama activities in class and, on the other side, he or she will learn, practically, more about the greatness of using ´holistic activities´ in class.
Next to the practical experience and learning about the theoretical background of drama activities etc., the teachers even were given an opportunity to plan a lesson theoretically by including such holistic (drama and communication-interaction) activities. This lesson planning part was aiming the question, whether the teachers would be able, personally and educationally, to use the activities in class in the future or it might be difficult to them. The introduced lesson planning activity is developed, by the AEI itself. It is a communication and reflecting activity named RRCA (Read, Reflect, Communicate and Act), which even is introduced in this manual.

This small manual maybe theoretically helps you and brings you closer to the idea of using drama in formal and even informal education. One half of this manual tells of the theoretical background of using drama as a method of learning as it was introduced at the workshops. The other half tells of some practical drama-activities. One must know that the assortment of the here introduced drama-activities is just brief. And the given theoretical background does only take some certain needed points into consideration.


* * *



















A – Theoretical Background


2. Explanation of the used terms

2.1. Informal and formal education

While formal education, or school-curricular education, is placed in regular schools (primary and secondary schools, private and governmental), professional schools and universities; informal education is taking place in the family, peer group (friends), non-school institutions for instance youth-clubs or religious institutions. Even in schools it is possible to have so called extra-curricular lessons, volunteer workgroups et cetera which are also dealing with informal educational topics.
Informal education for example could be focussing on society or environmental such as religious or cultural related topics. A general goal of informal education is to moderate moral values and attitudes, not scholarly knowledge as we have in formal education.


2.2. Method and activity/ technique

In in/formal education a method is seen as a pre-position plan. In this case one must notice that it is also preconditioned that informal education is predictable. A method as a pre-position plan has to focus on a diversity of goals. Those diverse goals are seen as guidelines to the method itself. The educator has to pre-estimate between goals and time-schedule as well. As one sees, a method gives a theoretical background to the educator which s/he has to focus on: a) goals (objectives), b) time-schedule and the c) predictability of informal education. This includes that the educator has to inform him/ herself about the d) target-group s/he is dealing with in pre-position too. For instance a method could be: “Drama in education” or “interreligious education”.

To go into praxis/ experience another term is useful: Activity or technique. An activity is known as the practical part of a method which gives concretely ideas for the practical experience. For instance an activity could be the “hot seat”, the “tunnel of thoughts”, any kind of sports activity, different types of drama activities like the “machine” or body language activities or a discussion-role play et cetera. If one chooses an activity s/he has to check before if this activity is suitable to the theoretical method (goals, target-group and predictability of informal education). Next to this the educator has to take time, place and material, s/he might use, into consideration.






2.3. A brief and contextual definition of drama

Drama is a part of the so called performing arts. Performing arts simply means doing arts in front of an audience. Thus performing arts tries to moderate communication between artist and audience in order to transfer a meaning, a concept or just entertainment.
Also, drama means the process of performing itself, what is, for us as educators, much more important to know. In a class the usual audience are the pupils themselves, but as said above, we as educators need to know that we are using drama to give a single pupil the opportunity of aesthetic learning inside him or herself. The educator, who uses drama activities focuses on the inside of a performing pupil and not on drama perfectness in order to entertain the audience in class. The educator tries to “do” or change something inside the pupil by using drama activities. The performing pupil will reach a step where s/he will connect his or her mind, emotions and body. To reach this learning-rich step the educator uses drama activities which are part of the so called “holistic learning approach”.

In our case drama is seen as a frame of theoretical guidelines (basically goals and the target group), as explained above, what we call the method. Drama activities are the practical deflect part of drama, what we call the activity or technique.


2.4. Holistic learning approach

The holistic learning approach beholds the human as a social and constantly-learning nature. Holistic learning means to learn with mind, body, what includes all human senses, and emotion. Holistic learning does not focus on traditional rote learning or memorize. It rather focuses on the individual and experience making learning process, which even includes, on the pupils side, to make mistakes. “Living in the Holy Land – Respecting Differences” fits totally to this approach: “Living in the Holy Land is a project which deviates from traditional “rote learning.” It does not consider the learner a receiver or collector of knowledge. To the contrary, the student learns best when s/he is actively involved in the learning process (…)” The holistic learning approach is much about practical experiences. The pupil learns to make decisions based on former experiences in the nature of equality, sanity and empathy. Following this approach the human in general learns not only with his mind but by taking emotion into consideration as well as to listen to his body by using his or her human senses.

The holistic learning approach builds on a diversity of educational objectives which are introduced in chapter three.







2.5. Drama in education/ Drama-Pedagogy

Drama in education as a method of learning, as introduced here, is very close to the so called Drama-Pedagogy, which is an autonomous discipline of Social Education Work. In this case it must be clarified that drama – in our case (as we are not drama professionals) – is used to work with laymen, for instance children, youth or pupils. Drama as a method of in/formal education does not deal with professional drama actors.
Using drama as a method of learning always deals with various general learning aspects. At the same time there are specific learning aspects which come out of the educational topic the educator is dealing with; in our case the specific educational topic is interreligious formal education. These learning aspects, general and specific, are at the same time main-goals of the method.

In any case, the Educator uses drama as a medium to reach these learning-goals due using drama-activities which have to be suitable for the target-group in connection with the time-schedule. By using drama-activities the educator tries to increase communication and interaction between the target-persons but rather focuses on the performing pupil itself. Using drama in the field of in/formal education means, that the drama-activities should be selected out of the experimental-background of the target-group, physically and psychologically.

Drama as a method of learning deviates form the traditional way of drama. We as educators, as said many times above, do not want to let the pupil memorise a drama script in order to entertain an audience. We want to let the pupil collect experiences by using his mind, body and emotion. Following this, we have to take into consideration that we as educators do not focus on drama perfectness. If a pupil performs something or somebody there is no “right” or “wrong”. His or her dramatic performance is based on his mental, emotional and body experimental background as well as capability. Practically that could mean for instance, that three pupils will perform three kind of different mothers. One maybe will perform a very active mother; the other will perform a calm one. One can say the one who performs a calm mother does it because s/he is shy. My answer to this example is something else: The performing pupil’s act is based on his background of experience (experimental background). So if s/he has a calm mother or a calm living environment the performing pupil probably will perform a calm mother as well. Here one sees that the performing pupil is connecting his mind while s/he is thinking and reflecting, with his or her social or living environment. S/he reflects his or her thoughts into his or her practical performance by using his or her body. Maybe s/he tries to copy his or her mother because this fits to him or her. What s/he feels while s/he is performing is something very personal. Maybe the performing pupil has a very specific feeling and does not want to share it. But, from the holistic learning approach point of view, that is even not necessary. It is enough when the pupil reaches this emotional step by him or herself. If the pupil does not want to talk about his or her emotions (what totally has to be respected from the teachers and pupils side) s/he can talk about her mother and why his or her mother is somebody special for him or her.




2.6. Interreligious learning and interreligious competence

Interreligious learning means learning in-between religions. “Living in the Holy Land – Respecting Differences” is such an interreligious learning project which simply tries to increase communication, knowledge and interaction among Christian and Muslim students in class as well as children, youth, university-students and adults at the AEI. But as simply as interreligious learning is introduced above, unfortunately, it is a very complex and inter-dimensional concept of learning. Interreligious learning should be filled with a diversity of methods and activities which should apply all human senses.

Interreligious learning means learning in-between religions; learning about the other religion. But interreligious learning also means, and sometimes this very essential part is missed in an interreligious curriculum, to learn about ones own religion and belief as well as source of spirit. While a pupil for instance learns inter-religious s/he will start questioning about his or her own sort of belief. Practically this could be something like: “He is praying five times a day. And I am not obliged to pray fives times a day. Why do I not pray fives times a day…?” Here one sees that automatically an interreligious learning student starts asking his or her self. We as educators should take over this in order to transform such a questioning of ones own religion into a unit (or lesson) of interreligious learning. Before pupils or students will learn interreligious, them should be given time to learn intra-religious or interior-religious. The following very right and lovely sentence describes it very simple: “You learn about yourself through others and about others through yourself.” And this – learning about ones own religion – should be a standard educational and essential part of interreligious learning as well.

The general aim of interreligious learning is the so called interreligious competence. But interreligious competence is not considered as a single competence; in itself it is multi-dimensional. Interreligious competence consists of various different competences in the context of inter-religion or interreligious learning.





1. Interreligious perceptual competence means the capability to perceive religious testimonies, phenomena and person of the other religion regardful. Thereby personal openness as well as open minded (being without prejudice) aesthetical observation is needed.

2. Interreligious and religious contentual competence focuses on the acceptance of the other religion as a system of faith within a certain dogmatic and tradition. To achieve this point one has to compare the other religion with his or her own content of religion and tradition. This comparison takes place on a theological or dogmatically level; one needs theological (basic) knowledge of taking a decision as well as an individual willingness of communication in order to share personal experiences as well as spiritual or theological thoughts with other participants of interreligious learning.

Religious contentual competence means to learn about my own religion, tradition and source of belief in the context of interreligious learning. To know about my own religion etc. helps forming one's identity and personality, as religion can be part of ones identity and personality.
Learning about my own religion etc. helps to strengthen a particular religious and social attitude and competence. As said above (p. 9), if people are ready to share and to communicate concepts and experiences of faith and religion in a respectful way, one will learn about ones own religion etc. right at the same moment: You learn about yourself through others and about others through yourself.

But, before people will learn interreligious they should learn about and share their own religious background in homo-religious learning groups. One danger of interreligious learning is confusion on the participant’s side. But, because participants, as said several times, will start asking, and maybe wondering, about their own source of religion and dogmatic (as showed in the example on page 9), they should know and have their own religious background which makes them ready to learn interreligious.

3. Interreligious remembrance competence means the capability of learning through remembering. Practically that means, that previous experiences and findings should be transferred back into the here and yet, what also could mean that one maybe corrects his or her previous experience and knowledge due sharing communication.

Learning through remembering also mediates religious deepness and rootedness and, at the same time, opens up new levels for the future.

4. Interreligious expressional competence means the basic competence of raising or asking questions. By raising questions, the question itself becomes an opportunity of learning. Asking questions and, in this very moment also, being ready for communication decreases fear and pulls down boundaries and builds bridges and curiosity instead.

In addition to that, expressional competence also means to express religious previous experiences, to communicate institutions and to illustrate theological concepts in a linguistical adequate and understandable way.


Furthermore, interreligious expressional competence considers the ability of expressional dialog as a key of respectful handling among the religions. Without fear the participants of communication will share and try to reach a level of shared and respectful dialog or communication. Thus, dialog becomes the opportunity of mutual enrichment, while the participants of communication should not consider the other religion as competition.

5. Interreligious competence of practice and action results in – practised by participants of interreligious education – action of solidarity for the society and community. This very practical part of interreligious competence could be done in various activities (e.g. collection of donation for homeless people or people in need, or to help a local orphanage cleaning his playground etc.) and visits of religious institutions and communities, circles, such as “round tables” or churches, synagogues or mosques. By visiting or doing something practical for the community, participants of interreligious education show their love, equality and solidarity on a very simple and practical level.

Also participants of interreligious education can invite and host communities or religious leaders in order to let them participate in the interreligious learning process.


* * *





























3. Learning-aspects of using drama as a method of learning based on the holistic learning approach

3.1. Social-learning

A human being exists through the interrelationships with other human beings. A human lives in different communities (working place, family, peer-group etc.) where it shares different ways and styles of communication and interaction. Even, a human takes over different roles. The social life a human being is part of is practised in the context of the culture. Culture simply means a system of values and cultural standards of behaviour in each society, community and sub-communities. To behave in the cultural “right” way, based on the cultural values and standards of behaviour, every human needs the so called “social competence”. A human being achieves social competence by gathering experiences of communication and interaction; this social learning process starts in the early childhood.

Social learning means the acquirement of social competence like communication and interaction skills as well as perception and conflict-solution skills. Social competence practically means to know what is “right” and what is “wrong” in ones society and community. Social competence includes the ability of decision-making and to take over responsibility on the level of ethic, sanity and moral-courage.


3.2. Group-learning/ group-dynamic

If one uses drama as a method of learning s/he always deals with a (target-) group. But not only social work deals with the group – human beings find themselves almost everywhere in group situations. Social competence, as introduced above, means the ability to communicate and interact with other human beings and this, very often, takes places in group constellations. Humans have to learn how to behave (communicate and interact) in a group; because of this group learning is very relevant and linked up with social learning.

As there are several definitions of group, I will introduce only a brief and relevant sociologically abstract definition of group. A group is a social system of members from the same source of interest. The group aims shaping a group-identity (mainly interest) and group-values. Those effects are used to include or exclude members of the society or other groups.
The practical social living together of a group, after development of a group-identity as well as group-values which always twist and always are on the stake, is characterised by a group and individual decision making process. Everyone is aiming a certain position within the group, unknowingly or aware. This group-process, the so called group dynamic, includes the shaping of different group-roles like we have for instance the instrumental leader or the emotional leader et cetera.

As we saw, the educator has to deal with such a sociology group-process. This group-process which includes the group-role-finding is known as a learning-field itself: The target-persons have to figure out which group-role is suitable for him/herself, which is always a secret (quiet) intrapersonal as well as interpersonal process.

In the field of group-learning the group-process itself helps to formulate five, which are related to the social learning, main-goals: Communication and interaction competence, interpersonal perception skills, intrapersonal perception skills, empathy-competence and cooperation-willingness.


3.3. Aesthetical learning/ sensual perception

Aesthetic is a theory of the so called sensual (aesthetical) finding or cognition. Sensual finding is based on sensual or aesthetical perception and the achievement of certain impressions (feelings) and experiences. What does aesthetical perception describe? It means that human beings use their human senses as a technique of perception. By using human senses or a certain sense in a specific situation human beings gather certain experiences and perhaps will achieve a new view. Almost all kinds of aesthetical experiences are not achievable without aesthetical perception. So, aesthetic means on the one side to use our human senses as an experimental (experienced based) and aesthetical way of learning in order to achieve, on the other side, new impression, experiences or a new view.

So, aesthetic does not mean beautiful or attractive. Aesthetic and aesthetical learning are based upon our human sense as we have: to look, to hear, to smell, to taste and to feel.

Bridging the two terms `Aesthetic´ and `learning´ together it means to perceive or to learn something due all our human senses. Educators can – by using holistic, such as drama activities – let the students use his or her senses as a way of learning and as a way of achieving a new view upon things and to gather new or different experiences and impressions. One sees that aesthetical learning considers the learning process itself as sensual. Even the holistic learning approach asks us as educators when it says, to let the students learn not only with his or her mind but also with his or her body (human senses) as well as due emotions or feelings as a probably result of aesthetical learning.

Some examples of aesthetical learning: Aesthetical learning could be achieved by painting with finger-colours or by collecting natural materials such as stones and wood for instance in order to develop a big picture about something in the middle of a schoolyard. Educators could let students smell or touch certain things with blind eyes. Educators can produce music or can use instruments, can dance and play with scarves while listening to music. As introduced in this manual, educators can use drama activities.


3.4. Experimental learning

Experimental learning simply means the learning though experience. But there are two ways of learning through experience.
The first way is to learn though past-experiences, experiences which have been achieved in the past. Those past-experiences are transferred into the present here and yet. This reflection process (past => present) could be achieved for example in free time activities, in school generally or in drama activities specifically.

A student who reflects a past-experience probably deeps his level of experience; and this could be a great advantage if this reflection of experiences takes place in an educational context also. What could such a past-experience be? It could perhaps be a topical conversation with a parent, or a feeling of a fast heart beat after a run, or even a mistake, or a mistrustful situation with a good friend. It also could be an unfortunate situation during the last second intifada uprising or a deep emotional touch during a Friday prayer. One see, experiences could be very personal, unique and various. Any experience could be taken into consideration which has been made some years ago, or just yesterday, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is the reflection and consideration of a student towards his or her past-experience.

The second way of experimental learning is to learn through new experience, experiences which are made her and yet. Making new experiences simply means that something is new to a student what he or she did not now before; linking up past and new experiences is something else. Knowledge and skills which are taught in the present should attract aesthetically the student in a way. The holistic learning approach helps us as educators to let the student take part in the learning process through experiencing and practising knowledge and skills.

Holistic learning allows students to link up past with new experiences. Holistic learning even makes it very easy because it does not only let the student learn on a cognitively level, it also asks the student to use his body and emotion and this really reaches a deep level of learning and reflection. As said above the link up between the past and the present is mostly a quiet intrapersonal process. The educator should ask the students to share past- and/ or new experience and especially what exactly makes the students think/ reflect about the past.

If the student does not want to talk about his or her past-experience this has to be respected.

An example: The topic of a drama activity is somehow related to a military operation of the IDF; as, by the way, there are some stories in the AEI book “Moral stories from Palestine” (1999) which was introduced on the workshops in February. This topical linking up between drama and in a way military operation probably will let some students reflect on past-experiences, especially collected during the second intifada uprising. And also probably those past-experiences are very emotional, fear- and painful. After the drama activity the educator should reflect the dramatically expression of the students. Maybe a student who has a painful past-experience on military operation is emotionally not able to speak about the past, but perhaps he or she likes to share how he or she perceives the other participating students.
We as educators do not want to let a student experience bad things again. And we as educators have to take care about emotion and have to be aware of students who are not ready to perform a soldier or something related to military. If a student emotionally is touched the educator should take some time after the lesson and must talk with this student. The educator perhaps can ask the student whether he or she likes to share his reflection upon the past-experience by making new experiences – due participating in a drama activity – within the group as a save place of mutual exchange and reflection. The educator can mention also that the student’s past-experience is helpful and meaningful for other students, who maybe have the same kind of experiences and feelings. Maybe also the student’s linking up between his or

her past the present will help the group to find a solution of a moral dilemma story which is on the table.


* * *














































B – Practical activities


4. A practical preface

Our Holy Scriptures are filled richly with stories and parables; especially Jesus, Issa in Arabic, used to tell parables to let his people understand the meaning of love and forgiveness. Such stories for example a perfectly usable for interreligious holistic religious education. But, before the educator chooses a religious or national story as well as a drama activity, s/he should take the experimental background of the target-group, physically and psychologically into consideration. The educator hast to ask him or herself if the students are able to deal with this kind of story. Maybe the students are too young to deal with a story based on a second intifada uprising background. Or maybe a prophet’s saying is to abstract and the students might not get his message. Furthermore, the educator has to ask him or herself in advance if the students are physically able to move their bodies, to use their bodies; probably this is the minor problem. But, the educator has to deal carefully with students with special needs. Maybe, because of his or her disability a handicapped student is not able, for instance, to run quickly or one hand is parsed. But, this circumstance does not mean that a student with special needs is not able to participate in drama activities!

If one is willing to integrate drama activities as a way of learning into the next lesson or youth group session, s/he has to plan the lesson in advance. The RRCA activity, as introduced down in chapter five, may help one to structure the lesson and to link up the story and the drama activity. Planning a lesson in advance, one has to take certain points into consideration, as there are:
 Who is my target group, how many boys and girls, age, living and religious background, physically and psychologically background?
 What kind of quotation/ story? And predictable capability of understanding
 (Class) room situation: Is there enough space to implement a drama activity for example?
 Do I need any kind of material (e.g. photocopies, tennis-balls etc.)?
 General and specific educational objectives of the lesson
 What kind of educational methods and activities will I use? I have to know specific steps of certain activities, such as there are four steps of the RRCA activity for instance. Maybe the activity has to be prepared in advance as well, just as to develop guiding questions for a post-discussion.
 How much time do I have?

As one will see down, to deal with drama activities one does not need a room free of chairs and tables. It is enough, as the school visits of me in November 2009 showed, to use the space in front of the class just between the black board and the teacher’s desk. But many of the “warming up and ice breaking Activities” (as introduced down) need a bit bigger space, because sometimes the students have to stand in a circle or have to walk trough the room or around. Perhaps those activities could be done outside at the school-yard or in a chair and table free room.

It is nice and useful not to start directly with a drama activity right after studying and discussing the moral dilemma story, based on a religious or national level.

Maybe before this, the educator, if there is enough time, can do a so called “ice breaking activity” and in addition to that/ or a “warming up activity” with his or her students. For this reason the educator should divide the group into sub-groups, after demonstration for sure. Why is it useful to do a warming-up or ice-breaking before? Some of the drama activities one finds down deal with spontaneous and almost all of them deal with movement. To prepare the students to these elements the educator could do an ice breaking activity which focuses on fun and breaking-up. The warming up activities do more focus on concentration and body perception. Both, the warming up and the ice breaking activities deal with movement; what is, as a kind of preparation, very important for the muscles and hinges.

For a 45 minutes lesson it is helpful to choose either a warming up activity or an ice breaking activity perhaps. Afterwards the educator can start with a drama activity related to a religious topic or a moral dilemma topic. But, when is the right moment to implement a drama activity? The answer to this important question gives us the, by the AEI itself developed RRCA activity which is introduced in chapter five.

In the following sub-chapters 4.1. – 4.3. one will find theoretical introductions of various ice breaking, warming up and drama activities. To introduce them more practically I take certain points into consideration just as educators generally should do if they prepare a lesson in advance.


* * *



























4.1. Ice breaking activities

1. Clapping the hands: The students have to stand in a circle. The students have to pass a “clap”. First, one has to take the clap from his partner and clap, than the student has to clap again, and at least the student has to clap away the clap to his neighbour. So one has to clap three times very quickly.
There are some features: a) One can quickly go to the ground, so that the clap must be given to the next one, b) one can clap two times, immediatly when someone would like to pass the clap, it means: change the direction, c) one can pass the clap (after taken) trough the whole circle to someone (not his neighbour) by eye contact.

Participants: 6 – 20, if there is a bigger class, the class could be divided into two sub-groups, each subgroups one teacher
Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Room: Students have to stand in a circle, could be done at the schoolyard, or in a room free of chairs and tables.
Material: No
Objective: Fun and breaking up, less to prepare his body on movement and his mind on concentration
Other: It is a very active (laud), laughing and funny activity.


2. Fruit salad: The students have to sit in a circle. And they have to get fruit names, like banana, apple, strawberry, cherry etc. Make sure that there are always minimum two fruit of every sort, for instance if there are eight students participating, there must be two cherries, two apples, two strawberry and two bananas. One student is standing in the middle and has to say a fruit’s name, for instance: banana. Than the bananas have to get up and change there seats very quickly, in order to catch a new seat. During this movement, the one in the middle has to try to catch one seat. So at least one student does not get a seat. S/he has to call a fruit-name again to get a seat.
There is one feature: If the student in the middle says “fruit salad”, all students have to get up and have to get a new seat quickly.

Participants: 7 – 20, if there is a bigger class, the class could be divided into two sub-groups, each subgroups one teacher
Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Room: Students have to sit (standing is possible as well!!) in a circle, could be done at the schoolyard, or in a room free of tables.
Material: No
Objective: Fun and breaking up, less to prepare his body on movement and his mind on concentration
Other: It is a very active (laud), laughing and funny activity.













Catch the animal: The students have to sit in a circle. All they get animal names. But it is not allowed having twice the same animal name. One student is standing in the middle of the circle with a wrapped newspaper in his/her hand. The students sitting in the circle have to call themselves by saying their names, for instance: dog calls the cat. And than cat calls the dolphin and so on, student calls after student. But they have to take care. The student with the wrapped newspaper has to “hit” gentle the called animal on his knee before he is able to call somebody else. For instance if the dog is calling the cat, the student with the newspaper has to hit the cat before she is going to call someone else. This is a very quickly game.

Participants: 5 – 20, if there is a bigger class, the class could be divided into two sub-groups, each subgroups one teacher
Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Room: Students have to sit in a circle, could be done at the schoolyard, or in a room free of tables.
Material: Wrapped newspaper
Objective: Fun and breaking up, to prepare his body on movement and his mind on concentration
Other: It is a very active (laud), laughing and funny activity.


Other ice breaking activities are possible: Room for personal notes

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4.2. Warming up activities

1. Throw the ball: You need six small balls, like tennis-balls for instance. If there is a big group (for instance 20 pupils) you can use 6 balls. The students have to stand in a circle. Every student has to throw a ball to another one (always the same one!). After and after the educator has to include more and more balls in this game. So that one student even has to receive a ball from a certain, always the same, person. After, one student has to throw the ball to another, always the same person. So one receives and one has to throw a ball away.
The educator can use this activity also as a single activity, without a warming up context, in order to talk with his or her students about difficulties and abilities of communication. Such as: “Communication is about receiving and giving”; this could be translated practically into receiving a ball and giving away a ball. This activity could be included very nicely as a single activity into the R.R.C.A. activity. Before the activity starts the educator can develop some kind of activity rules together with his or her students about non-violent communication for instance.

Participants: 5 – 20, if there is a bigger class, the class could be divided into two sub-groups, each subgroups one teacher
Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Room: Students have to stand in a circle, could be done at the schoolyard, or in a room free of tables and chairs.
Material: 6 Tennis balls
Objective: Fun and breaking up, to prepare the students body on movement; concentration and cooperation
Other: During the game the students have to try to be silent and to concentrate a lot; this activity is also possible as a ice breaking activity or as a single activity without a warming up context


2. Fall and be caught: The students have to build pairs. For this activity you need a chair and table free room as well. One student lets him/ herself fall down towards the ground while the other student stands right behind him/ her in a safe position. This student has to catch him or her. So the students who will be caught should stay backwards to the student who will catch. For this activity the two students have to be very concentrated and the one, who will be caught, should fall very slowly.
For this activity their should be a basic level of trust among the students.
The educator can use this activity also as a single activity, without a warming up context, in order to talk with his or hers students about trust and mistrust, friendship etc.

Participants: 2 – X
Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Room: One needs a room free of tables and chairs; this activity could also be done at the schoolyard
Material: No
Objective: Concentration, cooperation, mutual trust
Other: This activity is also possible as a single activity without a warming up context in order to talk about mutual trust with the students.
Generally, the teacher should, together with the students, develop some specific rules of this activity




3. Guide each other (one’s eyes are closed) trough the room: For this trust-building activity, which can even be used as a warming-up activity, you need a chair and table free room. Even you can play this activity outside at the school yard. The students have to build couples. One closes his/her eyes. The other on has to take the responsibility and has to guide him/her trough the room very gentle and slowly due touching his/ her shoulders. After a few minutes the roles have to be changed. Even it is nice to play some “quiet” music.
The educator can use this activity also as a single activity, without a warming up context, in order to talk with his or hers students about trust and mistrust, friendship etc. This activity could be included very nicely as a single activity into the R.R.C.A. activity. Before the activity starts the educator can develop some kind of activity rules together with his or her students.

Participants: 2 – 30, the students have to build couples
Time: 10 – 15 minutes
Room: The students need a whole room or space, free of chairs and tables. The students have to walk slowly trough the room/ schoolyard
Material: Perhaps the educator includes this kind of activity in a lesson about trust. Maybe s/he needs certain handouts or worksheets
Objective: To prepare the students on concentration, listening to other senses while eyes are closed, mutual trust and cooperation
Other: During the game the students have to try to be silent and to concentrate a lot. Before this activity starts the educator has to clarify that the students have to really take care about each other seriously. Also the educator can develop, together with his
or her students, specific rules of this activity, such as: be silent, do not run, if there is an obstacle wait, etc.


4. Walk trough the room and fix a point: The students have to walk single trough the room and fix a point in order to reach/ come close to his or her point (which could be a window, a small hole in the wall, or a board for instance). Than the students have to turn around and fix another point, and so on. For this activity you need a room free of chairs and tables (they can be put to the sides). The students have to walk, not to run, trough the room. Furthermore, they also have to take care about each other not to clash. Those rules even could be developed wtih the students together in advance.

Participants: 2 – 30
Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Room: For this activity you need a room free of chairs and tables (they can be put to the sides).
Material: No
Objective: To prepare the students on concentration and inter-perception
Other: During the game the students have to try to be silent and to concentrate a lot.











5. Mirror Part one: The students have to build pairs. Two students stand in opposite to each other. One moves his/her arm for instance slowly. The other follows his/ her movement. Than maybe his/ her leg, finger, head etc. Or his/her eyes, breath, facial-expressions and so on. The roles have to be changed after some minutes. The pairs of students have to space out in the room.

Participants: 2 – 30, the students have to build couples
Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Room: For this activity you need a room free of chairs and tables (they can be put to the sides), this activity could be done even at the schoolyard
Material: No
Objective: To prepare the students on concentration and body as well as inter-perception, unsing body
Other: During the game the students have to try to be silent and to concentrate a lot.


6. Mirror Part two: It is the same like No. 4. But the students have to “obey” no roles. The two students achieve and follow movements at the same time.


7. Pillow-run: The students have to sit in a circle; they have to be divided into two teams. The students who do belong to the same team have not to sit next to each other. Than, there are two pillows, which have to be passed (thrown) from a X to a X and from a Y to a Y student. The goal of this activity is, that one pillow has to overtake the other one. If the game starts the pillows has to be in the opposite of each other, for sure one pillow in a hand of a X students, the other pillow in a hand of a Y student. The game can begin. If the pillow is thrown out of the circle the game continues.

Participants: 8 – 20, if there is a bigger class, the class could be divided into two sub-groups,
Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Room: For this activity you need a room free of chairs and tables (they can be put to the sides), this activity could be done even at the schoolyard

Material: Two pillows
Objective: To prepare the students on concentration and cooperation, fun; also this activity is possible as an ice breaking activity
Other:


8. Go through the room Part one: The students have to run trough the room fast, middle, slowly, very slowly. Or the ground changes to ice, fire or to a swamp. But the students have not to touch each other. For this activity you need a room free of chairs and tables (they can be put to the sides), or you can play this activity at the school yard.

Participants: 2 – 20, if there is a bigger group this activity should be done at the schoolyard
Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Room: For this activity you need a room free of chairs and tables (they can be put to the sides), this activity could be done even at the schoolyard
Material: No
Objective: To prepare the students on concentration and body perception
Other: During the game the students have to try to be silent and to concentrate a lot.


9. Go trough the room Part two: All students go (not run!) through the room (not in a circle): If the educator claps his or her hands, the students a) have to “freeze”, or b) the have to look like a animal, or c) two students have to connect themselves like the educator says “knee and head” for instance. So the have to connect one’s knee and one’s head. Or d) two students have to play a for instance romantic scene and have to freeze immediately. Or, or, or.

Participants: 2 – 20, if there is a bigger group this activity should be done at the schoolyard
Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Room: For this activity you need a room free of chairs and tables (they can be put to the sides), this activity could be done even at the schoolyard
Material: No
Objective: To prepare the students on concentration and body perception, inter-cooperation and spontaneously
Other: During the game the students have to try to be silent and to concentrate a lot.


10. Shake slowly: The students have to stand in a circle. They have to shake slowly and gentle ones head. Then both shoulders. After left arm, right arm and left hand, right hand. Later ones hips, left leg, right leg, left foot and right foot.

Participants: 2 – 20, if there is a bigger group this activity should be done at the schoolyard
Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Room: For this activity you need a room free of chairs and tables (they can be put to the sides), this activity could be done even at the schoolyard
Material: No
Objective: To prepare the students on concentration, body perception and body warming up (muscles and hinges)
Other: During the game the students have to try to be silent and to concentrate a lot.


11. Shake speedy: The students have to stand in a circle. They have to shake speedy a certain number of times ones right arm/hand and count for instance from 6 down to 1, than ones left arm/hand, than ones right leg/ foot as well as ones left leg/ foot. Than start again from 5 down to 1, afterwards with 4 down to 1… The students have to count aloud the numbers together!

Participants: 2 – 20, if there is a bigger group this activity should be done at the schoolyard
Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Room: For this activity you do not need a room free of chairs and tables, the students (in class) can stand at their desks, for sure they can stand also in between the desks.
Material: No
Objective: To prepare the students on body perception and body warming up (muscles and hinges)
Other: -










12. Picture: All students have to walk through the room (not in a circle). At a certain point, like after a few seconds, the educator has to shout a picture. A picture could be for instance “a picture for the mother” or “a picture in a football stadium” or “a picture at a state parliament visit” etcetera. The educator has to ensure that all students are able to here his shouting. Immediately after the educator has shouted the picture, the students have to come together and have to ”freeze” into one (as a group) specific picture. For this activity you need a room free of chairs and tables.

Participants: 5 – 20, if there is a bigger group this activity should be done at the schoolyard
Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Room: For this activity one needs a room free of chairs and tables
Material: No
Objective: To prepare the students on body perception and using body, concentration and linking up body expression and mind
Other: Probably the students will not be completely silent, perhaps laughing, while standing in the picture.


13. The nose follows the hand: The students have to build pairs. One puts his hand up in front of the others face; the other student’s nose follows his/ her hand. The student who follows the hand can decide how big the distance between hand and nose will be. For this activity you need a room free of chairs and tables (they can be put to the sides). At the beginning, the students should not walk through the room; later on the can slowly try to walk through the room as well.
The educator can use this activity also as a single activity, without a warming up context, in order to talk with his or hers students about trust and mistrust, friendship etc.

Participants: 5 – 20, if there is a bigger group, or generally, this activity should be done at the schoolyard
Time: 5 – 10 minutes
Room: For this activity one needs a room free of chairs and tables, schoolyard
Material: No
Objective: To prepare the students on body perception and using body, concentration and cooperation as well as trust
Other: The students should try to be silent


14. Express a feeling I: Well, this is actually a very challenging activity. The group members have to trust each other carefully. The students have to stand in two lines in the opposite of each other, so that two students build a pair. Now the students from one line have to play a frozen emotional feeling to his partner from the opposite line. The one who is playing the feeling should use body language as well as facial expressions. The observing student has to find out which feeling the playing students is doing. After this, the roles have to be changed.

Participants: 5 – 20, if there is a bigger group this activity should be done at the schoolyard
Time: 5 – 7 minutes
Room: For this activity one needs a room free of chairs and tables, they can be put to the sides
Material: Some small papers with feelings as a handout to the students
Objective: To prepare the students on body perception and using body, concentration and linking up body expression, mind and emotion
Other: The students have to be silent in order to concentrate and focus a lot

15. Express a feeling II: Also this activity needs a basic group trust level. One student comes in front of the whole group (students in class can stay in their chairs) and starts to play a feeling which s/he just chose by her/ himself (Maybe the educator can prepare some guiding themes like “a feeling you have had yesterday or today morning” etc.). The rest has to find out what kind of feeling the student is playing (expressing). The one who is playing the feeling should use body language as well as facial expressions. Than it is another student’s turn.

Participants: 4 – X,
Time: 5 – 8 minutes
Room: Students can stay in their chairs; the one who is playing comes in front of the class
Material: Some small papers with feelings as a handout to the students
Objective: To prepare the students on body perception, concentration and linking up body expression, emotion and mind
Other: The students have to be silent in order to concentrate and focus a lot.


16. One round around a table: For this activity one needs a chair and table free room. The educator has to place a heavy table in the middle of the room. The students have to be separated into sub-groups (each group five students). One group has to get on the table. Now all of them have to try to circle around the table without touching and standing on the ground floor. The five students have to work strongly together. Afterwards it is another group’s turn.

Participants: 5 – X
Time: It could take long, each group needs some minutes; in total perhaps 30min.
Room: One needs a room free of tables and chairs; this activity could also be done at the schoolyard
Material: Table
Objective: Concentration, cooperation, mutual trust
Other: This activity is also possible as a single activity without a warming up context in order to talk about mutual trust and/ or cooperation with the students.


17. All together trough a barrier: This activity is an outside activity. The educator has to span a long rope between two close trees for instance. The rope has to look like a spider’s web. Now the students, divided into sub-groups (each group five students) have to try to get from one side of the spider’s web to the other side, without touching the ground. They are allowed to stand on the ground, but the student who is trying to get through the web, is not allowed. So maybe this student needs help?

Participants: 5 – X
Time: It could tale long, each group needs some minutes; in total perhaps 30min.
Room: This activity should be done at the schoolyard or at a naturally side.
Material: Rope
Objective: Cooperation, mutual trust
Other: This activity is also possible as a single activity without a warming up context in order to talk about mutual trust and/ or cooperation with the students.






Other warming up activities are possible: Room for personal notes

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4.3. Drama-activities and inter-religion/ moral dilemmas

The following introduced drama activities have no interreligious nature. Basically, I would like to introduce following drama activities: “still image”, “machine”, “tunnel of thoughts” and the “hot seat”. Almost all of them have been introduced at the workshops. These four drama activities are suitable for every kind of topic or theme; in our case it is interreligious learning. If the pupils are asked to develop a ”machine” for instance, each sub-group should consists of Muslim and Christian pupils. Interreligious learning, as we know, takes place due inter-communication and interaction between humans of different religious or faith background. Drama or drama activities are a very interactive possibility of communication and action also. It seems that drama activities are “very” suitable towards interreligious learning. But, we as educators should not forget that we are, on the one hand, focusing on the single experience of each pupil and on the other hand, on the interaction in-between humans, pupils, of different religions.

As one will see, the drama activities (see down) have to be related with an interreligious or moral dilemma topic.

An example: If the students analyse a religious or moral dilemma story in an interreligious context, they will find many signal or meaningful words or sentences out of the story. The students should find out words or sentences with are very meaningful and important to them, this could be done in partner work for instance. Afterwards, the teacher should collect all the words, sentences and terms the students found out on the board. Those meaningful words or sentences, which are part of the religious or moral dilemma story, will be the basic theme or topic of the drama activities. After a discussion and exchange (actually, the lesson structure, what we call the RRCA is introduced in chapter five) the teacher can start with an ice breaking or warming up activity, or if there is less time, directly with a drama activity.

Before the educator divides the students into sub-groups in order to let them stark develop a drama act, the educator has to introduce and explain the drama activity carefully!

The “tunnel or thoughts” and the “hot seat” are drama activities which have to be understood as decision making activities. Those two activities are helpful to understand more about the moral decision and its pro and contra arguments. The activities will not lead to a final end. But the activities are part of the decision making process.

The drama activities:

1. Still image: The students have to be divided into sub-groups (each group between four and ten students). The task is, they have to develop a “still image” together about a specific topic (word or sentence) or a part of a story. They have to think, cooperate and work together; finally they have to clarify who takes over which role.
After five to six minutes the educator can ask one sub-group to act their “still image” in front of the class. What is a “still image”? A “still image” is a freezing picture of five (more or less) students; freezing simply mean not to speak and not to move. The


students have to understand this important issue. While freezing, we as educators, try to let the students focus more one body language and facial expressions.
One student has to start. S/he has to place him/ her into the middle of the space and freeze. After and after the other students have to join the “still image” in order to complete it. This “after and after joining” makes it a bit more interesting and dynamic for the observing students. The observing students have to be silent. They are asked to watch and to make notes which are important for the post-discussion or exchange. (Please see chapter five).
If the “still image” is complete, the educator should give the performing students 30-120 seconds to show what the developed; but also and more important, to let them experience and feel the dynamic among them and inside of each single pupil. Then it is another sub-group’s turn.

Par

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