top of page
Elementary school children use gesture to tell a story.

What is Drama-Based Learning?

Drama-Based Learning uses creative drama techniques such as pantomime or tableau to teach core curricular learning objectives, transforming the classroom into a kinesthetic learning space.


Creative drama sits at the nexus of intentional learning and play, providing a blend of teacher-and student-directed exploration of a literary text or subject area. The skills students use in creative drama – story retelling, embodied thinking, character exploration, problem solving, and reflecting on drama experiences – provide the foundation for a powerful cooperative learning environment that supports interdependence, personal interactions and group processing. 


The primary goals of Childsplay's Drama-Based learning programs are to

(1) improve language, literacy and social-emotional learning outcomes for students, particularly diverse learners, and

(2) provide teachers and caregivers with knowledge and skills in designing and implementing drama-based instruction. 


Professional Development for

Early Childhood

EYEPlay (Early Years Educators at Play) is a creative drama program designed specifically for preschool. It transforms story times into spaces of active literacy, language and social emotional learning, engaging children of all abilities and language levels in deep exploration of a picture book. EYEPlay offers teachers tools to implement drama-based lessons in their classrooms, including lesson plans, online learning, job-embedded professional development, and placement of teaching artists in classrooms.

Drama Frames

Professional Development for

Elementary and Middle School

Childsplay’s professional development model, Drama Frames, was developed and tested over three years through the U.S. Department of Education in partnership with the Washington Elementary School District. Drama Frames trains classroom teachers to incorporate drama techniques to help develop literacy and language acquisition in students.

Professional Development for Elementary and Middle School


Magic Bag - Sample Drama Technique

In this demonstration video, EYEPlay teaching artist Kim Manning shows us how to use a Magic Bag to transform into a character from a story. Click here for step-by-step instructions!

Jabari Jumps - Sample Prek-K Lesson Plan

bottom of page