Primary school drama activities

Updated February 21, 2017

Drama activities are essential for primary school students---they allow kids to practice concepts of performance as well as creative skills, subject knowledge and confidence. In addition, many of these activities foster team building, requiring kids to work individually and collectively to achieve a common goal.

Improvisational Activities

Improvisational activities are useful warm-up exercises for primary kids since they help stimulate students' imaginations. They also allow more reserved kids to start showcasing their thoughts and ideas. One activity, according to Creative Drama, can start with the kids sitting in a circle. Show them a piece of fabric and ask, "What could this piece of fabric be?" Pass it around the circle and have each child state and show something that it could become. For example, it could be a magic carpet, cape, diaper, scarf, sleeping bag or dress. Encourage kids to think creatively.

An exercise for kids that are slightly older starts by showing them a small object, such as a pen or wallet, and telling them that it is an extremely rare antique. Pass the object around the circle and have each student give a 40- to 60-second explanation of where it's from and why it's so rare. Encourage kids to give very specific details.


This exercise is crucial for young drama students, as it shows them the importance of acting without using words. Write down about 20 general activities on small pieces of paper and fold them up. These activities could be things like "office work," "circus acts," "house work" or "baseball team." Put kids into groups of three or four and shuffle all the pieces of paper in a hat. Ask each group to draw one piece of paper and then act out the activity together using specific pantomimes to communicate it. For example, if a group chooses "office work," one student can sit pantomiming typing, another can pretend to answer phones and another can pretend to make copies and send faxes. Each group must show their pantomimes to the class and the class must guess the activity.

Funny Fairytales

This activity is great for primary school because it involves traditional fairy tales, which most kids are familiar with. Put kids into groups of three to four. Tell them that they can pick any fairy tale to act out with their partners. However, they must change the story by making it more modern, making it funnier or changing the ending. Give students about 15 minutes to plan and practice with their groups. When ready, each group presents their skits to the class.

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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."