Last updated: June 26, 2019
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, Research Paper



The Uses of Drama and Storytelling


Christian Education


SPO # 187

Introduction to Christian Education

Dr. Cynthia Brown

December 11, 2000

In a universe so full of fast paced media, flashiness, and glamor, the church can happen itself in a unstable place. When it comes to learning the truth of the Bibles, how can the church maintain up with society? How can the church efficaciously curate to and educate its people? The reply to these inquiries may good be found in the art of play and storytelling. Therefore, the primary focal point of this research paper will be to reply the inquiry How can drama and storytelling be used efficaciously in today s Christian Education? First, there must be an inclusive survey of the distinctives of each type of educational tool. Second, there must be an apprehension of why these tools might be so effectual. And thirdly, the presentation of these tools must be looked at. And so, if the decision that these educational tools are effectual is found at the terminal of this research papers, so they must be encouraged and implemented in our churches today!

It would look sensible to first take a expression at the art of storytelling, since it of course comes before the other humanistic disciplines like play and role-playing. But first, what is storytelling? Well, it is truly a combination of several things. First, it is a ministry. Yes, people are ministered to through the relation of ( scriptural or otherwise ) narratives. It is a limitless manner of portraying the truths of the bible to the hearers. Second, it is a message. Whatever is contained in the narrative should a message wrapped in an attractive bundle, easy assimilated and digested. ( Barrett 1960, 12 ) Third, it is a image that is painted with selectively chosen words that produce a coveted consequence. And in conclusion, it is work. It is by and large good known that one hr of readying is required for every one minute of production. Stating narratives is non easy but the difficult work is worth it. ( Barrett 1960, 12 )

There are fundamentally three elements to storytelling: One, the talker, two, the narrative itself, and three, the audience. If a individual has Numberss one and two, the 3rd is easy to come by! ( Barrett 1960, 14 ) Storytelling is referred to as an art because it takes pattern. It is a manner of showing one s thoughts to a higher grade. It is something that needs to be learned and prepared for. The best narrators are those that love people. For it is the love for the audience that brings out the most in a narrative. ( Barrett 1960, 13 )

When one looks at the traditional schoolroom, they think of pupils sitting in neatly lined up rows of desks and chairs that are softly and patiently listening. Or at least that would be the ideal schoolroom. However, research shows that kids learn at a much faster gait and on a larger graduated table when they are encouraged to take part in the acquisition activity. ( Bolton 1972, 91 ) Storytelling is merely one of the avenues in which pupils can take part in the acquisition activity. As another writer describes it, storytelling is a sharing experience. ( Baker 1977, 17 ) Storytelling is a manner of rising 1s awareness to the state of affairs presented to them. Peoples are more disposed to listen and tune in during storytelling times. ( Baker 1977, 17 ) Baker adds on a few pages subsequently that storytelling encourages the art of listening. And everyone knows what happens when people listen they learn. ( Baker 1977, 20 )

Storytelling is non merely a accelerator for listening people. Storytelling is besides a benefit spiritually to both those who are fixing the narrative and for those who will be listening to it. While the pupil or instructor prepares the narrative, they are tautening their ain cognition of the scriptural narrative in their heads. ( Bolton 1972, 94 )

Drama is besides an educational tool that can be used in ministry. It of course comes after storytelling, since its whole foundation is based on storytelling itself. Drama is chiefly a canonized signifier of storytelling. However, play doesn T ever have to be the large, Hollywood type of production that many are familiar with. Get downing little can be the best manner to acquire things traveling. ( Litherland 1988, 3 )

Drama provides a alone chance to see events in the life of another individual. ( Bolton 1972, 127 ) Particularly in life s earlier old ages, kids have an advantage over grownups. The imaginativeness of a kid is normally illimitable, and allows for them to easy put themselves in the same state of affairs as the individual being presented through the play. Drama is besides a manner for kids to understand things like love, choler, and kindness, because kids tend to larn these types of things through what they experience. Drama, of class, is something that everyone can see together. ( Bolton 1972, 127 )

The poetry that straight supports play is nowhere to be found in the Bible. However, that verse truly isn T needed. The whole of the Old Testament could be the books for many nighttime soap operas, situation comedies, and dramatic series. The Bible is clearly a really dramatic narrative. What better tungsten

ay to learn about this dramatic narrative than through play? ( Bolte 1987, 14 )

Unlike storytelling, play can better be suited to the age group it is being presented to. For most state of affairss, there are three groups of people: Adults, young person, and kids. Let s look at each group separately. First, grownups may happen it easiest to get down a play by first affecting each individual by reading through the Bible or the text. This is referred to as chorale reading. Then choose people for specific functions that they can be identified with. It is known that grownups enjoy portraying a character that they can place with more than those that they can non place with. ( Litherland 1988, 6 )

Following is the young person. Most youth respond good with other dramatic devices like reader s theater, short skits, and soliloquies. Teenss besides seem to bask improvisational play, which gets the teens moving out on the topographic point. This encourages them to take part without readying and to utilize their cognition of the scriptural text together. ( Litherland 1988, 13 )

Last are the kids. The kids besides enjoy drama, although they may be less able to take part than the other groups. Colourful costumes, marionettes, and people moving out of character are all ways to maintain the attending of kids and learn them lessons through play. ( Bolton 1988, 15 )

So how can these educational tools be put to utilize? There are a figure of ways for each one. First Lashkar-e-Taiba s take a expression at the art of storytelling:

Whether the group is big or little, storytelling is effectual. Smaller groups can be helpful in making a closer, more confidant atmosphere, while larger groups can be helpful in making a sense of household or togetherness. ( Baker 1977, 64 )

At times of storytelling with kids it is frequently effectual to utilize what is known as the Wishing Candle. This is a taper that is lit at the beginning of the narrative, and blown out at the decision of it. This taper helps originate a temper or puting for the hearers. It besides signifies a period of clip in which no 1 speaks except for the narrator. ( Baker 1977, 65 )

Baker besides mentions legion helpful tips in showing a narrative to a group, such as: Merely interrupt oculus contact from the audience when you yourself are conceive ofing the scene taking topographic point. Speak in pleasant, low voices that make the hearer want to pay closer attending. Speak lowly plenty that the hearers must about strive to hear you. And gestures, when used, should be natural, and merely exaggerated when appropriate. ( Baker 1977, 58 )

There are several different signifiers of play that can be used in Christian Education. First there is the traditional role-playing. This involves less people, but helps the individuals being involved to link with the function he is playing. The individual begins to understand what that individual must be traveling through. Role-playing does non needfully necessitate things like costumes or props. It merely requires an imaginativeness and a willingness to subject oneself to the feelings or emotions the character being played would most likely experience. ( Bolton 1972, 132 )

Other types of play are chorale reading, as mentioned earlier, and marionette dramas. There are other types of play that can be used, but are far less popular in today s civilization and will non be mentioned. However, marionette dramas can be highly utile in instruction kids with scriptural truths. They are easy to obtain, the kids enjoy them, and it gives the kids an avenue one time once more to utilize their imaginativenesss. ( Bolton 1972, 134 )

It has been clearly shown that both storytelling and play are feasible and effectual manner to curate and educate Christians today. Yes, the universe environing the church today is fast paced. It is full of flashiness and glamor. But the church does non necessitate to be overwhelmed and defeated by that. The church can lift up and curate to people merely as efficaciously through tools like storytelling and play as the media and the fast paced society can destroy people. Through these two effectual ways of ministry, people will be attracted to the church, beckoned to pay attending, and ministered to through the truth of the Gospel.

So, are these tools effectual ways of ministering and educating people? You had better believe it! Are they needed in today s church to efficaciously learn the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Of class. Make churches necessitate to be encouraged to utilize storytelling and play in their Sunday schools, worship services, and little groups? Yes. Storytelling and plaies are two of the most effectual ways of ministering to and educating people in today s society.REFERENCE LIST

Baker, Augusta, and Ellin Greene. 1977. Storytelling: Art and Technique. New York: R. R. Bowker Company.

Barrett, Ethel. 1960. Storytelling: It s Easy. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House.

Bolte, Chuck, and Paul McCusker. 1987. Youth Ministry Drama and Comedy. Loveland: Group Books.

Bolton, Barbara J. 1972. Ways to Help Them Learn. Glendale: G/L Publications.

Ison, Colleen. 1993. Skits That Teach Children. Cincinnati: Standard Publishing.

Litherland, Janet. 1988. Geting Started in Drama Ministry. Colorado Springs: Meriwhether Publishing, Ltd.