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Drama and Drawing for Narrative Writing in Primary Grades

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This study compared the effects of planning activities involving drama and drawing with the traditional planning activity, discussion, on the quality of narrative writing. The subjects were 63 second- and third-grade students, randomly assigned to three groups: the drama group, the drawing group, and the control group. A repeated measures control group design with pretest was used. All three groups participated in 15 weekly sessions consisting of a 15-min discussion focusing on aspects of narrative writing, followed by 45 min of drama, drawing, or language arts activities, and 30 min of drafting. Drama activities developed individual ideas for stories through paired improvisations and individual role play. Drawing activities developed individual ideas through story boards showing characters, settings, and main scenes. The control group used a traditional question-answer discussion as the pre-writing activity followed by a text-centered language arts program. Students' first drafts were analyzed as data for the effects of planning activities. Three trained raters assessed the quality of writing using a narrative rating scale devised by the authors. Repeated-measures ANOVA revealed that the writing quality of the drama and drawing groups was significantly higher than that of the control (discussion) group. It was concluded that drama and drawing are effective forms of rehearsal for narrative writing at the second- and third-grade levels, and that they can be more successful than the traditional planning activity, discussion. © 1993 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.




Moore, B. H., & Caldwell, H. (1993). Drama and Drawing for Narrative Writing in Primary Grades. Journal of Educational Research, 87(2), 100–110.

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