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Swartz, Larry.

Markham (Ont.), Pembroke Publishers, 1988. 128pp. paper, $10.95, ISBN 0-921217-21-8. CIP

Reviewed by Glen Macleod and Elaine Blakey

Volume 17 Number 1
1989 January

Larry Swartz is a drama instructor at the Faculty of Education, University of Toronto, and Young People's Theatre. Using his fifteen years of experience as a language arts resource teacher and drama consultant, he has written a book to meet the curricular needs of language arts teachers by using children's literature to teach simple drama games, activities and improvisations.

He uses "ten popular thematic explorations from children's literature" such as mysteries, fantasies and folklore to teach or review basic drama activities in a way that is immediately practical. The book includes simple join-in games as well as structured improvisations and mime. Dramathemes acts as a springboard for further ideas that will also be amusing and educational, since they provide students with an avenue for personal expression.

The book would be most useful from the upper elementary grades to junior and senior high school, but many ideas can be adapted for use with younger children. The "extended improvisation" sections would be most suited to drama programs in grades 6 to 9.

This paperback is well constructed with clear, easy-to-read print. The themes are well organized, with titles that direct teachers to the introduction or goals and to the various types of activities. Definitely a book that will be used by classroom teachers who wish to include drama activities in their programs.

Glen Macleod and Elaine Blakey, Red Deer, Alto.
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