Drama Activity: Freeze Frame and Thought-tapping

By David Allen.

In this Drama and Art series, teacher and Associate Professor David Allen explains the different ways in which drama and art intersect, and how the two subjects can be taught together to foster skills in creative thinking, communication as well as nurture an awareness and appreciation of art.

David has worked in primary schools for over twenty years as a teacher, senior leader and Deputy Head teacher. He now works part time as an Associate Professor in Learning and Teaching at The University of Hertfordshire


Drama Activity 3: Freeze Frame and Thought-tapping

As with the hot-seating activity, I always begin with an art conversation (as explained in Activity 1) to warm the children up, to get them thinking about the painting and the characters they can see. In my experience, including this stage at the beginning of the lesson means the drama activity that follows will be more productive as the children will feel more confident and will have more to say.

There are two parts to this drama activity. The first is a freeze-frame where children (in small groups) recreate the scene from the painting, positioning themselves to become the different characters and copying the poses. This is an unmoving image, like a photograph. I prompt the children to build up a character in their head by answering the following questions: What is the person’s name? Who are they? What are they doing in the image? Why are they there? What happened to bring them to this point in time? What is going to happen next?

A group of children taking part in a drama activity.

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