Ruth Beall Heinig proves what a valuable medium improvisation drama is for the student of literature. Using nineteen traditional tales as a springboard for exploration, she explains some basic drama exercises and methods of teaching and then presents hundreds of drama activities based on the tales. Many of these tales - -from "Beauty and the Beast" to "Snow White" - are already wildly popular among children, who will certainly enjoy dramatizing their favorite characters. What's more, the activities frequently extend beyond the basic story line to create opportunities for exploring the characters, plot lines, and themes. To help teachers determine the level of difficulty, the activities for each tale are grouped into the categories of pantomime and verbal modes and then are further grouped according to solo or paired and group playing. A final set of extension activities for each tale focuses on writing, art, and music. Selected bibliographical sources for the stories are provided, including variations of the original tale.
Ruth Beall Heinig is Professor of Communication at Western Michigan University, where she has taught a variety of courses in drama, oral communication, storytelling, and language arts. Widely recognized as a creative drama specialist, Ms. Heinig is a past president of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, has served on the Board of Directors of the American Theatre Association, and is a Trustee for the Children's Theatre Foundation. She has conducted numerous workshops for teachers on the state, regional, and national levels.