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Education Arts & Humanities

Stepping Into Drama

A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Elementary Classroom

by (author) George Belliveau

Pacific Educational Press
Initial publish date
May 2014
Arts & Humanities
  • Book

    Publish Date
    May 2014
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 11
  • Grade: 1 to 6


Magic happens in the classroom when young children explore and experience Shakespeare’s drama. Early exposure to Shakespeare allows children to immerse themselves in rich literature and complex ideas at an early age. Young children are fearless when trying out new language and are able to appreciate the musicality of Shakespeare’s plays.

Stepping into Drama includes: —

  • a series of detailed drama lessons to support a literacy program —
  • a narrative version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • age-appropriate production and rehearsal strategies to mount the play in a school production —
  • a 30-minute adapted script that has been classroom-tested with young children

Each lesson offers children opportunities to explore words, characters, and issues by listening, speaking, reading, writing, drawing, and physically expressing themselves. The adapted script keeps the rich and playful language of the original dialogue intact.

About the author

Dr. George Belliveau is a professor of theatre/drama education at the University of British Columbia, Canada. His scholarly and creative writing can be found in various arts-based and theatre education journals, along with chapters in edited books. He is the co-author (with Lynn Fels) of Exploring Curriculum: Performative Inquiry, Role Drama, and Learning (2008). He frequently leads drama workshops on integrating drama across the curriculum for learners of all ages.

George Belliveau's profile page

Editorial Reviews

This book is a Shakespearean learning feast! Belliveau provides lavish helpings of advice for imaginative classroom drama activities, dollops of resources to ensure you have everything you could possibly need, and ladles of ways to "pique the curiosity" and "ignite the imagination." Beautifully written, this book also offers a fully formed plan for putting on a short production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with young learners, moving from dramatic exploration to performance.

Professor Judith Ackroyd, Regent's University London

Stepping into Drama offers a step-by-step guide into one of the Bard’s most beloved and accessible plays. This book will allow teachers—even those with minimal dramatic experience—to explore the universal themes and humour of Shakespeare through a series of fun and inspiring activities that build towards an actual performance. As the parent of a child who has participated in many of the activities presented in this book, along with the play itself, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

John Vaillant, award-winning author of <i>The Golden Spruce</i> and <i>The Tiger</i>

One of the modern tragedies of education is the high numbers of students who think Shakespeare is boring or irrelevant. This book shows that Shakespeare and especially A Midsummer Night’s Dream can make for immersive and exciting learning. By giving teachers strategies to make young learners’ initial connection with Shakespeare enticing, active, and creative, it encourages students to develop a lifelong love of drama.

Associate Professor Michael Anderson, the University of Sydney

Other titles by George Belliveau