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Latest update: September 19, 2000
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Vocabulary as Integral, Not an Add-On

Dyslexia and Acting Out

On August 11, 2000, Tammy Steele wrote:

"For the kinesthetic learner vocabulary is best learned while acting it out. Actors are disproportionately dyslexic I've been told by them, but they memorize Shakespeare. Many of them do it physically...there's a motion for each phrase. There are a thousand acting warm up activities that can help kids remember vocabulary. How to learn them?

"If you like reading technical directions there are books, but it's like learning card games by reading books. Viola Spolin is a good author. Better yet, take a class in creative dramatics . . . every grade school and English teacher should.

"Attend a creative drama conference, your local/state Theatre Association probably gives one. There's one in Chicago on October 7 given by the Illinois Theatre Association. Your kids will love you and remember their vocabulary if you use something physical in addition to the worksheets.

"Also, I've noticed that we classroom teachers too often talk around the word when dealing with children we don't think will understand the word. We've got to be using the words ourselves!"

Tammy Steele

On August 11, 2000, jeanne wrote:

What a great idea, Tammy!

Some of you who are interested in creative drama could work with your drama teachers to help us carry through some of Tammy's ideas. This will work all the way from preschool through life-time learning. This would be a wonderful project for this first semester in which jeanne required a pocket dictionary for every class!

We need also to add the material here on The White Boy Shuffle, which depends to a great extent on understanding the language used.