Some students take drama class with the intention of becoming an actor, director, or playwright in the future. Many others take drama class simply because it’s fun. Some students take it because they think it’ll be easy, and of course there’s the group of students who are only in your class because all the other classes in that time slot were full.
The goal of the following group exercise is to help students (particularly your more reluctant students or nay-sayers) learn about transferrable or “soft” skills that are taught and developed through studying drama, and how they can be applied to any career path or job they may choose to pursue. Even those students who think they’re not creative or only there because they have to be will be able to grow and develop useful skills that will serve them in the future.
1. Introduce the concept of transferrable or “soft” skills. These include skills like teamwork, communication, problem solving, time management, leadership, self-confidence, emotional awareness, and more. Discuss with your students what soft skills they can learn and develop while studying drama, and how. You can use these posts for reference: How Studying Drama Can Benefit Students Outside of the Drama Classroom and What Skills Do You Need to Work on a Show?.
2. Divide students into pairs or small groups. Give each group an occupation: doctor, lawyer, lifeguard, chef, prime minister, retail service associate, visual artist, esthetician, teacher, custodian, etc. Use the Tons of Occupation Prompts resource for more ideas.
3. Have students brainstorm or create a mind map of at least five skills learned and practiced in drama class that are related to the occupation, and how they are related. For example, in drama class, you practice time management skills by learning your lines promptly and completing your homework assignments on time. A doctor must have good time management skills to treat all their patients in a timely manner. An esthetician also must have good time management skills to see all their clients on time and clean their tools and work stations in between, so their appointments don’t run late.
4. Have each group present their lists to the rest of the class. After each group has presented, students will complete an individual reflection.