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Workshop Photos

Learn more about the Drama Workshop
Learn more about the Puppet Workshop
Learn more about the "Newsroom" Workshop
Learn more about Storytelling in the Rotation Model

In some Rotation Model Sunday Schools, Drama, "Newsroom," Puppets, Storytelling, and "Storytable" are all variations of the same workshop. In other Rotation Sunday Schools, you may find a Drama workshop in one classroom space, and a Story or Puppet workshop in another space. It's your choice!

In some Workshop Rotation Model Sunday Schools, the "Newsroom" or "News Broadcast" is used as the Video/A-V Workshop lesson because it is something that is recorded and watched. These days, it's pretty typical to video record or photograph re-enactments, story scenes, songs, and "reactions" as they take place and review them as part of the learning process.

Our Writing Team has been writing a wide-variety of "Drama" workshops that include music, special effects, even "blacklight!"  Many of their drama-infused lesson plans are scriptless or "less scripted."

Three keys to a good drama workshop:

1)  Lots of props, costumes and backgrounds at the ready. (This is why it is a great idea to designate one space as your permanent "Drama" area or "workshop" -- so that the resources are always on hand.

2) Record it!  Adding a video camera or cellphone helps focus the kids and gives your lesson plan a fun review time that's another teaching opportunity.

3) Simple, kid-friendly scripts or scriptless technique and staging. Avoid over-written scripts that merely retell the story, and don't include insights and reflection. You're not putting on a pageant or "play," you're conducting a lesson.

Script or no script?

You'll see many lessons here at, particularly in Drama Workshops by our Writing Team, that avoid the use of "word for word scripts" and instead, use off-camera narrators, cue cards, and other techniques to free your actors from having a script in their hands. Script-less or fewer script-required parts also helps younger children participate in dramas and skits.

TIP:  If you need to use a script, use an overhead or LCD projector to put the 'scripts' or cue cards on the wall in front of the actors instead of in their hands. This free's them up.

DramaMoore Class1

Yes, in just about EVERY church you can see kids in costumes for special occasions. They love that. In Rotation Churches, this happens almost every week in the Drama Workshop !


The traditional model would never take the time to make a 'cool' Philippi jail for teaching Acts 16.  But in the Rotation Model, because we set it up and use it with ALL our classes, such awesome ways to teach are quite do-able.  

We don't have a video of the Philippi Jail Workshop, but the kids were "jailed" with four actors who carried the weight of the drama using a script they had developed.

Your Drama space might be a room decorated to look like an oasis, a newsroom, the Philippi jail, or the inside of a whale!


There's an entire thread in our JONAH LESSONS about how to make a walk-thru blow-up whale for your Jonah Drama.


Stages are great but not necessary, though kids sure love a curtain they can open and close. Above is a stage with shower curtains.


Even the "entrance" to the Drama Workshop here looks cool.


Here's a neat puppet stage made out of cloths and quilts. It can also double as a "Bible scene" or Bible village depending on your story.

Colorful fabric everywhere!   Ceiling, wall-backdrop, curtain, table.


In the Rotation Model Drama Workshop, "fisherman's nets" are good to have around.

paulsilasPaul and Silas breaking out!

puppetstemple-firstuccwestminNotice the large puppets.

Camera woman in a "Newsroom" (Drama) Workshop

These days, the camera is typically a cellphone on a tripod or at the end of a selfie stick to get up close in the Bible action.


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Last edited by Neil MacQueen
Original Post

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It's amazing what you can dramatize with a lot of foam, some spray paint, a few ficus trees, and a $25 Roman Soldier Costume!


These children are behind an opaque screen using shadow puppets.

Shadow Box Puppets


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Here are some photos from our Puppet Workshop, using "Handle Bag" Puppets at First United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor, MI.

puppets - FUMC Ann Arbor Close up of puppets - FUMC Ann Arbor

the handle

Notice the handle on the "handle bag" puppet (noted with a red arrow)

 Joseph and his brothers (a group puppet)

A "group" puppet was constructed using the instructions in Kurt Hunter's book 

Here are a few photos from our Newsroom Workshop

News Room FUMC Ann Arbor

Newsroom FUMC Ann Arbor
Reporting from the studio...

The Walk to Emmaus - Newsroom workshop
Reporting from on the road


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Some camp fire and other sources of "lighting" photos...

built with a tissue paper fire

camp fire

 This one was done with a picture of flames

This light when turned "on" operates a light and a small fan that blows the "flames"

hanging lamp

Thoughts on building a fake campfire...

GRACE: We made a cone by gluing together small "logs" or twigs, (about 1-1.5" diameter sized sticks worked well) so that the base of the cone was about 18 inches and it stood about 1 foot high. Leave some gaps between the sticks.  We stuffed yellow cellophane up inside of it and sat it over a small lava lamp. We found the lava lamp at one of those novelty stores the kids love.

NEIL: The cellophane in-between the skinny logs is a great idea. I think I'd then use white LED rope, rather than glass lava lamp  

Add your photos of Drama or Puppet or Storytelling scenes, by using the POST REPLY button.


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Drama Workshop "Shadow Drama" Photos
from State St. UMC, Bristol VA

Drama: Peter Do You Love Me? (post-resurrection appearance by the sea)




The lesson plan for these photos is part of the Writing Team's "Peter, Do You Love Me?" lesson set (available to Supporting Members).


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A re-enactment on a small scale in a Rotation Model Drama Workshop "Last Supper"
at Zion Baptist in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


Zion Baptist's Awesome Jonah prop!


The kids "demonstrated Jonah's emotions" while posing for the pic.


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Last edited by Luanne Payne

A couple of great Drama and Storytelling Workshop photos from Central UMC in Meridian MS, courtesy of member JWMcRae.


Empty Tomb and stones made with canvas tarps.

CentralMerdianMS.DanielLionDaniel and the Lions Den



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Last edited by Neil MacQueen

I finally scanned some old pictures from the puppet and drama workshop at Palma Ceia Presbyterian in Tampa, FL.  Hope these inspire some other workshops! - I look forward to seeing everyone else's pictures!!  

Gathering spots: We set the scene for classtime by gathering in a synagogue as the early Christians did to hear tales from the Old Testament and also to hear stories about Jesus and the Apostles. (We attached a triangular pediment and unhemmed fabric curtains to a high shelf. A box was spray-painted gold and put on a lower shelf for the Ark. [oops. not accurate to have the Ark in a New Testament synagogue.  what was I thinking???] We hung a flowerpot for the eternal flame - if I were doing it now I would add one of those nice battery powered realistic candles! A church member built the benches for us.) 


We also had a tent where we could gather as wandering nomads around a campfire in front of a tent. Tent was also used when acting out some stories. It sometimes served as a house. (Tent is fabric over PVC pipe. But you could just put a blanket over chairs.)



Puppet stage: We built a PVC pipe frame and covered it with fabric.


For backdrops the kids decorated white sheets (early arrival project; I drew the outline and over the four or five weeks of the rotation the backdrop would get more filled in.)


We would do warm-up exercises with the puppets while we were still sitting talking about the story.


But a table and tablecloth work as a puppet stage just fine.


Flat white sheets also make good backgrounds for drama, too! The hem makes a good pocket to slide onto a curtain rod. Or thumbtack it to the wall (or we had room dividers that were made to have things tacked to them).


But you can do drama without any sort of scenery or backdrop.


We were fortunate that our classroom already had a nice closet for hanging costumes (and storing puppets - the hand puppets are supposed to be sitting on the plungers at the top of this picture). Props and headscarves and accessories are in laundry baskets on the floor of the closet.



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Last edited by Luanne Payne

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