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W2 Sandercoe

Helen Sandercoe


Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia & La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

Girl Saves Crane (Bird)/ Crane Saves Girl; a process drama exploring a Chinese picture book

90 minutes


This practical workshop is designed as an exemplar of how to apply process drama strategies and techniques to deepen the experience of a children’s picture book. This story combines the themes of social inclusion and exclusion and an environmental message. It is a perfect fit for the Congress’s theme of harmony, as it is concerned with how to build social and environmental harmony.

This workshop is designed to inspire both Primary and Secondary Drama teachers and especially Pre-Service University students showing how to apply process drama strategies to children’s books for embodied learning through and in drama.

The story tells of how a girl helps save an injured crane and then in turn the crane helps the girl to be accepted by her village. It is also about building a greater respect for nature. In the drama, as the story is felt, it becomes a powerful tool for change.

I have been a Drama Secondary Drama teacher for over thirty years. For the last ten years I have been and am a Drama and Arts Educator/Lecturer for Primary and Secondary Preservice teachers at three universities in Melbourne, Australia. I have presented drama workshops for many years at conferences for Drama Victoria, Drama Australia and for five IDEA Congresses and for the Dorothy Heathcote Conference in London, 2013.

Two of my teaching and conference lesson plans have been published in ADEM, Drama Australia, which can be found on the Drama Australia website.

‘Whale Dreaming’, article about teaching a First Nations’ Dreaming story about whales, December, 2020 for ADEM, Drama Australia. Edition Theme: First Nation’s teaching material.

‘I wish I could fly’; a Process Drama based on ‘Circle’ by Jeannie Baker. December, 2021 for ADEM, Drama Australia. Edition Theme: Drama and Sustainability.

Sharing global drama education experience (primary/elementary school, secondary, teacher education); Enabling cross-cultural communication and understanding; Exploring emerging possibilities and scenarios for drama education (teacher education)

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