Role Play and Dramatization

Dramatic Play, Reenactment

UDL 5.1

Role play is a method in which students may assume the role of a person or character and act out scenarios. Role play may be applied in different contexts, from having students act out familiar characters from books to social situations to help improve peer interaction and foster social skills. Role play serves to improve peer interaction and provide opportunities for students to problem solve while gaining oral language skills.

Implementation Tips

Explicit Modeling
When introducing role play to students, explicitly model and think aloud for students the steps for assuming the role of a person or character. Chart the personality or character traits and actions you will perform.
Reflection & Feedback
Have students practice in front of class and get student reflection and feedback. Ask students questions such as, “How do you think the character would respond this situation?”
Student Choice
For younger children, opportunities to role play should be open-ended and self-selected.
Use props when appropriate. For example, when younger students are role playing house, have kitchen tools so that they are associating the proper vocabulary with the correct tool or item.


When working with ELL students, you can implement the use of role play to foster vocabulary development. Choose familiar scenarios (e.g. working at school or shopping in the grocery store) that students will be comfortable with and have them act out roles in English to practice practical language skills. Provide sentence starters or commonly used phrases to guide them.
When working around a common text, give scenarios to students to act out how they think a character would behave using their knowledge of specific character traits.
Social Studies
Have students role play historical figures in reenactments of important events from history. For example, in a study on Westward Expansion have students read primary documents from settlers and have them role play pioneers traveling across the frontier to gain insight into those experiences.

Related Strategies