Drama Activities (Acting)

Name of the Activity:  Speed Friending

Type of Warmup/Activity: Acting/ Improvisation

Reason For Choosing: I love improv games because they translate nicely into on-stage skills. Further, if an actor forgets a line, it is absolutely necessary to improv on stage least the play come to a grinding halt. This game in particular (and its variations) helps student’s improv in a safer environment that in front of an audience. It is a very easy going game but can be a lot of fun for the students (especially if you include the variations like I do). This also is a great starting activity because it allows the students to get to know one another’s name and it begins the transition into the “safer” environment of a drama classroom (in which a few, but not all, students may be familiar with).

Skills Used: Voice, Movement, Improvisation, Creativity, Spontaneity, Communication

Procedure: Break the students into two equal lines facing one another (each person should have a corresponding partner across from them). The students begin by introducing themselves and telling their partner something about themselves (A true statement) (Ex for myself: I rodeo and am a steer wrestler). After both students have gone the lines shift one to the left (with the ends going to the other side of the line Ex. line “A” to line “B”). This pattern continues until either all students are introduced or a certain amount of time has passed (for very large groups). The activity can either end at this step or can develop into many of the variations to this activity.

Variations:

  1. Once everyone has been introduced, the corresponding partner then introduces you to the class (Ex. This is my partner ___. They like ___. (whatever has been said is what the partner says)).
  2. Instead of simply saying one thing to your partner, each partner plays two truths and a lie and the other partner has to try and guess what the lie is.
  3. Have students create characters (or bring in existing ones) and introduce themselves as these characters (Ex. My name is Barney. I like being a big purple dinosaur, My name is Bob spelt backwards. I like eating my cereal with a fork, etc…) Try and get them to create voices and movements of these characters as well.
  4. Give the students a task that they must complete during each interaction (Ex. take off your shoe and sniff it). This makes the game very silly and gets students out of their comfort zones while simultaneously making them more comfortable with one another.

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This activity is an active exploration, development, and expression of ideas through improvisational activities.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- Students have to come prepared with a character from history and introduce themselves as that character (great for character development) (Ex. Albert Einstein, Karl Marx, Freddie Mercury, etc…)
  3. Critical/ Responsive- Write a journal entry about the new friends/ new information about the students in the class that you learnt about after this activity.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Communication -creating opportunities for students to express their ideas in a variety of ways, allowing them to learn from other students’ thinking and to demonstrate their present understanding
  -planning learning experiences that allow students to draw upon their first-language skills in order to further their understanding and present this understanding to others
  – having students use expressive language (spoken, written and non-verbal) in order to explore ideas carefully and conscientiously

 

Critical and Creative Thinking – allowing for differing expression and interpretation of assignments, and encouraging imaginative responses

 

Outcomes:                                              Indicators:

Develop self-confidence self-discipline

and self-motivation

– develop a sense of responsibility to other members of the class
  – feel secure in the class

 

Acquire understandings and abilities in group processes – co-operate with others in groups of various sizes to plan and participate in drama experiences

 

Develop acting skills – accept and respond to others in role
  – develop increasing commitment to their own roles and the roles of others
  – express themselves confidently through speech

 

Understand the role of drama in

various cultures, past and present

– understand that theatre, past and

present, can teach us about ourselves

 

 

 

Name of the Activity:  What are you doing?

Type of Warmup/Activity: Acting/ Improvisation

Reason For Choosing: I like this game because it makes the students think quickly on their feet. Further, what they are saying and what they are doing is completely different which is counterintuitive for people to think about. This requires the students to think outside the box while having fun in a rapid fire elimination environment. Generally, elimination games work well to make the students who do not exactly like the activity to participate because they don’t want to be eliminated from the group (not the best to do all the time though). This activity is exciting and fosters concentration, creativity, and spontaneity.

Skills Used: Voice, Movement, Improvisation, Creativity, Spontaneity, Concentration

Procedure: Have students stand in a line (a circle works best for bigger groups). One student begins by starting an “activity” (Ex. Brushing their teeth, drumming, doing the dishes, etc…). The next person in line asks the person: “What are you doing?”

While still doing their previous activity (ex. brushing their teeth), the person says something that is completely different than what they are doing (Ex. “Getting into a suit of armor”).

The person who asked “What are you doing?” now immediately begins whatever the previous person said (In our example above- Getting into a suit of armor).

The next person in line then askes “What are you doing?” and the person getting into the armor would create a new activity such as “washing my car”. The student that asked “What are you doing?” then immediately starts washing a car.

This goes so on and so forth until someone messes up. You are out if:

  1. You say what you are actually doing (Ex. says washing car while washing a car)
  2. You don’t follow the correct order of wording (Ex. saying an activity before asking what the other person is doing)
  3. You take too long to think of something/ hesitate.
  4. You cannot think of something different to be doing
  5. You stop doing the activity while thinking or saying a new activity to be doing
  6. You say something that has already been done (Ex. a second washing a car would be out in our demonstration but washing my face would still be okay)

Variations:

  1. Connect a theme to make it a little harder for everyone if they are finding it too easy (Ex. in a horror movie, on/ by the beach, etc…). If they say an activity that isn’t connected to the theme, then they are out.

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This activity requires students to have to think on their feet. It is a rapid paced exploration, development, and expression of ideas through improvisational activities.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- Connect the theme to historical events (ex. WWI or WWII, etc…). Students will have to recall the event and use their own prior knowledge for the exercise.
  3. Critical/ Responsive- Discuss how easy or hard it was for the students to say something contrary to what they are actually doing. Journal your personal struggle or success.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Communication -organizing instruction which allows students to bring forward prior knowledge and/or to make connections with other school learning
  – creating opportunities for students to express their ideas in a variety of ways, allowing them to learn from other students’ thinking and to demonstrate their present understanding

 

Critical and Creative Thinking -allowing for differing expression and interpretation of assignments, and encouraging imaginative responses

 

Personal and Social Values and Skills – providing opportunities for students to respond to and build upon the ideas of others

 

Outcomes:                                              Indicators:

Acquire increased knowledge of others, themselves and the world around them – recall and respond to drama experiences

 

 

Develop self-confidence self-discipline

and self-motivation

– concentrate during drama experiences

 

 

Develop an understanding of the processes and elements involved in creating works of dramatic art – offer ideas in spontaneous improvisations

-accept ideas in spontaneous improvisations

 

 

Develop acting skills – express themselves confidently

through movement and gesture

– display clarity of movement and

gesture

 

 

Name of the Activity:  Imaginary Objects/ Objects in a Room

Type of Warmup/Activity: Acting/ Improvisation (Mime)

Reason For Choosing: This is a very interesting exercise because the group is working together to build an imaginary room filled with imaginary objects. It is interesting to see the variety of objects the students bring into the center and how they interact with the objects once they are in the room. It is also a great mime activity and, if used at the start of a miming unit and then again at the end, you get to see the progress the students have made in being more clear within their movements especially within the miming scenarios.

Skills Used: Movement, Creativity, Spontaneity, Focus, Miming

Procedure: The group sits in a large circle (or a square/ rectangle for easy visualization of a room). Explain that in this area is a room. Students create an object that they are about to put in this room (Ex. a tv, a bottle of bubbles, C4 (seems to be a common one), etc…).

Once they have their “object”, one student at a time will have to find a way to enter the room (This can be done by creating a door, window, cutting a hole, etc…) and drop off their “object” WITHOUT TALKING (Mime!) (noises can be allowed to an extent Ex. Grunts if pushing a heavy object). Note- Once an entrance is established (mimed), the rest of the students can use this entry or create their own.

Students have to mime placing the object within the room. It is important to be very clear on what your object is and how you interact with the object (Ex. if you are bringing a bag of bricks into the room, you would not be carrying them lightly or in one hand). Therefore, it is important to stay true to the object you are bringing as well as everyone else’s objects within the room. Further, students must use their physicality to show the audience (their peers) what it is they are bringing into the room.

The difficult part is that once an object is placed within this room, all other students have to be mindful of those items within the room (Ex. If someone pushes a piano into the middle of the room then everyone else will have to move around the “piano” in the room being aware of where the object would be placed). Students can interact with the items/objects within the room as well.

Once they have placed their object, the student can leave the room and the next person goes (keeping in mind all the previous objects within the room).

Variations:

  1. Instead of simply putting an object in the room and leaving, students may be required to interact with at least one or two of the objects within the room (whether they were put there by students or there “before” the activity).
  2. Students are partnered and have to place/ interact with an object(s) together.

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This activity once again deals with the exploration, development, and expression of ideas through improvisational activities.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- Create a room from a particular time period in history and have students bring in objects that are period appropriate (Ex. Beowulf’s Banquet Hall, etc…).
  3. Critical/ Responsive- Discuss the success or failures of the class in recognizing one another’s objects, whether they stayed true to the room’s ever-changing environment, and/ or their interactions with objects within the room.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Numeracy -planning experiences which help students develop an intuitive sense of measurement
  – designing learning experiences which develop spatial concepts, such as proportion, symmetry and distance
  – planning activities to help students learn spatial relationships

 

Personal and Social Values and Skills – providing opportunities for students to respond to and build upon the ideas of others

 

Critical and Creative Thinking – planning opportunities for students to think in images and to manipulate visual images for the solutions to a problem.

 

Outcomes:                                              Indicators:

Develop acting skills – display clarity of movement and gesture
  – express themselves confidently through movement and gesture
  – use movement to communicate nonverbally

 

Understand the role of drama in various cultures, past and present – understand that through theatre history they can discover various acting/ presentational styles

 

Acquire understandings and abilities

in group processes

-co-operate with others in groups of various sizes to plan and participate in drama experiences
  – listen to the ideas of others

 

 

Name of the Activity:  Freeze/ Switch

Type of Warmup/Activity: Acting/Improvisation

Reason For Choosing: This is another classic drama game that helps promote creativity and spontaneity. Most students love this game and will be more than enthusiastic to participate (if not, see variations). This activity is a good all-encompassing exercise because it allows all manners of voice and movement to be used. It also works well as a character builder by allowing students to test ideas in a safe, judgement free, and “anything goes” environment (to within reason). Furthermore, this activity can help spark ideas for scenes or monologues if the students are in need of ideas.

Skills Used: Voice, Movement, Improvisation, Creativity, Spontaneity, Communication

Procedure: Note- It is important to establish improv rules before doing this activity because it helps set the parameters of the activity with the students. It also allows them to better understand the structure of this activity and improv itself. The five rules of improv that I think are great for students to understand are as follows: (Bad Examples on the left and Good Examples on the right)

  1. Yes and…- students should always go with an idea within a scene and never block/say no to it because that stops the scene. They should build upon the ideas by saying yes and then adding something else

Ex. A- Our café is the best!                 Vs.                   A- Our café is the best!

B- No it isn’t.                                                               B- Yes and our milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard

  1. Listen– students have to listen to what their partners are presenting within the scene.

Ex. A- I think I broke my leg               Vs.                   A- I think I broke my leg

B- Ok, time to run on the treadmill                  B- I guess we can’t run on the treadmill

  1. Build up your partner– students have to support their partner within the scene rather than drag them down.

Ex. A- I am the best baker in the world    Vs.              A- I am the best baker in the world

B- More like the most average baker                        B- Your buns are superb! I want another!

  1. Have fun/ take risks– Enjoy improv. You are meant to have fun and should be treated as an opportunity to explore new areas for you.

Ex.- A- I think we should jump!             Vs.                A- I think we should jump!

B- Ok. (*Hops in the air) What now?                          B- OK! (*Both actors fall to the ground and pretend to skydive) Wee!

  1. Establish the where and the who (tell a story)– make a story out of the small scene you are in. The audience will appreciate it more and it will be more understandable.

Ex. A- This is scary. I can’t go on!      Vs.       A- This war is scary. I can’t go on!

B- We need you to shoot though!                    B- But you are the best shot in our platoon!

To begin the activity: The group forms a circle and two people are randomly picked to begin (can volunteer as well). The two people go to the middle of the circle and strike a pose. They then begin a dialogue about anything they so choose (Ex. working at a bakery, fighting off zombies, etc…), while using their voice and movement to drive the small scene.

At any point within this improv scene, a group member can yell out freeze (or switch if you prefer) and both actors within the circle freeze. The person that yelled freeze comes into the circle and tags out one of the actors and assumes the exact position they were in before they were tagged out. They then begin a completely different topic, thus, changing the scene completely (ex. from bakers to professional rock paper scissors players, etc…). It is important to try to get everyone involved so if there are students that are very eager to try an idea then perhaps they could share that with one of the students that is not as keen.

Variations:

  1. If students are not jumping in, the teacher can yell freeze and tag someone in.
  2. Create a theme that the students have to incorporate to the activity (ex. at a beach, at the gym, at a haunted campground, etc…).

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This activity is an active exploration, development, and expression of ideas through improvisational mini-scenes.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- Have the students research a character from history/ culture that they bring into this exercise. They then put this character on the spot in different situations that are continuously switched around. This helps students solidify their character by making them flesh out the character through having them try and tap into their thoughts and emotions about being caught up in the different scenarios presented within this improv.
  3. Critical/ Responsive- Discuss what worked and what didn’t work in the improv session. Where ideas expressed clearly or where they muddled? Where the actors using improv rules or were they blocking/saying no?

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Communication – creating opportunities for students to express their ideas in a variety of ways, allowing them to learn from other students’ thinking and to demonstrate their present understanding
  – casting himself or herself in the role of observer and listener in order to gather students’ ideas to better plan future learning experiences
Critical and Creative Thinking -allowing for differing expression and interpretation of assignments, and encouraging imaginative responses
Personal and Social Values and Skills -exploring the themes, characters and conflicts in improvisations, collective creations and plays to foster greater understanding of various cultures, to develop understanding of people and to develop an awareness of discrimination or bias when present

Outcomes:                                              Indicators:

Acquire understandings and abilities

in group processes

-co-operate with others in groups of various sizes to plan and participate in drama experiences
Develop self-confidence self-discipline

and self-motivation

-develop a sense of responsibility to other members of the class
  -feel secure in the class

 

Develop an understanding of the processes and elements involved in creating works of dramatic art -offer/ accept ideas in spontaneous improvisations

-understand the importance of the elements of focus, tension, contrast and symbol to all works of dramatic art

 

 

Name of the Activity:  Party Quirks

Type of Warmup/Activity: Acting/Improvisation

Reason For Choosing: I love this activity because it is an immense amount of fun and students always love it. Even the students that generally are not as eager to participate are drawn into the silliness and sometimes difficulty of this exercise. It is also more recognizable because it was featured on Whose Line Is It Anyway? and students can watch some of that to help boost their own ideas previous (or after) the exercise. This activity allows the students to begin an exploration into the building of a character as well as the “ticks” that many of us have (Ex. a greaser that is always slicking his hair back with a comb). This activity is an excellent accumulation of voice, movement, and acting skills translated into a quick character within a short improv scene.

Skills Used: Voice, Movement, Improvisation, Creativity, Spontaneity, Communication

Procedure: (Create a list of different characters for the students to portray- see attached list)

One student is designated as the party host. They have to try improv preparing a party for their guests (Ex. putting chips in a bowl, baking cookies, blowing balloons etc…) while the guests create/pick their character. The host also has the responsibility of letting in the guests and then trying to guess who they are, what their ailment is, or what “thing” they are (Ex. Donald Trump, a cowboy, claustrophobic, an angry thundercloud, etc…).

Approximately three students create (or pick from a hat) different characters that are “invited” to the party. The students have to embody their choice to try and make it understandable to the audience and the host (Ex. a man turning into a werewolf is different than simply being a dog). The party host generally will ask questions about their guest to try and figure out what they are (Ex. How did you get to the party?, What type of food do you like to eat?, What is your favorite thing about parties?, etc…). The guests do not leave the party until the host has correctly guessed their character (or close enough to ex. Saddle Bronc Rider for cowboy).

Variations:

  1. If students are finding it too easy to guess characters, make it more difficult by adding qualities or characteristics such as Elegance, Warmth, and/ or Perseverance.

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This activity is an active exploration, development, and expression of ideas through improvisational scenes.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- Only give historical/cultural figures as characters (ex. Albert Einstein, Ghandi, George Washington, ALEXANDER HAMILTON (there’s a million things he hasn’t done…), William Shakespeare, Wendigo (Cree culture), Gautama Buddha, Jesus, etc…)
  3. Critical/ Responsive- Discuss what made the guests successful in portraying character or what could be improved. Journal about the individuals attempt and what they were try to portray within their character.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Communication – organizing instruction which allows students to bring forward prior knowledge and/or to make connections with other school learning
  – casting himself or herself in the role of observer and listener in order to gather students’ ideas to better plan future learning experiences
Personal and Social Values and Skills -exploring the themes, characters and conflicts in improvisations, collective creations and plays to foster greater understanding of various cultures, to develop understanding of people and to develop an awareness of discrimination or bias when present
Independent Learning – encouraging use of resources both inside and outside the school by inviting dramatic artists to the classroom, collecting newspaper clippings, using magazine articles,

visiting theatres, viewing plays and television shows or news reports, etc.

  -providing time for students to share in class what they have discovered at home about a particular concept that was introduced in the Drama class.

Outcomes:                                              Indicators:

Develop acting skills – assume and sustain roles
  – develop increasing commitment to their own roles and the roles of others
  -express themselves confidently (and clearly) through movement and gesture
  -express themselves confidently through speech

 

Exercise critical thought and support opinions when responding to dramatic presentations -develop an understanding of how plays

are made

 

 

Understand the role of drama in

various cultures, past and present

-understand that today’s dramatic artists are influenced by various theatre traditions

 

  -understand that theatre can influence the society in which it is created


(A Few) Party Quirks Options

  • Slowly turning into a werewolf
  • Afraid of People
  • Neat Freak
  • Gets Angry Easily
  • Cries Easily
  • Overactive
  • Paranoid
  • Needs Attention
  • Incredibly Talkative
  • Jock
  • Steals Food
  • Always Sings Christmas Songs
  • Gossip
  • A Baby Learning to Walk
  • Moves in Slow Motion
  • Repeats People’s Names a Lot
  • Thinks Everything was Harder Back when He or She was a Child
  • Always Agrees
  • Always Disagrees
  • Terrified of Germs
  • Only Speaks Three Words at a Time
  • Always Dancing
  • Talks Like a Pirate
  • No Short Term Memory
  • Pick Pocket
  • Extremely Conceited
  • Obsessed with Astronomy
  • Obsessed with Pets
  • Airhead
  • Claustrophobic
  • Loves the Environment
  • Has Poison Ivy All Over
  • Wizard
  • Vampire that faints at the sight of blood
  • Cowboy or Cowgirl
  • Person who thinks he/she is a cat
  • Michael Jackson afraid it is Thriller Night
  • Donald Trump
  • An Angry Thundercloud
  • Astronaut with an alien inside of him
  • Slowly turning into the Hulk
  • Mime having a heart attack
  • Fish being caught and reeled in
  • Thinks every bump is an earthquake
  • In a kayak going down white water rapids
  • Part of the Jamaican bobsled team
  • A fly
  • Stuntman
  • The evolution of a tadpole into becoming a frog
  • Famous Hockey Player
  • Always has an idea but then immediately forgets it
  • Addicted to coffee
  • A sloth
  • Afraid of a specific word (ex. party)
  • A little teacup trying to get poured out
  • Has to sniff everything
  • Ends every sentence with an upward inflection hinting at a question (Ex. Bees?)
  • Continuously checking the time (watch, clock, phone, etc..)
  • Can’t stop touching people’s faces
  • Tries to hold everyone’s hand without them noticing
  • Interrupts people regularly
  • Over pronounces their words (every word is articulated fully)
  • Keeps mispronouncing everyone’s name/ town/ food item
  • Continuously sweating
  • Only drinks out of a straw (food has to be blended so he can eat it through his straw)
  • Keeps singing songs from the rap musical Alexander Hamilton
  • Always asks how much it will cost and tries to pay in nickels
  • Trying to recruit everyone into their cult
  • Speaks almost exclusively in movie, TV, and/or music quotes
  • Any celebrity, movie or TV character, musicians, etc…

Drama Activities (Movement)

Name of the Activity:  Janitor (Or Grandma’s Footsteps)

Type of Warmup/Activity: Movement

Reason For Choosing: This is a classic drama game. The reason that I like it is because it gets the students using their bodies in imaginative ways. Whether they are doing dance moves, karate, or being an animal, they are actively using their bodies to create character, shapes, or tableaus without knowing it (or knowing it depending on if it is in the instructions beforehand). It also gives them the concept of being still within a pose (“Statue-ing”) when looked at by the janitor. This is fun game that students (and I) enjoy. It can also be a precursor to many different movement concepts as well as an opportunity for further exploration of these concepts (ex. Rudolf Laban’s Effort Theory, etc…).

Skills Used: Movement, Bodily Control, Concentration, Patience, Spontaneity, Creativity

Procedure: One student is designated as the “Janitor”. The janitor closes their eyes and counts to five. In these five seconds, the other students strike a pose (anything they choose…appropriate to school of course). Ex. The thinking man, The Whip/ Nay-nay, Karate Battle Poses, Plank, He-Man doing his power of Grayskull thing, Dab, Starfish, Robot, etc…(Anything) After this five seconds, the janitor walks around the classroom trying to catch people whom he/ she catches moving. As is implied, students try to move while the janitor is not looking into new poses. The janitor is switched once everyone is caught moving. (No-one is allowed to move while the janitor is watching them)

Variations:

  1. Grandma’s Footsteps is the main variation to this game. One student is designated as “Grandma” and they go to the opposite side of the room as the rest of the class. Students then try to sneak up and tap grandma on the shoulder to finish the game. At any time, grandma may turn around and anyone they catch moving has to go back to the start.
  2. Place objects (ex. scarf, hat, etc..) around the room that students have to try and use/ wear during either janitor or Grandma’s Footsteps game.
  3. Create a theme that the students have to then try and emulate in their poses (ex. Fruits and Vegetables, animals, fighting styles, etc…)

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This activity is based on movement principles and allows the students to improvise using their bodies. It is an active exploration, development and expression of ideas through dramatic movement.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- Students may have had to research characters from history and then move as those characters within this activity.
  3. Critical/ Responsive- A journal entry or discussion about the most effective methods of moving within this activity could be done. An analysis of Laban’s Effort Theory in regards to the different types of movement within this activity is a great reflection tool.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Communication -creating opportunities for students to express their ideas in a variety of ways, allowing them to learn from other students’ thinking and to demonstrate their present understanding

 

Critical and Creative Thinking -guiding students’ analysis of their drama experiences in order to deepen their understanding of dramatic art form and of the concepts being explored
  -allowing for differing expression and interpretation of assignments, and encouraging

imaginative responses

 

Technological Literacy -enhancing students’ perceptual abilities and awareness

 

Outcomes:                                              Indicators:

Develop acting skills -express themselves confidently

through movement and gesture

  -display clarity of movement and gesture

 

Exercise critical thought and support opinions when responding to dramatic presentations -develop an understanding of how the

artistic purpose of each of the artists is

served by the use of theatre elements

 

Understand the role of drama in

various cultures, past and present

-understand the universality of certain

themes, characters and situations in

dramatic expression through the ages

 

– understand that through theatre

history they can discover various

acting styles (movement based in this case)

 

 

 

 

Name of the Activity:  The Machine

Type of Warmup/Activity: Movement (Voice)(I generally add Voice to Movement activities)

Reason For Choosing: I like this activity because it makes the students think about working together as a group to create something. It is a very relaxed type of activity that they can have a lot of fun with building this fictitious machine. It requires them to work as a team and have everyone contribute a small part of a whole towards the end goal of creativity. Plus, it allows students who might otherwise be anxious with movement in an individual atmosphere to feel safe as a small part of a big group.

Skills Used: Movement, Bodily Control, Concentration, Spontaneity, Creativity, Teamwork, Voice

Procedure: The machine begins with one student making a simple repeatable gesture (Ex. Arms outstretched and bending at the knees in a squat). A simple sound is added to this gesture that can be repeated by this individual as well (Ex. WHOOOP, BZZ, etc… (Onomatopoeia)).

Once the first student begins then the other members are gradually entered into the space to “add” to the machine using the same style as previous (a simple repeatable gesture and sound). The students coming in are trying to connect to the original movement (or the subsequent entries into the machine) to create the illusion of one giant working machine with lots of sounds and movement.

Variations:

  1. (Addition) Instead of just breaking the machine after completion, have the students brainstorm what this machine could be (can be totally abstract and imaginative or practical). After, have them try and pick a starting point that they believe would be the start up for the machine (the “on” button so to speak). Have them try and figure out how the machine would start up (warm up). Do all parts start simultaneously? Do some parts have to wait for others to start before they can? How long does it take for this specific part to rev up to full speed?
  2. The students could go in partners to try and work together instead of one after the other (maybe they have to be connected at all times or they may have to do the same move but at a different part of the machine (etc…)) Or everyone has to go at once and try to figure it all out together on the spot.
  3. Pick a machine that the students have to try to create (ex. toaster, computer, etc…)

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This activity is a sort of tableau exercise with moving parts. This activity allows the students to improvise using their bodies in a variety of creative scenarios. It is an active exploration, development, and expression of ideas through dramatic movement.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- Have the students research different machines from the past to try to create. (Ex. The cotton gin, a steam train, the Wright Brothers aircraft, etc…)
  3. Critical/ Responsive- A reflection on what type of machine the students created as well as how they saw their “part” fit into the machine can help bolster creativity with this activity. They could comment on whether they believed the group was right about the use of the machine or if they had their own opinion on its uses they could share this as well.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Communication -organizing instruction which allows students to bring forward prior knowledge and/or to make connections with other school learning
  -creating opportunities for students to express their ideas in a variety of ways, allowing them to learn from other students’ thinking and to demonstrate their present understanding

 

Numeracy -providing opportunities for students to interpret and produce models, maps, graphs, charts and sketches in order to further develop their own understanding of their work
  -designing learning experiences which develop spatial concepts, such as proportion, symmetry and distance

 

Technological Literacy -integrating content from other subject areas in order to help students understand how technology shapes and is shaped by society

 

Outcomes:                                              Indicators:

Acquire understandings and abilities in group processes -listen to the ideas of others
  – begin to practice group decision-making and problem-solving

 

Develop acting skills -accept and respond to others in role
  -display clarity of movement and gesture
  -understand that all movement must be motivated

 

Understand the role of drama in various cultures, past and present -understand that through theatre history they can discover various staging possibilities

 

Name of the Activity:  The Conveyer Belt

Type of Warmup/Activity: Movement (Voice)

Reason For Choosing: I actually learned this from a student as part of an assignment that they did. The other students absolutely loved this game as did I. It requires lots of concentration off the bat to figure out exactly where to move but once the students have it down they really start to enjoy themselves. It also requires a lot of listening and focus as well. This game is very fun and goofy and got even the “coolest” students to start acting goofy and having fun.

Skills Used: Movement, Concentration (Listening), Spontaneity, Creativity, Teamwork, Voice

Procedure: To begin, split students into two lines that face one another (each person has to have a partner directly across from them). Designate one line “A” and one “B”.

Explain that when the “leader” (most likely the teacher in this case as you want everyone participating) says “Left” everyone takes a step to their left (students at the end switch to the other side ex. an “A” turns into a “B”)( (Note: If students are getting confused with the switching, explain that you don’t end up facing the next person in line – you end up facing the person two people down (because both lines move)).

After everyone becomes comfortable moving in the lines, the “left” changes into either the verbal commands “Left” or “Right”. Students are encouraged to try this a few times as well.

The next step is to add the verbal commands “A” and “B” in which the first line that was called creates a movement and the second mirrors this movement (each student creates their own move)

Ex. Leader- “A”

Line “A” student- Jumping Jacks

Line “B” student pair- does Jumping Jacks as well      (A does a move and B mirrors it)

(Can call “B” first but give them some time figuring the process out before changing it up)

The last step is to get them to add a sound to the movement in which they do. Therefore, if a student did a claw-like movement then they could add a “Growl” with it (ex. a lion or a zombie).

After adding all the different components, the leader can call them out in any order they desire.

 

Step by Step Breakdown of Procedure-

Line A stands facing Line B

Leader calls out left and everyone takes a step to their left (ends go to the opposite line)

Once everyone understands the idea of left, add right (same principle).

Once everyone understands left and right, add “A.” When A is called, line A strikes a pose and then B has to follow it (mirror).

Once everyone understands A, add “B” (same principle).

Once everyone understands the pose striking, add a sound to that pose that has to be copied by the other line. Have fun!

 

Variations:

  1. Play with speed. Start slow but then get really fast so students really just go with impulses.
  2. Instead of finishing the moves once you switch, have the students continue that movement until their line is called again. (Ex. continues jumping jacks until “A’s” are called again)

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This activity is based on movement principles and allows the students to improvise using their bodies. It is an active exploration, development and expression of ideas through dramatic movement.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- After having researched some cultural movements (such as dances), have the students do these types of movements within the belt.
  3. Critical/ Responsive- Create a journal entry or discuss the success or failure of the belt. Where students listening or participating? Etc…

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Critical and Creative Thinking -allowing for differing expression and interpretation of assignments, and encouraging imaginative responses

 

Personal and Social Values and Skills -providing opportunities for students to respond to and build upon the ideas of others
  -having students work co-operatively in paired or small group activities
  -modelling and encouraging sensitive responses to the ideas, comments and creative expressions of others

 

Communication -creating opportunities for students to express their ideas in a variety of ways, allowing them to learn from other students’ thinking and to demonstrate their present understanding

 

Outcomes:                                              Indicators:

Acquire increased knowledge of others, themselves and the world around them -recall and respond to drama

Experiences

 

Develop self-confidence self-discipline

and self-motivation

-feel secure in the class

 

 

Acquire understandings and abilities

in group processes

-co-operate with others in groups of various sizes to plan and participate in drama experiences
  -listen to the ideas of others

 

 

 

Name of the Activity:  Chair Tag

Type of Warmup/Activity: Movement

Reason For Choosing: This exercise is a great for building awareness especially in relation to your peers’ movements. The point of this exercise is for everyone to work together to fill the chair and requires lots of communication and problem-solving for the group. It is also an easy way for those that “don’t like” drama to be involved and still contributing. This is another great activity to include the “too cool for school” kids and have them actively participate.

Skills Used: Movement, Concentration, Teamwork, Awareness, Communication

Procedure: Every person grabs a chair and positions themselves randomly around the room (preferably with some distance in-between each chair). One person is designated as “it”. They go to the opposite side of the room (leaving their chair where it was). This is when the game begins.

The person who is “it” begins walking towards the open chair (Note: this is important to the integrity of the game and allows the group to have to think on their feet rather than it being a free for all run fest).

The rest of the group tries to navigate who is going to move to the chair that is currently open to block the person who is “it” from being able to sit in the chair. The person who is “it” then shifts to try and walk to the new open seat left by the person that moved to block (and so on and so forth).

This requires the group to communicate what they are doing so that they can work as a team to try and continuously block the “it” person.

If the person who is “it” gets to an open seat and sits down, he/she wins and that round is over.

Major Notes-

  1. The person who is “it” cannot run but the group can to try and get ahead of them.
  2. No one can pull the chair out as the person who is “it” tries to sit down. If they have their hand on it, they have successfully acquired the chair.
  3. If you stand up to try and run to the open seat you CANNOT sit back down. If your bum leaves the seat, you have to as well.

Variations:

  1. Try not allowing them to talk during the exercise and instead they have to rely on group/ environmental awareness rather than communication.
  2. Having two people be “it” will significantly up the ante for the group.

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This game is an active movement exercise that requires heavy group participation and communication (either verbal or group awareness). It allows the group to have to creatively come up with a solution and work together to that end.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- Have the students research a character from history and they must move the way their character did in this exercise. (For example: Richard III from Shakespeare could walk/shamble hunched up because of his disfigurement)
  3. Critical/ Responsive- Discuss the most effective methods of communication between members of the group. Journal about what worked and did not work in communicating your intentions to the group.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Numeracy -designing learning experiences which develop spatial concepts, such as proportion, symmetry and distance
  – planning activities to help students learn spatial relationships

 

Technological Literacy – enhancing students’ perceptual abilities and awareness.

 

Personal and Social Values and Skills – having students work co-operatively in paired or small group activities

 

Independent Learning -planning experiences which lead to independent exploration or require students to go beyond what the class lesson provides

 

Outcomes:                                              Indicators:

Develop self-confidence self-discipline

and self-motivation

– develop a sense of responsibility to other members of the class
  – co-operate with others

 

Acquire understandings and abilities in group processes – begin to practice group decision-making

and problem-solving

 

Develop acting skills – use movement to communicate

nonverbally

 

 

Name of the Activity:  Flocking (Dance principles)

Type of Warmup/Activity: Movement

Reason For Choosing: I really like this movement improvisation because it also fits under the dance theme on top of being a great movement exercise. I have done this with students and they have had a lot of fun with this activity because it is very open ended and they like making their peers do funny movements. Even those that don’t like dance generally enjoy this activity because they can do movements that they like (ex. miming dribbling a ball, pretending to catch a football, etc…). This activity brings many different principles that are core to the heart of many of the other drama activities/ core concepts. It uses mirroring/ shadowing, group awareness, movement/dance principles (I like to include Rudolf Laban’s Effort Theory in this activity in regards to Space, Weight, Flow, and Time of the movements), and non-verbal communication.

Fairly good description- See Effort- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laban_Movement_Analysis

Skills Used: Movement, Dance, Concentration (Listening), Spontaneity, Creativity, Teamwork

Procedure: The easiest way to begin the flocking exercise is by splitting students into groups of four and doing mirroring exercises. Have the students stand in a line behind one another. The first person in line begins the movement with a simple, slow movement (ex. big arm circle). The students behind the leader then mirror this movement in a follow-the-leader fashion. After about a minute the leader switches to the back of the line and a new leader takes over (next in line).

After students understand this and are comfortable moving within the space and with the leader, shift the lines into a diamond pattern (see diagram). Continue the exercise in the follow-the-leader style but instruct the students to shift the leadership by making ninety-degree turns (or 180 to “flip” leadership Ex. Person 1-3) rather than changing positions. This shift (transition) will change the leader to whoever is at the front of the group (Ex. if 1 was the leader and made a ninety-degree turn to their right then person 2 would be at the front of the group and would, therefore, take over leadership). Have the students master this in the same way they did the line formation but include the mastering of the shifts (transitioning of the leader) as well.

  1. If students are having trouble understanding the flocking concept, you could discuss with them what they think flocking means. Once they can understand the biological process of birds flocking and all moving as a unit (as they may have seen within the trees or as the geese fly south for winter), the students may be better able to understand the concept and apply that to their movements within the exercise.
  2. Students can (and most likely will) be placed within the diamond formation once they start working in bigger groups. The students in the center will most likely not take leadership (unless they make their way to the outside) and that is fine as long as they are still mirroring whoever is the leader. Further, more leaders may be needed for larger groups to give variety.
  3. In this activity, I connect the student’s movement to Rudolf Laban’s Effort Theory. This exercise offers a perfect look/ opportunity to include Space, Weight, Flow, and Time into their movements. It also allows them to describe more accurately the moves in which they are doing.

Variations:

  1. Rather than small groups, the entire group comes together to form one giant flock.
  2. This can be done both with and without music. Music can have a very heavy influence on the type of moves the students make.
  3. Make the flock really wide rather than tight together.
  4. Have groups overlap (in close proximity) while still only mirroring their own diamond.

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This activity is based on movement principles and allows the students to improvise using their bodies. It is an active exploration, development, and expression of ideas through dramatic movement.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- Research protests and riots to see how a mob/ group mentality has been used within history to get things accomplished. Research cultural dances to see if there is any flocking within their cultural dances/ practices.
  3. Critical/ Responsive- Discuss what was and was not effective within this movement exercise. Was it easy to follow? Was the entire group mirroring well enough that the leader was hard to distinguish? Journal about what they believed was most effective and what made the task more difficult.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Communication -introducing drama vocabulary through planned activities which help students focus on what they know and also provide a bridge between students’ real life experiences and their school learning
  -planning lessons and designing assignments that stress the possibility and acceptance of many different ways to organize and/or many potential  answers or explanations
Numeracy -planning activities to help students learn spatial relationships
Critical and Creative Thinking -guiding students’ analysis of their drama experiences in order to deepen their understanding of dramatic art form and of the concepts being explored

Outcomes:                                              Indicators:

Develop self-confidence self-discipline

and self-motivation

– develop a sense of responsibility to other members of the class
  – feel secure in the class

 

Develop an understanding of the processes and elements involved in creating works of dramatic art – offer/ accept ideas in spontaneous improvisations

– understand the importance of the elements of focus, tension, contrast and symbol to all works of dramatic art

Develop acting skills – develop increasing commitment to their own roles and the roles of others

Drama Activities (Voice)

Name of the Activity:  Boom Chicka Boom

Type of Warmup/Activity: Voice (Vocal)

Reason For Choosing:  A follow the leader style vocal warmup. Students follow the same pattern with their voices and alter it to get a dynamic vocal warmup. Also helps the students with enunciation and pronunciation. It can also very effectively incorporate and explore accents and dialects.

Skills Used: Character, Spontaneity, Voice, Accent/ Dialect

Procedure: Students perform a call and response using the dialogue provided. The teacher calls out each line and then the students repeat back. The first time with a very even pitch or volume etc… and then it is open for working. The lead can then be handed over to the students (two or three different variations can be played with).

“I said a Boom”

“I said a Boom Chicka Boom”

“I said a Boom Chicka Rocka Chicka Rocka Chicka Boom”

“Uh huh”

“Oh yeah”

“One more time” (Repeat with different vocal textures- ex. High pitch, Low pitch, “Old Person” Voice, sad voice, etc…)

This activity is more about the participation/ attempt to do the vocal activity (ex. Character voice) as a way to “warm up” or “stretch” the individual’s voice. It is not about the success or failure to do the “voices” perfectly.

Variations:

  1. Students could have researched a particular accent or dialect and bring it to class to participate in this activity to show/ continue to work on their accent (Ex. Irish, Scottish, Russian etc…).
  2. Students could bring in their favorite character from a TV show etc… to use for this warmup (Ex. Elmo, Peter Griffin, Batman, etc…).

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- Active thinking in how to arrange vocal patterns, vocal ranges, and This activity “stretches” the voice like an athlete would his body.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- (variation) Students have to research a group of people and their “accent” in order to share a bit about the people behind the accent.
  3. Critical/ Responsive- Active participation requires students to be aware and attempt the call and response of the leader. If students are doing an accent, a reflection on the success could help prove feedback for that student to continue the creative productive process.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Critical and Creative Thinking

-allowing for differing expression and interpretation of assignments, and encouraging imaginative responses

Personal and Social Values and Skills

-exploring the themes, characters and conflicts in improvisations, collective creations and plays to foster greater understanding of various cultures, to develop understanding of people and to develop an awareness of discrimination or bias when present

-providing opportunities for students to respond to and build upon the ideas of others

Outcomes:                                                                   Indicators:

Develop an understanding of the processes and elements involved in creating works of  dramatic art -offer ideas in spontaneous Improvisations (Vocal)
  – accept ideas in spontaneous Improvisations (Vocal)
Develop acting skills -begin to articulate clearly

 

– express themselves confidently

through speech

 

Acquire understandings and abilities

in group processes

– listen to the ideas of others
  -co-operate with others in groups of

various sizes to plan and participate in

drama experiences

 

 

 

Name of the Activity:  The Alphabet Game

Type of Warmup/Activity: Voice (Vocal)

Reason For Choosing:  I chose this activity because I believe this vocal improvisation tests students ability to focus and creatively come up with an answer on the spot. At first this activity is fairly difficult but, as time goes on, students gain more confidence in improv/ themselves and this makes this activity much easier. This activity can further be used to explore different accent and dialects in order to further character/ understanding of character.

Skills Used: Character, Spontaneity, Concentration (Focus), Accent/ Dialect, Teamwork

Procedure: Have a conversation where each sentence begins with the next letter of the alphabet. This may seem difficult at first, but improves with practice. If you get stuck, you can also use sounds to start a sentence, for example ‘Mmmm’ or ‘tut-tut’. Here is an example:

 A: Anyone seen my cat?

B: Black one, with funny eyes?

A: Can’t say I remember.

B: Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten what it looks like?

A: Every cat looks the same to me.

B: Fortunately, I found one yesterday

A: Gee, that’s great!

 

This can be done as a collective group or in smaller groups.

Variations:

  1. Alteration and Upping Difficulty- Students have to think of three words that start with the letter of the alphabet and make a sentence out of them (Alliteration style) (Ex. Alan ate an Aardvark and an ant. Or Australian Adam ate Apples. The more the better).
  2. Further- The students have to mime what the student said while trying to say it all together.
  3. If it is too easy because students are thinking ahead to their letter, a ball being passed/ rolled around the circle so that they do not know when they are up can help add a degree of difficulty.
  4. Further- Skipping a letter can really up the difficulty (especially if you give them a time limit or make the slowest team get eliminated). Ex. A, C, E, etc…

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This activity fits under this category. Students are using exploration as well as development and expression of ideas. This is also a type of improvisation activity. Could create character monologues/ scenes using this format.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- Research into a culture/ group as part of an accent/ dialect for this activity can help fulfil this component.
  3. Critical/ Responsive- A response to the scenes and their effectiveness. Whether the student accurately stuck to the format or if they had to stretch it could be evaluated by their peers. Have students journal about their experiences with this activity.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Critical and Creative Thinking

-allowing for differing expression and interpretation of assignments, and encouraging imaginative responses

Personal and Social Values and Skills

-providing opportunities for students to respond to and build upon the ideas of others

-having students work co-operatively in paired or small group activities

Outcomes:                                                                    Indicators:

Acquire understandings and abilities

in group processes

– listen to the ideas of others
Develop an understanding of the

processes and elements involved in

creating works of dramatic art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-co-operate with others in groups of

various sizes to plan and participate in

drama experiences

 

-concentrate during drama experiences

 

 

-learn to maintain the focus of an improvisation

 

-work with others to structure prepared improvisations

 

 

 

Name of the Activity:  Soundscape

Type of Warmup/Activity: Voice (Vocal) (Some Movement)

Reason For Choosing: I like this activity because it makes the students think about the different sounds that they hear within an environment. Most people do not actively think about the sounds they hear within an environment because we do it naturally. Therefore, because it is habitually overlooked within our environment, recreating the sounds of a specific environment can be tough. I enjoy seeing the different sounds and ideas that the students generate and the creative uses of their bodies/ voices to bring these sounds to life.

Skills Used: Spontaneity, Voice, Concentration (Focus), Teamwork, Creativity

Procedure: Using their voices, and/or body percussion, the students create a soundscape of a particular theme, setting, or mood. Ex. A beach, a rainforest, a café, a storm, etc…

-In the storm example, students could slowly rub their hands together to create the sound of wind, and then snap their fingers lightly for rain.

-In the rainforest example, students could create many different animal noises or the wind rustling the tree leaves.

Students go around the circle adding to the growing soundscape. Once fully around the circle, the students go around again but this time stopping their sound. Students are encouraged to listen to the soundscape as they are waiting or finishing their sound.

 

Variations:

  1. Have a few students sit in the centre of the circle with their eyes closed and let them just listen to the soundscape. After everything is finished, ask the students to discuss what they heard within the circle.
  2. Have the students pick an animal/ person and both move and do the sound of that animal/ person in the soundscape setting.

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This activity is an exploration and creation of environments based on what they sound like. Students have to recall all the aspects (things) that are included within the given soundscape and try and bring that to life with their voice and/or bodily percussion.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- Have students research animals from the rainforest to incorporate into the soundscape (each student does their own animal). Writing a paragraph or two about the animals sound and movements will help them bring the animal to life within the exercise.
  3. Critical/ Responsive- The response to the soundscape and the effectiveness/ realism fits under this category. Have students journal about their experiences with this activity.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Critical and Creative Thinking

-allowing for differing expression and interpretation of assignments, and encouraging imaginative responses

Personal and Social Values and Skills

-providing opportunities for students to respond to and build upon the ideas of others

-having students work co-operatively in paired or small group activities

Communication

– organizing instruction which allows students to bring forward prior knowledge and/or to make connections with other school learning

Outcomes:                                                                    Indicators:

Acquire understandings and abilities

in group processes

– listen to the ideas of others
Develop an understanding of the

processes and elements involved in

creating works of dramatic art

 

 

 

 

-co-operate with others in groups of

various sizes to plan and participate in

drama experiences

 

-learn to maintain the focus of an improvisation

 

-work with others to structure prepared improvisations

 

 

Acquire increased knowledge of

others, themselves and the world

around them

-recall and respond to drama experiences

 

-share responses with other students

 

 

Name of the Activity:  Count to 10 (20)

Type of Warmup/Activity: Voice (Vocal)

Reason For Choosing: I like this activity because it makes the students more aware of one another (group awareness). It also allows them to get a feeling for the room and one another. It is also a good indicator of the commitment level and the focus that the students are coming into class with on that particular day. Some days, when they are in tune with one another, this will be very easy and other days it will be difficult.

Skills Used: Concentration (Focus/Listening), Awareness (Peer and Environment), Impulse, Teamwork

Procedure: Students stand/ sit in a circle (can be with eyes closed or open) and try to count to ten (or 20) without overlapping one another. Everyone can only say one number (and not in succession ex. couldn’t say one and two) and only one number can be called at a time before a different person has to call the next number (and so on and so forth). Anyone can start the count but if two or more people talk at the same time, counting must start from the beginning.

Ex.

Student A- One

Student B- Two

Student C and D- three

Student A- One

Etc…

This will warrant a few tries (almost always weak at the beginning and then stronger as the students start listening to one another).

Variations:

  1. If counting to 10 is too easy then increasing the number (or using the alphabet) will up the ante.
  2. Have everyone face outwards so that they cannot see the rest of the class (compared to facing inwards).

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This is an exploration of reading the room and feeling your peers’ impulses. This takes a lot of concentration and the students “antenna” has to be alert and aware of everyone in the room.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- (Variation- Difficulty) Use another language to count to ten (A student in the class that speaks another language could possibly teach the group and, as they try this activity, they will collectively remember and help each other learn a little about another culture’s language).
  3. Critical/ Responsive- Discussion after on what made the group successful and what was making things difficult (possible journal entry). (If the CH variation occurs, a discussion about the language and the difficulty of learning a new language could transpire. Further reflection could help students become more culturally aware.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Numeracy

 

-planning activities to help students learn spatial relationships (awareness and connectedness with others within space)

 

  -planning experiences which help students develop an intuitive sense of measurement (measuring impulses within the classroom as well as the general focus of the group).

 

Personal and Social Values and Skills -having students work co-operatively in paired or small group activities

 

  -providing opportunities for students to respond to and build upon the ideas of others

 

Technological Literacy -enhancing students’ perceptual abilities and awareness.

 

 

Outcomes:                                                                    Indicators:

Acquire understandings and abilities

in group processes

– listen to the ideas of others
 

 

 

 

Acquire understandings and abilities

in group processes

-co-operate with others in groups of

various sizes to plan and participate in

drama experiences

 

-begin to practice group decision-making

and problem-solving

 

Develop self-confidence self-discipline

and self-motivation

– feel secure in the class

 

– concentrate during drama experiences

 

– volunteer to start or join activities/ reach consensus

 

Name of the Activity:  One Word at a Time/ One Sentence at a Time

Type of Warmup/Activity: Voice (Vocal)

Reason For Choosing: This is a fun and often humorous activity that I believe students enjoy because they can creatively tell a story as a group. I find that this is a very easy group activity and everyone is willing to contribute at least a word (or sentence depending on variation). This is also a great way to explore other class material within the Drama classroom and allows them a safe space to explore these subjects in greater detail (more physical/ realistic than theoretical).

Skills Used: Concentration (Listening), Spontaneity, Creativity, Storytelling, Teamwork

Procedure: In a circle, students create a story with each person adding one word. This can be broken into a few small groups or even partners to create a faster paced dynamic.

Examples of a starting point are “Once – upon – a – time” or “On – Tuesday,”.

Ex.- On – Tuesday – I – bought – a – tiger – and – some – apples – then – I – ate – the – tiger – and – made – the – apples – my – pet. Etc…

Ex.2- A- On Tuesday, I bought a tiger.

  • I also bought apples.
  • I then decided I would eat the tiger.
  • After I ate the Tiger, I made the apples my pet. Etc…

It is important to stress that students should not try to block the story and keep ideas and options “free-flowing” (spontaneous) so that they do not force the story in any direction and instead try to build what their peers have set up.

 

Variations:

  1. Use a tennis ball (whatever works) to toss/ roll to the next person so it breaks the circle order and requires students to pay a little more attention.
  2. Instead of an “anything goes” type story, pick a theme and have the group try and fit within that theme. Ex. A really bad day, The world is being invaded by (Blank), Black Lives Matter (I understand this could be controversial but something along this line makes students aware of issues surrounding our world and makes them more “worldly”).

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This activity is works on student’s participation in building a story as a group and working together. It fosters creative responses by requiring students to think on the spot and further the dialogue they are creating together.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- (See Variation 2) If the second variation is chosen, it is possible to incorporate a cultural theme into the story building exercise. For example, a story about the Holocaust could be created within this way (A day in the life of a person trapped in a concentration camp). Students could create a story based on prewritten characters from various mediums (television, memoirs, history textbooks, etc..), or they could create a character based on a story they create in class.
  3. Critical/ Responsive- A journal entry on the attempt of the group to create a cohesive story could be done. If Variation 2 is done, a response to the effectiveness, believability, and impact of the story could be done. I believe that this would be hugely beneficial to the students and would help solidify components of their other classes (ex. History, English, Social Studies, etc..). This reflection could then be used to supplement their other work and will help them better understand those subjects.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Communication -organizing instruction which allows students to bring forward prior knowledge and/or to make connections with other school learning
  -creating opportunities for students to express their ideas in a variety of ways, allowing them to learn from other students’ thinking and to demonstrate their present understanding
  -providing opportunities for students to reflect through questioning, discussion and journal writing

 

Personal and Social Values and Skills -exploring varied cultural content
  -exploring the themes, characters and conflicts in improvisations, collective creations and plays to foster greater understanding of various cultures, to develop understanding of people and to develop an awareness of discrimination or bias when present

 

Independent Learning -planning experiences which lead to independent exploration or require students to go

beyond what the class lesson provides

Outcomes:                                                                    Indicators:

Acquire increased knowledge of others, themselves and the world around them -recall and respond to drama

experiences

 

Exercise critical thought and support opinions when responding to dramatic presentations

 

 

-understand the historical and cultural

influences on a play

Understand the role of drama in various cultures, past and present -understand that theatre, past and

present, can teach us about ourselves

-understand that theatre reflects the

society that creates it

Three Day Road UBD Unit Plan

This is a work in progress but highlights my enthusiasm for teaching this particular novel as it is very dear to my heart. Furthermore, I think it would do well being taught in an English Language Arts classroom.

Understanding By Design Unit Template

 

Title of Unit

A Journey through Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden  

Grade Level

Grade 10
 

Subject

English Language Arts (ELA)  

Time Frame

Approx. 4 months (the last week being the final project)
 

Developed By

Kashtin Moen
 
Stage 1 – Identify Desired Results

 

Broad Areas of Learning

How are the BAL incorporated into this unit?

 

Lifelong Learners-

Students who are engaged in constructing and applying ELA knowledge naturally build a positive disposition towards learning. Throughout their study of English language arts, students gain understandings, skills, and strategies to become more competent and confident language users.

-This unit will challenge students to incorporate prior knowledge with learned knowledge to fully interact and learn from Joseph Boyden’s Three Day Road. Students will continually be working on improving their ELA skills in reading, writing, and speaking while developing new and implementing old learning strategies. This unit will attempt to unlock and/ or enhance skills the students can carry into their futures in regards to the plethora of knowledge that is contained within stories.

Sense of Self, Community, and Place-

To learn English language arts, students need not only to use the English language but also to interact with each other. Through the English language arts, students learn about themselves, others, and the world. The students use language to define who they are and to explore who they might become. They use language to interact and to respond effectively with others and to build community.

-This unit has many opportunities for students to work individually, in groups, and as part of a team to create a positive learning environment within the classroom. Thus, teamwork and cooperation are some of the backbones of this unit. It is important for students to develop skills in these areas as these skills are highly transferable to everyday situations from work to extracurricular activities. This unit also gives them a peek into Canadian history and develops their sense of community and place within a greater context.

Engaged Citizens-

In the English language arts, students learn how language enables them to make a difference in their personal, peer, family, and community lives. Language gives them a sense of agency and an ability to make a difference in their community and the world in which they live.

-This unit will foster interpersonal relationships that translate into constructing positive social interactions within everyday life. Students will learn about a multitude of topics that will give them the confidence in themselves to show intellectual courage in their own lives and communities.

 

 

Cross curricular Competencies

How will this unit promote the CCC?

 

Developing Thinking (DT)-

Learners construct knowledge to make sense of the world around them. They develop understanding by building on what is already known. This key competency concerns the ability to make sense of information, experiences, and ideas through thinking contextually, critically, and creatively. The philosophy of learning in English language arts is inquiry-based, and students use their language and thinking skills to explore a range of topics, issues, and themes.

-This unit has plenty of opportunities for students to bring prior knowledge into their work as well as discussions. They have to apply their knowledge to make sense of the ways in which the novel connects to themselves and their world around them. The plethora of different assignments allows students to show off their skills in a number of different ways. Thinking critically, students must analyze the novel and its components and apply it to the unit material. Thinking creatively, students can apply creative solutions to the problems presented within the unit and show their learning in a creative manner. Thinking contextually, students can apply their prior knowledge to situations that arise from the reading material or the discussions and construct answers based upon their “out of classroom” learning. In this way, the unit will foster “real-life” out of classroom learning through actively engaging the students and making them want to learn more about the topics that are being discussed. By asking inquiry-based questions, the students learn to construct an answer on their own by working through the question using all the knowledge in which they have and thinking contextually, critically, and creatively.

Developing Identity and Interdependence (DII)-

The ability to act autonomously in an interdependent world requires an awareness of the natural environment, of social and cultural expectations, and of the possibilities for individual and group accomplishments. It assumes the possession of a positive self-concept and the ability to live in harmony with others and with the natural and constructed worlds. Achieving this competency requires understanding, valuing, and caring for oneself; understanding, valuing, and respecting human diversity and human rights and responsibilities; and understanding and valuing social and environmental interdependence and sustainability. English language arts require students to explore ideas and issues of identity, social responsibility, diversity, sustainability, and personal agency.

-This unit has a whole subsection devoted to the study of identity both within the novel as well as within the individuals studying the novel. In this way, comparisons can be drawn and a deeper understanding of one’s own identity can emerge. This unit also focuses on group work in order to foster interdependence and teamwork to work towards a shared goal of learning and understanding. Through the knowledge gained about oneself within this unit, students can work towards establishing compassion for other members of their community and world and be part of a positive change in our world. This is especially important at a time when hate is so prevalent within our lives through media coverage and violence towards “other” ethnicities.

Developing Literacies (DL)-

Literacies provide many ways, including the use of various language systems and media, to interpret the world and express understanding of it. Literacies involve the evolution of interrelated skills, strategies, and understandings that facilitate an individual’s ability to participate fully and equitably in a variety of roles and contexts – school, home, and local and global communities. To achieve this competency requires developing skills, strategies, and understandings related to various literacies in order to explore and interpret the world and communicate meaning. English language arts requires students to use different literacies, including language literacy, effectively and contextually to represent ideas and understanding in multiple, flexible ways.

This unit looks to develop a range of literacies in order to support and challenge all learners. Reading skills such as skimming vs reading in depth will be looked at to foster different strategies for students to succeed. Communication is an essential tool of humankind and, thus, different strategies to foster communication and communication skill acquisition will be implemented. Literacies involving writing will be explored in depth throughout unit work with different writing methods (essay, poem, monologues, etc…) being used to give the students a comprehensive knowledge of different writing forms.

Developing Social Responsibility (DSR)-

Social responsibility is how people positively contribute to their physical, social, and cultural environments. It requires the ability to participate with others in accomplishing shared or common goals. This competency is achieved through using moral reasoning processes, engaging in communitarian thinking and dialogue, and taking action to contribute to learners’ physical, social, and cultural environments. In English language arts, students explore their social responsibility and work toward common goals to improve the lives of others and the natural and constructed worlds.

-The group work within this unit will require students to positively contribute to their “team” and foster a positive learning environment for all learners. The groups are working towards a common goal of learning and have the ability to take their own learning into their own hands. This unit requires a lot of discussion / communication with a plethora of different sized groups in order to foster positive communication and idea generation. These skills are highly transferable into “real life” scenarios in which students would be facing on a day to day basis because communication has a large influence in our everyday lives. Furthermore, the communication skills gained from active participation within this unit can help students in future endeavors whether that is simply getting a job or being an active spokesperson for environmental issues.

 

Learning Outcomes

What relevant goals will this unit address?

(must come from curriculum; include the designations e.g. IN2.1)

 

I will arrange the outcomes into these categories soon:

Mini-Unit 1- Literary Elements/Perspectives

Mini-Unit 2- Identity and Relationships

Mini-Unit 3- Indigenous Perspectives

Mini-Unit 4- The Effect of War on Canada and its People

 

CR A10.1

Comprehend and respond to a variety of visual, oral, print, and multimedia texts that address:

• identity (e.g., Foundational Stories);

• social responsibility (e.g., Destiny and Challenges of Life);

• social action (agency) (e.g., Human Existence).

– View, listen to, read, and respond to First Nations and Métis resources and other texts that reflect diverse personal identities, worldviews, and backgrounds (e.g., appearance, culture, socioeconomic status, ability, age, gender, language, social structures, and decision making).

– Identify connections between self, texts, and culture

– Respond personally and critically to individuals, events, and ideas presented in a variety of First Nations, Métis, and other Canadian and international texts.

CR A10.3

Listen to, interpret, summarize, and draw conclusions about the ideas and information presented in a variety of literary and informational texts including group discussions, oral readings, interviews, and prepared talks about a topic being studied.

– Listen to and interpret grade-appropriate literary and informational texts created by First Nations, Métis, Saskatchewan, Canadian, and international authors from various cultural communities.

– Engage in reflective, critical, empathic, and appreciative listening.

– Identify the language features and their effects in a range of oral and multimedia texts and describe and analyze their relationships to meaning, purpose, and audience

– Listen respectfully to an invited guest with expertise on the subject, and make notes on the key points as well as the speaker’s purpose, attitude, and organization of ideas for effect.

CR A10.4

Read, interpret, and draw conclusions about the ideas, information, concepts, and themes presented in a variety of literary (including poems, plays, essays, short stories, novels) and informational (including magazines, newspapers, and on-line information) texts

– Read, comprehend, and explain the human experiences and values reflected in various literary and informational texts created by First Nations, Métis, Saskatchewan, Canadian, and international authors from various cultural communities

– Read and interpret critically the main ideas, events, and themes of a variety of literary texts including stories, novels, scripts, poetry, and non-fiction works, and prepare, present, and defend critical responses to what is read.

– Interpret, explain, analyze, and discuss how the literary qualities and the distinctive conventions, structures, and language features of a range of texts suit the topic and purpose.

CC A10.1

Compose and create a range of visual, multimedia, oral, and written texts that explore:

• identity (e.g., Foundational Stories);

• social responsibility (e.g., Destiny and Challenges of Life);

• social action (agency) (e.g., Human Existence).

– Use representing, speaking, and writing to respond to experiences or texts (e.g., a staged dramatic scene, a television episode, a significant personal event).

– Develop and present a project-based inquiry related to a theme or topic of the course:

·      collaborate to determine group knowledge base and to define inquiry or research purpose and parameters

·      draw logical conclusion from information and consider how to best present to identified audience

·      access information using a variety of tools (e.g., electronic networks, libraries, taped oral histories)

CC A10.2

Explain and present to a familiar audience the key ideas and events (actual or based on a text studied) through an appropriate combination of charts, diagrams, sound, models, drama, and print.

– Present information using print and non-print aids to engage and inform a familiar audience.

– Use props, visual aids, graphics, and electronic media to enhance the appeal and accuracy of presentations.

– Use and adapt production techniques and technologies to communicate information, ideas, narrative, or other messages, integrating verbal, visual, and dramatic features to achieve a range of effects.

CC A10.3

Use oral language to express a range of information and ideas in formal (including a prepared talk on a familiar topic, an oral presentation of a passage of prose or poetry, retelling a narrative or recounting an experience or event) and informal (discussion and group work) situations.

– Participate in small- and large-group discussions, observing the courtesies of group discussion, and demonstrate effective group interaction skills and strategies:

·      develop harmony, listen, observe, and respond to and clarify one another’s ideas

·      be respectful but also critical

·      work co-operatively and collaboratively with others in small groups on structured tasks

·      question others, exploring the potential of their contributions, and offer clarification and elaboration upon own ideas when necessary

·      assume some of the work necessary to maintain discussion and advance it (e.g., by summarizing, raising questions, extracting significant points, making connections, setting agenda)

CC A10.4

Compose and create a variety of written literary (including a historical persona essay and a review) and informational (including an observation [eye-witness] report and researched or technical report) texts attending to various elements of discourse (e.g., purpose, speaker, audience, form).

– Write an observation report/eyewitness account (e.g., an incident report, an event report) that:

·         answers 5W and H (who, what, when, where, why, and how) questions for facts about what happened

·         includes thoughts and comments that bring experience to life

·         uses descriptive details (including sights, sounds, tastes, textures, and smells) that show the reader what happened, as if he or she were seeing it firsthand

– Write a historical persona essay (e.g., biographical narrative, response to a historical photo) that:

·         defines important moments in the historic person’s life so essay is well-focused and organized

·         shows understanding of the person, the events, and gathered details about the place and time

·         uses the “I” voice (imagined self to be the person and to be part of these events) in order to get a feel for the experience.

– Write a review (e.g., evaluating a literary work) that:

·         includes thoughtful explanations and specific references to the text itself

·         explores strengths and weaknesses of work and includes passages from text as examples

·         does not retell plot but recognizes theme (general observation about life or human nature) of the text and the relevance of literary techniques (e.g., setting, characters, point of view, basic conflicts, plot development, and use of literary elements such as figurative language and sound).

AR A10.1

Establish and apply criteria to evaluate own and others’ work

– Use feedback to evaluate own effectiveness and set goals in language learning and use

-Evaluate own and others’ contributions to group process and provide support where needed.

– Contribute to the creation of rubrics and other assessment and evaluation tools used to assess visual, oral, written, multimedia, and other products submitted.

 

Enduring Understandings

What understandings about the big ideas are desired? (what you want students to understand & be able to use several years from now)

What misunderstandings are predictable?

Essential Questions

What provocative questions will foster inquiry into the content? (open-ended questions that stimulate thought and inquiry linked to the content of the enduring understanding)

Students will understand that…

-Learning through listening to the stories of others can help better oneself

-What they learn through reading can be applied to better their everyday lives

-The ability to intellectually communication is a key aspect in human life

-Our character defines and determines us, yet there is always a capacity for personal growth

-That decisions have wide spread implications on not only the decision maker but on those around them and the world as a whole as well.

 

 

Related misconceptions…

This is only a story and we can’t learn from reading someone else’s story.

It doesn’t relate to me.

Reading books are only for an English class

Students don’t believe that what they know can apply to intellectual conversation

Content specific….

-How does who we are affect what we see/ or don’t see as well as how we act? Can this be changed or altered?

– How do the values of the individual conflict or not conflict with those of the larger society as a whole?

– What makes an individual decide a course of action and how are those around them affected by those decisions?

– How does placing a piece of literature in the context of our time period affect its meaning and how it is perceived? In its own time?

 

FNMI, multicultural, cross-curricular…

– What makes an individual decide a course of action and how are those around them affected by those decisions?

– How does the culture reflected in the writing affect your understanding of it? How does your own culture affect your understanding of it?

-How does the understanding of Treaties enhance or alter our understanding of the play

-In what ways is Three Day Road relevant to our own time and circumstances?

Knowledge:

What knowledge will students acquire as a result of this unit?  This content knowledge may come from the indicators, or might also address pre-requisite knowledge that students will need for this unit.

 

Skills

What skills will students acquire as a result of this unit?  List the skills and/or behaviours that students will be able to exhibit as a result of their work in this unit.  These will come from the indicators.

Students will know…

-themselves or an increasing part of themselves

the importance of working as a group (and individually) in reaching academic and learning goals.

-different cultural values and norms and how these interact with one’s own cultural values and norms

 

 

Students will be able to…

– This unit is attempting to connect and include all levels of Blooms Taxonomy using skills such as questioning, analyzing, and inference (of main ideas and characters) among others.

– Discuss the novel in a variety of manners such as Socratic circle, self-sustained small group work, think-pair-share, and Jigsaw methods.

Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence

 

Performance Task

Through what authentic performance task will students demonstrate the desired understandings, knowledge, and skills? (describes the learning activity in “story” form.  Typically, the P.T. describes a scenario or situation that requires students to apply knowledge and skills to demonstrate their understanding in a real life situation. Describe your performance task scenario below)

By what criteria will performances of understanding be judged?

GRASPS Elements of the Performance Task   
G – Goal

What should students accomplish by completing this task?

G- Discover how they have evolved as a person through the undertaking of personal journeys and overcoming obstacles within their lives. Discover how their journey is similar/ different from the characters within the novel Three Day Road.

R- This is an “I” perspective or a third person perspective “he, she, or they”

A- The reader/ consumer/ audience (Mainly teacher but there are several instances where classmates may be involved depending on the project)

S- An in depth exploration of self. How did I become the person who I am today? What has shaped my character and influenced my values and thoughts? An emotional undertaking.

P- Students will create a final project for the full unit on Three Day Road based on a journey within their own lives that they have undertaken. They can choose between a variety of options to complete this task such as creating a photo journey, create a mini play/ monologue, an essay, or they can come to me with an idea.

S- Co-created criteria is hugely important for this project because the students have to put their heart and soul into this journey delving into themselves in a way they may not have previously. Thus, in my opinion, the assessment must meet the students on their grounds to allow them to feel safe rather than “judged.” I believe that in this way the students will feel included, engaged, and safe which will result in a positive learning environment and lead to better work overall.

R – Role

What role (perspective) will your students be taking?

A – Audience

Who is the relevant audience?

 

S – Situation

The context or challenge provided to the student.

P – Product, Performance

What product/performance will the student create?

S – Standards & Criteria for Success

Create the rubric for the Performance Task

 

Attach rubric to Unit Plan- See Three Day Road Assessment Piece

 

Other Evidence

Through what other evidence (work samples, observations, quizzes, tests, journals or other means) will students demonstrate achievement of the desired results? Formative and summative assessments used throughout the unit to arrive at the outcomes.

Student Self-Assessment

How will students reflect upon or self-assess their learning?

Formative-

-KWL Chart will help determine where students are and if other information is needed or in need of altering.

– Discussions throughout each mini-unit that demonstrate student comprehension and thought processes. These discussions will be using learning strategies such as Think-Pair-Share, Jigsaw, Socratic Circle, etc. and will incorporate small and large group discussion. Discussions will generally be inquiry-based but may change if a student brings up a topic worth discussing.

-Worksheets based upon these discussions will be used to determine active listening as well as note taking skills (Semi-Summative as well if necessary)

Summative-

-At the end of each mini-unit there is a summative assignment that demonstrates the knowledge that students have absorbed within each mini-unit.

 

-KWL charts at the start and end of each mini-unit will allow students to assess as they go through each mini-unit and will help determine their intellectual growth for both themselves and the teacher. Students will be given the beginning KWL chart at the end so that they can see their progress and determine if they have learnt anything they previously did not know or wanted to know.

-Peer and self-assessments after the discussions to determine what they found valuable, who brought important information to the table, and how they are going to continue their learning with this new found knowledge provided by their classmates.

-Students will take a journal as they read taking down any questions they have, interesting quotes, self-connections, or whatever else they deem important. After the reading of Three Day Road is finished, students will use the notes they have be writing to foster discussion and supplement conversation.

 

 

Stage 3 – Learning Plan

What teaching and learning experiences will you use to:

  • achieve the desired results identified in Stage 1?
  • equip students to complete the assessment tasks identified in Stage 2?
 
Where are your students headed?  Where have they been?  How will you make sure the students know where they are going? 

What experiences do the learners bring to the unit?  How have the interests of the learners been ascertained?  Have the learners been part of the pre-planning in any way?  What individual needs do you anticipate will need to be addressed?

Learning environment:  Where can this learning best occur?  How can the physical environment be arranged to enhance learning? 

 
Students are now established in high school but are still finding out who they are. Especially because of the big change coming into high school in grade 9. At the start of my English class I like to talk about a few of the outcomes to show the students right off the bat what is expected of them. In this way, there are no surprises and they feel as though they are working towards a goal rather than being in the dark. As this is an ELA class, there are likely to be all sorts of experiences being brought into the classroom.

The best learning environment will most likely be my classroom but I do love to go outside so I imagine there will be a day or two where we simply go outside to have class. I do eventually want to integrate a canoe trip into the learning to establish a more “living curriculum” as well as get my students interested with the material.

I set my desks in a very specific pattern because I feel as though it enhances discussion and comfort within the room. I try to arrange the desks into a large square (or rectangle). If there are more students in the classroom then two squares, one inside the other, is formed.

 
How will you engage students at the beginning of the unit? (motivational set)  
I know a lot of drama games so maybe playing one of those might work. In all honesty, I am still working on this part. I love the novel and, thus, it has intrinsic value for me which may translate into the students based upon my enthusiasm for studying this novel (Pipe Dream… maybe).

 

 
What events will help students experience and explore the enduring understandings and essential questions in the unit?  How will you equip them with needed skills and knowledge?  
# Lesson Title Lesson Activities

 

CCCs Resources  
1  

Diving Into the Road: Joseph Boyden’s Three Day Road

(3 weeks)

 

Discussion Groups rather than chapter questions.

Journal questions will be discussed as well as a few targeted discussion questions.

DT, DSR, DS -Novel

-Discussion Targets

-Student Journals

 
2 The End is only the Beginning

 

 

Create a picture story based upon the novel Three Day Road. See Three Day Road 1st Lesson Plan. DT, DL, DSR -Electronic Resources

-Paper

-Pen

 
3 Literary Analysis

(3 classes)

KWL Chart- Literary Elements

Look at the literary elements of the novel (ex. imagery, foreshadowing, allusion, simile etc.). This will be done interspersed throughout the reading of the novel.

A small Socratic circle will be done in preparation for the larger/ longer circle. Here a list of questions will be created in preparation for the big circle to aid in material for the next class.

DL, DT -Novel

-Literary Elements list

-Pen

-Paper

 
4 Socratic Circle

(1 Class)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Socratic Circle Follow up (3 classes)

-A Socratic Circle on how the literary elements allow us better insight into the characters and their journeys within the novel.

-5 minutes is dedicated to students preparing last minute information gathering/ note taking.

-2 minutes to fully set up into the Socratic Circle.

-32 minutes (two 15 minute sections with a 2 minute break in between) for the Socratic Circle

-Discussion based off of the circles and finishing up any pressing issues or necessary questions or acknowledgements. 5 mins

-Approx. 15 minutes to write a minimum three sentence review of the Socratic circle process (can be 2 likes and a dislike or 2 dislikes and a like but both must be represented)

 

Based upon all the information gathered up until this point students will write a review of the novel that expresses and justifies an opinion about the text without summarizing the plot. What did you like? Not Like?

KWL Chart Revision

DT, DL, DSR -List of previous questions

-Paper

-Pen

 
5  

Who Are We?

(2 classes)

KWL Chart- Identity

What is Identity?

What Shapes Identity?

Can Identity change or is it static?

-Write about something that you believe shapes your identity. How does it shape you? Why did you choose this particular thing/ event?

-Create a poem about identity.

DT, DII -Pen

-Paper

 
6 You… says the Media

 

-How does media shape our identities?

-Media awareness- stereotypes perpetuated by the media (Sexism, racializing, violence)

-What is the difference between fact and fiction? How can one tell online?

DT, DII, DSR, DL -Pen

-Paper

-Media Studies Handout

 
7  

Identity Unmasked

(3 classes)

 

Assignment-Create a mask based on the way you see yourself

-Create a mask based on how you believe people see you

-Interview others to ask what they believe your identity is and create a mask based on these traits/ viewpoints.

-Using these three representations, write about the differences and similarities, why you believe there are differences, and what might account for these differences.

-How does this information shape identity?

KWL Chart Revision

DT,DII,DL, DSR -Pen

-Paper

-(Possible mask sheet/ paper macheing 1 mask)

 
8 Culture Club

 

 

KWL Chart- Culture and FNMI perspectives

– How does the culture reflected in the writing affect your understanding of it? How does your own culture affect your understanding of it?

-Aboriginal ways of knowing- medicine wheel

-How do aboriginal ways of knowing affect the novel? The characters? Our own viewpoints?

-In what ways is Three Day Road relevant to our own time and circumstances?

DL, DSR, DII, DT -Pen

-Paper

-Medicine Wheel handout

 
9 You’re in for a Treat-y -How does the understanding of Treaties enhance or alter our understanding of the play?

-Treaty Relations- Overview of the treaties that were signed within Canada with heavier emphasis on the Saskatchewan treaties. Promises and failed follow through.

– Do Treaty relations affect all people? If so, How? If not, why do you think so?

– How do lessons learnt from the Treaties tie into the study of this novel? Treaty Essential Learnings –Brother-to-brother relations, Historical Context, Contemporary issues, etc.)

-Analyze the impact that Canadian Treaties could have if implemented on a global scale.

 

DT, DII, DSR -Treaty Handouts

-Office of the Treaty Commissioner handouts

 
10 Schools to destroy knowledge and culture

 

 

-What are residential schools? What was their effect in the play? In real life?

-How did the main characters fight against the residential school teachings to combat the loss of their culture? How have survivors combated the loss of culture? Is this a loss of Identity?

 

-I would really like to get an Elder to come and speak with my class about the horrors and pain that the residential schools wrought on an entire people. I feel as though this is an invaluable experience and the full emotional impact will be lost if I cannot find a speaker. Nevertheless, if one is not available this lesson will still commence.

 

Assignment- will be an Eye Witness Account/ report that answers the 5W’s and H for facts about what happened and uses descriptive details. The Elder would have used descriptive details in his/her account of the events.

Oral and symbolic tradition mini-unit wrap up. Students present their story orally to the class touching on the above details. Thus, students create a presentation from their “eye witness” account writing. Students create a picture journey (see above assignment) for the students to follow as they tell their story (visual stimuli).

KWL Chart Revision

DT, DSR, DII -Pen

-Paper

 
11

 

Moving Forward to History

 

 

KWL Chart- The Great War and its Effect on Canadian Peoples

-Discussion on the Great War. Historical context- Beginnings, major players, toll (body, mind, emotions). Canadian implications.

-How was the war portrayed in the novel?

-What significance did the war have in the novel? What significance did it have for the main characters?

DT, DSR, DII -Pen

-Paper

 
12

 

The Rest is History

(3 classes)

 

Assignment- Students will write a Historical Persona Essay that shows understanding of the person, events, and the gathered details about the place and the time.

 

KWL Chart Revision

DL, DT -Computers (research resources)

-Pen

-Paper

 
13 Final Project

(1 Week)

Students will create a final project for the full unit on Three Day Road based on a journey within their own lives that they have undertaken. They can choose between a variety of options to complete this task such as creating a photo journey, create a mini play/ monologue, an essay, or they can come to me with an idea. Rubric will be co-created with the students. DT, DII, DL, DSR -Pen

-Paper

 
  Assess and Reflect (Stage 4)
  Considerations Comments
  Required Areas of Study:

 Is there alignment between outcomes, performance assessment and learning experiences?

I believe so but then again I am bias. I believe I have created a fairly comprehensive novel study that effectively targets the major outcomes and necessary elements of the English A 10 Curriculum. My next order of business in regards to this unit is to do crossover work with the History/ Social Studies teacher in the war unit. The next step after that is to go to the PAA teacher and discuss the inclusion of creating a canoe as a class for a large project. After this, I want to contact the Phys. Ed teacher and have the students go canoeing (hopefully in their newly made one) to simulate Niska and X’s trip down the river. I believe this would integrate “living curriculum” really well as well as implement place based learning in my classroom. All of this together would create an awesome holistic learning experience for my students that would hugely benefit (and motivate) them to want to continue learning in English Language Arts.

 

 

 

 

  Adaptive Dimension:

Have I made purposeful adjustments to the curriculum content (not outcomes), instructional practices, and/or the learning environment to meet the learning needs and diversities of all my students?

For struggling students:

-Group work to help lighten their load

-Lots of discussion that they have the opportunity to listen to and create understanding from others

-Difficulty options for projects (can go as easy or hard as they need while still maintaining the projects integrity) (Ex. see challenge example below)

-Different options for the final project that will allow them to choose what they are most comfortable doing.

 

For students who need a challenge:

– Up the ante for them. Make them delve deeper into the project. (Ex. rather than talk about a trip to the store for their picture journey, these students have to talk about a complex topic such as overcoming claustrophobia)

 

  Instructional Approaches:

Do I use a variety of teacher directed and student centered instructional approaches?

Yes. Think-Pair-Share, Jigsaw, Socratic Circle. Class discussion. Chunking.

 

  Resource Based Learning:

 Do the students have access to various resources on an ongoing basis?

They can use computers and/ or, if allowed, phones to look up necessary data. As of right now, I need to incorporate more technology into my unit.

 

  FNM/I Content and Perspectives/Gender Equity/Multicultural Education:

Have I nurtured and promoted diversity while honoring each child’s identity?

I believe that I have done a fairly good job of incorporating FNMI content especially since I have a full mini-unit devoted to this. One of the most important practices in my room is promoting inclusion and, thus, I think that fostering positive discussion about these topics alleviates their stigma.

 

 

From:  Wiggins, Grant and J. McTighe. (1998). Understanding by Design, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, ISBN # 0-87120-313-8 (pbk)

Three Day Road Lesson Plan

The Outcomes referenced within my explanation below are based upon a rubric that I was marked upon for this assignment.

Lesson Plan Discussion

I believe that I did a fairly good job of this lesson and it could be taught once Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden was read (Outcome #4). Although, I do realize it could use some tweaks to be better. First off, I think that I successfully incorporated the provincial curriculum into the construction of my planned lesson (Outcome #1). Furthermore, I believe that my lesson plan effectively integrates the use of successful instructional strategies such as the Jigsaw method as well as co-constructed criteria to efficiently hit the desired outcomes of my assessment as well as my future student’s assessment (“). I would be building my rubric in the same manner as my final project’s rubric that was submitted earlier in the term. The goal of my lesson is to create a resource for the students to effectively give them a quick guide to the book if they need to look back at the book while doing the other activities from my unit (Outcome #2). Additionally, this lesson is being used to discover the level of understanding the students can demonstrate in regards to their knowledge on Three Day Road. I was also trying to think ahead while I was creating this and, thus, this is one of the options that students can do for their final project. This lesson works as a model for this final project option as well (Outcome #14). I also feel as though the group work that the students are partaking in helps to bring other students up to speed if they are lagging behind. Furthermore, the picture story is a simplified version of the book and will help students that may have not fully understood or kept up with the story (Outcome #14). I also feel as though the instructional strategies that are contained within my lesson are solid. I feel as though I effectively used the Jigsaw method to create a full resource for the students in which they fully create and teach their content to their classmates (Outcome #3). Throughout the process of creating this resource, students will have to be checking in with me to ensure that they are on the right track so that the completed whole at the end of this series of lessons successfully summarizes the book (Outcome #5). The pictures the students choose will also have a large factor on the formative assessment because it will determine whether the students understand the text they are reading (Outcome #5). From the knowledge gathered from this formative assessment, I can then adapt my lesson if needed to include another example or discuss with them aspects of the story that they are confused about. Thus, the formative assessment is a determining factor in the adaptations that will be done if it is deemed necessary (Outcome #14). As far as creating and engaging learning activities and tasks (Outcome #15), I believe that I have created an interesting project that integrates their knowledge about the book into a synthesized format. Furthermore, this project is not stand alone in that its use can be integrated into the other aspects of my unit through helping the students recall key moments within the book to draw upon for other assignments. I have attempted to have the students create this resource for themselves in a fun and interesting manner. I also feel as though it will cement the main plot points as well as the main ideas of the story for the students so that the rest of the projects can go smoother and be done in greater detail. Thus, I feel as though a holistic integration of the key literacies within the English Language Arts curriculum is touched upon (Outcome #16). Students are using speaking, writing, and reading skills to figure out this assignment (Outcome #16). Students must talk and debate with one another about what they will include within their picture story for their chapter which covers the oral literacy. They are writing down why they are including the picture and its importance within the chapter and the book as a whole in completion of the written literacy aspect. As well, throughout the first two processes, they are rereading the chapter (skimming/ in depth) to determine possible events/ ideas to include as pictures as well as cement their understanding of a particular part of the story to fulfill the reading literacy aspect.

I believe I have thought through this lesson carefully and have produced a fairly respectable product (Outcome #4). As of right now, I believe that I could indeed teach this lesson with a fairly high success rate with the materials and explanations that I have created. With that being said, lesson planning is always evolving as we gain new knowledge and/ or instructional strategies and I am sure this will be adapted in the future. Furthermore, I believe that I have done well in goal setting and have been realistic throughout my process. I also understand the need to adapt and change this lesson should it be necessary and am more than willing to do so. I feel as though my reflection on this lesson building project as well as my lesson plan show that I use and implement goals to enhance my own professional development (Outcome #7).

Lesson Plan Title: Picture Story Creation                                                                                          

Date: Undetermined               Subject: ELA            Grade:  10       Topic: Three Day Road

Time: 3 hrs. (3 Classes) – Possibly 2 depending on speed of completion

Materials: Pen, Paper, Electronic Resources

Stage 1- Desired Results – you may use student friendly language
What do they need to understand, know, and/or able to do?

-How a picture story is a synthesis of the main ideas/ plot points within the story and can be used for clarification and quick recollection of material.

-How “using your own words” to describe the story (using the picture story) shows a fuller comprehension of the material.

Broad Areas of Learning:

Developing Lifelong Learners-

Students who are engaged in constructing and applying English language arts knowledge naturally build a positive disposition towards learning. Throughout their study of English language arts, students gain understandings, skills, and strategies to become more competent and confident language users.

Developing a Sense of Self and Community-

To learn English language arts, students need not only to use the English language but also to interact with each other. They use language to interact and to respond effectively with others and to build community.

Cross-Curricular Competencies:

Developing Thinking-

Learners construct knowledge to make sense of the world around them. They develop understanding by building on what is already known. This key competency concerns the ability to make sense of information, experiences, and ideas through thinking contextually,

critically, and creatively. The philosophy of learning in English language arts is inquiry-based, and students use their language and thinking skills to explore a range of topics, issues, and themes

Developing Identity and Interdependence-

The ability to act autonomously in an interdependent world requires an awareness of the natural environment, of social and cultural expectations, and of the possibilities for individual and group accomplishments. English Language Arts require students to explore ideas and issues of identity, social responsibility, diversity, sustainability, and personal agency.

Developing Literacies-

Literacies provide many ways, including the use of various language systems and media, to interpret the world and express understanding of it. Literacies involve the evolution of interrelated skills, strategies, and understandings that facilitate an individual’s ability to participate fully and equitably in a variety of roles and contexts – school, home, and local and global communities. To achieve this competency requires developing skills, strategies, and understandings related to various literacies in order to explore and interpret the world and communicate meaning. English language arts requires students to use different literacies, including language literacy, effectively and contextually to represent ideas and understanding in multiple, flexible ways.

Developing Social Responsibility-

This project requires the ability to participate with others in accomplishing shared or common goals. This competency is achieved through using moral reasoning processes, engaging in communitarian thinking and dialogue, and taking action to contribute to learners’ physical, social, and cultural environments. In English language arts, students explore their social responsibility and work toward common goals to improve the lives of others and the natural and constructed worlds.

 Outcome(s):

CR A10.1-

Comprehend and respond to a variety of visual, oral, print, and multimedia texts that address: • identity (e.g., Foundational Stories);

• social responsibility (e.g., Destiny and Challenges of Life);

• social action (agency) (e.g., Human Existence).

– View, listen to, read, and respond to First Nations and Métis resources and other texts that reflect diverse personal identities, worldviews, and backgrounds (e.g., appearance, culture, socioeconomic status, ability, age, gender, language, social structures, and decision making).

– Identify connections between self, texts, and culture.

– Develop understanding and interpretations of a variety of texts by drawing upon personal experiences and prior knowledge of texts and language.

– Respond thoughtfully and critically to text providing support from text to justify response.

CR A10.4-

Read, interpret, and draw conclusions about the ideas, information, concepts, and themes presented in a variety of literary (including poems, plays, essays, short stories, novels) and informational (including magazines, newspapers, and on-line information) texts

-Read, comprehend, and explain the human experiences and values reflected in various literary and informational texts created by First Nations, Métis, Saskatchewan, Canadian, and international authors from various cultural communities.

– Demonstrate active reading behaviours including:

• establishing a purpose for reading such as to learn, interpret, and enjoy

• skimming, scanning, and reading closely

• identifying and analyzing explicit and implicit messages, viewpoints, and concepts

• relating understanding of a range of texts to personal experiences, purposes, audiences, and other texts

• constructing images based on text descriptions (Key)

• discussing and analyzing meanings, ideas, language, and literary and informational quality in a range of contemporary and historical texts

CC A10.1

Compose and create a range of visual, multimedia, oral, and written texts that explore:

• identity (e.g., Foundational Stories);

• social responsibility (e.g., Destiny and Challenges of Life);

• social action (agency) (e.g., Human Existence).

-Create spoken, written, and other representations that include:

•        coherence, logical progression, and support for ideas

•        clear patterns of organization

-organize information using appropriate forms (e.g., charts, diagrams, outlines, electronic databases, storyboards)

-draw logical conclusion from information and consider how to best present to identified audience

CC A10.2

Explain and present to a familiar audience the key ideas and events (actual or based on a text studied) through an appropriate combination of charts, diagrams, sound, models, drama, and print.

-Use props, visual aids, graphics, and electronic media to enhance the appeal and accuracy of presentations.

-Analyze, organize, and convert information into different forms (e.g., charts, graphs, drawings).

PGP Goals:

1.2       ethical behaviour and the ability to work in a collaborative manner for the good of all learners– Students are put into groups in which they need to work in a collaborative environment. In this way, students that may struggle have a support system that they can use to increase their learning.

2.3       knowledge of First Nations, Metis and Inuit Culture and History (e.g., Treaties, Residential School, Scrip, and Worldview)- Three Day Road is written by an Aboriginal author and contains FNMI content. Therefore, knowledge of FNMI content is necessary to adequately interpret the picture stories.

2.4       ability to use technologies readily, strategically and appropriately– Use of electronic resources such as PowerPoint and image searches help everyone within the classroom.

3.2       the ability to use a wide variety of responsive instructional strategies and methodologies to accommodate learning styles of individual learners and support their growth as social, intellectual, physical and spiritual beings– Use of group work as well as the Jigsaw Teaching strategy helps to accommodate all learners and, furthermore, helps to ensure the success of all members of the classroom.

 4.2      the ability to incorporate First Nations, Metis, and Inuit knowledge, content and perspective into all teaching areas- FNMI content is in both the book that is being studied as well as the students responses to this content. Furthermore, FNMI knowledge is important in adequately interpreting the picture stories.

4.3       the capacity to engage in program planning to shape ‘lived curriculum’ that brings learner needs, subject matter, and contextual variables together in developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive and meaningful ways-

Stage 2- Assessment
Assessment FOR Learning (formative) Assess the students during the learning to help determine next steps. 

Students understanding/ comprehension will be shown throughout the reading of Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden. Additionally, checkups during the creation process to make sure students are on the right track will be done. Student’s choice of pictures will also dictate if they understand the text. Ex. A person paddling a canoe does not fit with Xavier’s story after the war because he is having withdrawal symptoms in the bottom of a canoe. Therefore, if a group chooses this picture for Xavier then they may need more help or clarification.

 

Assessment OF Learning (summative) Assess the students after learning to evaluate what they have learned.

At the end of the lessons, students will hand in their collaborative work on their picture story for their designated chapters. Students will come together once they are finished in a Jigsaw teaching strategy to share their chapter picture story with the group. Thus, the class as a whole creates a full picture journey of Three Day Road.

Marking will be based upon: coherence, accuracy, understanding (of audience), and detail. The extent of which will be co-created with my students and, thus, a rubric will be created based upon these topics linked into the outcomes and indicators within the curriculum.

Stage 3- Learning Plan- Motivational/Anticipatory Set

–          Show PowerPoint of my picture journey of getting to school without using words (1st half). Students have to guess what happened based on the pictures (Easy).

My Journey

–          The second half is a picture journey of a scene from How To Train Your Dragon. It is depicting the first arena battle when they are learning to fight dragons to save their village. This one is a little bit more difficult because it will not be spelt out for them (Hard).

–          Show students other picture story creation: Elijah’s Decent into the Wendigo

Capture

–          Discuss with the students how a picture journey can enhance understanding and aid in recollection.

Main Procedures/Strategies:

–          Students are broken into small groups to work on creating a picture story of a few (depending on group size) chapters from Three Day Road.

-Approximately 3-5 students per group that will take approximately 3-5 chapters each.

-A minimum of 5 and a maximum of 15 pictures per chapter is necessary (exceptions based on chapter sizes may be necessary)

-Each group has to share why they chose the pictures they did and what significance it has to the chapter and to the story as a whole.

Adaptations/Differentiation:

-Can draw, take photos, or use electronic resources to find images to use.

-Group work allows students to collaborate and help students that may otherwise struggle.

Closing of lesson: (Last class)

–          Accumulate all the picture stories into one cohesive whole for the students to use as a resource throughout the unit. (Jigsaw Teaching Strategy)

–          Discuss how this resource can benefit the students throughout the rest of the unit on Three Day Road.

M. Wilkinson ’16 *Adapted from Understanding by Design (McTighe and Wiggins, 1998)

Three Day Road Final Project Assessment Piece

Although it is somewhat squished on here, I believe that you can get a fairly good idea of what I was going for. Unfortunately, I cannot get that last section of Low, Medium, and High to click into its right place for some unknown reason. Therefore, you will have to use your imagination provided you didn’t lose it as you entered adulthood.

This is for my final project based on the summative learning from the Three Day Road unit as a whole. This project consists of students writing/ sharing a journey that they have undertaken within their lives. It is a very open project that can be easily narrowed down to something as simple as the time they got a flat tire heading to Grandma’s house to advanced such as their journey into or out of friendships/ hardships or whatever else they may like to do. Furthermore, this project has a wide spread of options to complete this task such as writing an essay, creating a picture book, creating a scrapbook, or creating a small play to name a few. I am also very open to students coming up with their own ideas that, of course, must be discussed with me.

The reason that the majority of the rubric is not filled out is because I want to co-construct criteria with my students. I want them to help create the guidelines of their assessment so that they are more invested in reaching their co-constructed goals. In this way, I hope to foster engagement in not only the project itself but in all aspects of the final project creation. I chose to only fill in the “meeting” category (level 3) with an indicator of the affiliated outcomes because I want the students to create the material that goes into that category. The indicators within the level 3 category are simply guidelines to focus student thought. Additionally, I only want to fill out the higher categories (level 3/4) with co-created criteria because I want students to see what they have to do to achieve this level rather than what isn’t meeting expectation (focus on the positive rather than the negative).

This rubric will change depending on what projects the students do as well as the criteria that they feel they should be assessed on. See below the rubric for a quick summation on the final project parameters (as of now anyway).

Three Day Road Outcome Rubric

Name: ________________________     Grade: __________________________

Outcome Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
L M H L M H L M H L M H
CC A10.1 : Compose and create a range of     visual , multimedia , oral , and written texts that explore:

  • identity (e.g., Foundational Stories);
  • social responsibility (e.g., Destiny and Challenges of Life); and
  • social action (agency) (e.g., Human Existence).
Beginning Progressing Use representing, speaking, and writing to respond to experiences or texts (e.g., a staged dramatic scene, a television episode, a significant personal event). Established
CR A10.4 : Read, interpret, and draw conclusions about the ideas, information,        concepts, and themes presented in a variety of literary (including poems, plays, essays, short stories, novels) and informational (including magazines, newspapers, and on-line information) texts. Beginning Progressing Read, comprehend, and explain the human experiences and values reflected in various literary and informational texts created by First Nations, Métis, Saskatchewan, Canadian, and international authors from various cultural communities. Established
CC A10.3 : Use oral language to express a

range of information and ideas in formal

(including a prepared talk on a familiar topic, an oral presentation of a passage of prose or poetry, and a retelling of a narrative or a recounting of an experience or event) and informal (discussion and group work) situations.

Beginning Progressing Recognize and adjust oral presentation elements effectively (i.e., articulation, pronunciation, volume, tempo, pitch, stress, gestures, eye contact, facial expression, and poise) in keeping with purpose, audience needs, and individual cultural and linguistic background. Established

Comments:

 

Assessment OF Learning (Summative) Assess the students after learning to evaluate what they have learned.

-How the individual topics as well as the topics as a whole (cumulative) are portrayed within the students writing about their own personal journey.

-The extent of detail in which the student uses to create their final project will be assessed.

-The level of inclusion of the topics Literary Elements/Perspectives, Identity and Relationships, The Effect of War on Canada and its People, and Indigenous Perspectives will be assessed.

 

My Comments about the rubric:

  • This is my preliminary rubric and I will be adapting it based upon discussion with my class. Another way that I may go is towards the style of the dance rubric that I will provide as well.
  • This was constructed using the Saskatchewan Curriculum Builder Add-On to Google Chrome.
  • The highlighted text is based on the cognitive domain material which, of course, does not show up online (know that it is there though).

No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novels: William Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Genre: Engaging- Investing in great characters and story

Mode: Multi-Modal: Aural, Visual, and Oral

Form: Play/ Graphic Novel

Macbeth by William Shakespeare,” A palpable silence falls upon the classroom. “Does anyone know anything about Macbeth by William Shakespeare?”

One of the kids in the back blurts out, “I know I hate it and it doesn’t make any sense!”

“Why,” inquires the teacher.

“It’s ‘cuz I never know who is talking to who or even what they are saying most of the time! It is just like that other stupid play we have to study in grade 12, Hambone or something.”

“Alas, poor Yorick,” says the teacher pulling out the No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novel of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, “it is time to put your eyes and ears to the test as well as your brain. This is the graphic novel version of Macbeth and it is much easier to understand while being immeasurably cooler!”

The student’s mouths fall open as one of the students in the front jumps out of their desk yelling, “What, can the devil speak true?”

“Yes, in fact, I doth speak the purest of truths thy young rogue. Now sit down and prepare for your mind to blossom like a flower!”

“Peace, ye fat guts! Your offer must be traitorous in nature,” the student yells, “There’s no way an offer so sweet is fair.”

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair,” says the teacher matter-of-factly as he dabs effortlessly. This is the final exclamation point on his scholarly argument with his students. They are now fully open to the idea of listening, learning, and delving into the juiciness that is the No Fear Shakespeare Graphic novel version of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

1. The No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novel version of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a multi-modal text that incorporates the eyes and ears in conjunction with the brain. Thus, both the oral and the visual elements are incorporated for clarity as well as to supplement students with differing learning styles. Furthermore, the aural aspect in incorporated when the class reads the play aloud which, in my opinion, is the most important factor in understanding Shakespeare. This play is about the character Macbeth that receives a prophecy that he is to become King. Although, one of the drawbacks is that his hands will not be clean while rising to his destined rank. The play then follows Macbeth as he sets the prophecy in motion to become the King. Thus, the overriding theme of the play is to “check thyself before ye wreck thyself” or more scholarly be careful of damage you will do if your ambition goes uninhibited by moral restraints. In other words, do not compromise your morals to get ahead in life because the consequences are disastrous. Thus, this play gives an important message to its audience that seems particularly important considering the current state of a certain global leader to the south.

2. The No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novel of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a great way to intrigue students into enjoying a classic in a new and modern light. With that being said, I believe that it is impossible to fully understand or appreciate Shakespeare’s work unless you read it aloud or see it performed. It is then that the true beauty of Shakespeare’s words flow off the pages and dance before our very eyes. Therefore, when I teach or discuss Shakespeare, I find it necessary to speak the words in order to fully grasp what the characters are saying. Therefore, my criticism of this version of the Macbeth story is the fact that no imagination has to be used. I feel as though it is somewhat spoon-feeding our students to simply give them a “cheat sheet” version of the play because it doesn’t force them to think. Although, I do understand that for many students this type of differentiation is extremely important. Yet, I would make sure that my students are still reading the play out loud because that is the most important aspect in understanding the beauty and the subtle nuances within Shakespeare’s works.

Another one of the things holding this Graphic Novel back is that it is only one version of the play whereas Macbeth. The Graphic Novel by Oxford University Press has three different versions: the original text, the quick text, and the modern text. The quick text provides the Macbeth story in as few words as possible while still maintaining the essence of the story, the modern text provides the Macbeth story in modern English verse-for-verse, and the original text is the Macbeth story in its original unabridged and unadulterated form. Thus, there is significant variation in the way this piece of literature can be taught within the classroom using these versions of the graphic novel format. The best comparison to the No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novel version of Macbeth to this other series of Macbeth graphic novels would be the modern text because of its line-by-line translation of the original play.

What I really like about this graphic novel in particular is its simplicity of story and, of course, the picture story to aid in the visualization of the text. This makes this version of the play much easier to understand and follow along in both the storyline as well as the characters themselves. One of the most important things that the graphic novels have over the original text is the opportunity for students to put a face to a name. Therefore, the students actually see Macbeth saying his lines in a setting that allows them to understand what and to whom lines are being spoken. Although somewhat stunting student imagination, I believe that this helps students comprehend what is actually going on within the play and helps them connect to the story.

3. I chose this text because I was looking at differentiating English Language Arts materials for students as well as providing an alternative to the regular Shakespearean texts that are studied. Although I very much enjoy Macbeth, I know it is a struggle for many students. Questions such as “What are they even saying?, Why can’t they just use normal English?, and How do you have any idea what is going on?” have proven time and time again that this can be a difficult material for students to connect with or understand. While they may approve of giving up on it, I tried to find a way to incorporate it in an easier to understand and engaging manner. I feel as though this graphic novel’s pictures are done in a manner that does a great job of setting the tone of the play as well as giving the students something that they can visually latch on to. This is a black and white representation of the play whereas other Macbeth graphic novels are in colour. Furthermore, I believe it is worth looking at all the graphic novel Shakespeare material that is out there before simply settling on the No Fear Shakespeare versions. The other example I provided above, Macbeth. The Graphic Novel by Oxford University Press, also provides amazing visuals to aid the reader in understanding. In conclusion, The No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novel version of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a great resource for differentiation and engagement in the English classroom but it is far from the only one.

Curriculum Connections (All of the Above… or in this case below):

 Outcome: CR A10.1

Comprehend and respond to a variety of visual, oral, print, and multimedia texts that address:

social action (agency) (e.g., Human Existence).

social responsibility (e.g., Destiny and Challenges of Life); and

identity (e.g., Foundational Stories).

– Identify connections between self, texts, and culture

– Generate significant and thought-provoking questions about what is viewed, listened to, and read

– Comprehend key ideas and supporting details (both explicit and implicit), and determine their literal and implied meaning.

– Respond thoughtfully and critically to text providing support from text to justify response.

Outcome: CR A10.4

Read, interpret, and draw conclusions about the ideas, information, concepts, and themes presented in a variety of literary (including poems, plays, essays, short stories, novels) and informational (including magazines, newspapers, and on-line information) texts.

– Read and interpret critically the main ideas, events, and themes of a variety of literary texts including stories, novels, scripts, poetry, and non-fiction works, and prepare, present, and defend critical responses to what is read

– Read and make generalizations, supported by specific details and examples, about key concepts, characters, themes, and techniques in literary texts

– Interpret, explain, analyze, and discuss how the literary qualities and the distinctive conventions, structures, and language features of a range of texts suit the topic and purpose.

 

Shakespeare, William. “Hamlet.” The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, edited by Melinda Allman, JoAnn Padgett, and Dan Mansfield , Canterbury Classics/ Baker & Taylor Publishing Group, 2014, Pgs. 735-783

Shakespeare, William. “King Henry IV Part I.” The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, edited by Melinda Allman, JoAnn Padgett, and Dan Mansfield, Canterbury Classics/ Baker & Taylor Publishing Group, 2014, Pgs. 457-492

Shakespeare, William. “Macbeth.” The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, edited by Melinda Allman, JoAnn Padgett, and Dan Mansfield, Canterbury Classics/ Baker & Taylor Publishing Group, 2014, Pgs. 942-971

Shakespeare, William. (2008) “Macbeth” [illustrated by Ken Hoshine]. No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novels: Macbeth, Spark Publishing (Original Work published in 1623).

(I purposefully left out the in text citations to make things a little more fun for us English nerds)

Downstream

https://www.usask.ca/water/news-items/2014_2013/downstream-marries-water-research-and-performance-art-.php

(Review on the play Downstream by Cree-playwright Kenneth T. Williams) (Also, it is true that I am the sexy beast in the picture… autographs later folks.)

Genre: 1. Engaging- Touching the heart and mind of the audience

  1. Informative- Ecological and crisis conditions

Mode: Multi-Modal: Aural, Visual, and Oral

Form: Play

Downstream by Cree-playwright Kenneth T. Williams is a play that was put on by the University of Saskatchewan drama department in collaboration with the U of S Global Institute for Water Security (GIWS) and the School of Environment and Sustainability. The purpose of the play was to foster ecological awareness about the effects of flood water on all aspects of the environment using forum theatre. The purpose of Forum theatre is to teach people how to change their world through active theatrical participation. Therefore, audience and actor interaction is a key component within this type of theatre. Consequently, this type of theatre is geared towards social responsibility and social action because it is making its audience think and then react based upon what they think is right or fair. The way in which communication is presented within this type of theatre is through dialogue, spectacle, and audience communication. Therefore, visual, oral, and aural aspects are used throughout the play making this a multi-modal medium. A major part of this play is to foster audience discussion about the topics contained within the play and get the audience to make a decision based upon the information presented. The audience’s decision was shown, in this case, by the amount of ping pong balls the audience allocated to each of the different areas that the flood water would affect. In this way, the play asked the audience to determine the fate of the characters, who were based on things such as a First Nations community, an oil field, and a fish habitat, by allowing the audience to give funding (ping pong balls) to the characters in order to protect them from flood waters. The only catch is that there was not enough funding to go around which made it apparent what the audience deemed was important and what was unimportant in their opinions. Thus, it gave the audience a better look into what their community prioritized and highlighted many of the ecological issues that are prevalent in our society today.

I believe theatre is an excellent way to address controversial topics as well as address social issues. This, is turn, fosters social responsibility in those who actively participate and are affected by theatrical performances. Within one of the interviews with Lori Bradford, wife of project manager Graham Strickert, within the review, she said that “science has its own language, but art speaks to everyone.” I felt that this beautifully encompasses the importance of connecting artistic measures to concreate topics such as science. By presenting the data collection from the researcher’s tests in play form, the results of the test can be shared with a large amount of people who are not scientists and would otherwise not understand the complex rhetoric applied within their studies. In other words, the data is presented in an unorthodox but highly effective manner that allows better communication between all members of society rather than simply the intellectually elite. This method of presentation allows a different perspective on the data collected and appeals to the eyes, ears, heart, and mind rather than simply the eyes and mind. This is the power of theatre over other methods of communication such as intellectual papers or PowerPoint presentations. The theatre leaves you with an experience that makes you want to take action by modeling what that action can be. Thus, the play is modeling a penultimate end goal for social responsibility and social action. The next step in the process is for the individual to take responsibility and perpetuate the message that the play was intending to get across. In this play, the first message was to think about how flood water affects everyone within an environment and how a simple change upstream affects everyone downstream. The second message was to do something about it much like the play Downstream is attempting to educate the viewer.

What is particularly interesting within this play is its use of audience participation to gather data. In this way, the researchers were able to gather data for future research as well as display their present findings in an interesting and engaging manner. Thus, this play had two major purposes that tie into the English Language Arts topic of social responsibility. These topics foster social responsibility through sharing knowledge and taking action. Through sharing knowledge contained within the play, the audience can begin to gather information based on activating prior knowledge as well as adapting and supplementing their knowledge as new information is presented within the play. The first step in becoming socially responsible is through research into injustices in the world. Whatever topic that is eventually chosen, it is important to first be informed before we act. By being informed, we gain better insight into the root of the problem and can the act accordingly. The second part is to actually act once we have gathered information and formed an educated opinion. Through the use of this play, or others that are similarly rooted, one can gain the knowledge and the initiative to further delve into the issues portrayed such as flood water management. Furthermore, by creating a socially responsible play within your own classroom, your students get the opportunity to learn and apply their newfound knowledge into a piece of art that can reach a great number of people. I feel as though this would be a great assignment for students to apply their learning in a practical and engaging manner that has the ability to teach them the principles of being a socially responsible human being. By creating a piece of socially responsible theatre, your students could impact the world or, at the very least, your community in a positive manner.

Within my research, I found this very interesting article about socially responsible theatre that I thought would be great further reading on the topic:

http://howlround.com/socially-responsible-theatre

 

Curriculum Connections (social responsibility):

Outcome: CR A10.1

Comprehend and respond to a variety of visual, oral, print, and multimedia texts that address:

social action (agency) (e.g., Human Existence).

social responsibility (e.g., Destiny and Challenges of Life); and

identity (e.g., Foundational Stories).

– Generate significant and thought-provoking questions about what is viewed, listened to, and read.

– Discuss ways in which texts convey, challenge, or support and affirm individual and community values and behaviours.

-Generate relevant questions about texts on issues related to identity, social responsibility, and social action (agency).

Outcome: CR A10.4

Read, interpret, and draw conclusions about the ideas, information, concepts, and themes presented in a variety of literary (including poems, plays, essays, short stories, novels) and informational (including magazines, newspapers, and on-line information) texts.

-Read and interpret critically the main ideas, events, and themes of a variety of literary texts including stories, novels, scripts, poetry, and non-fiction works, and prepare, present, and defend critical responses to what is read.

-Interpret, explain, analyze, and discuss how the literary qualities and the distinctive conventions, structures, and language features of a range of texts suit the topic and purpose.

Outcome: CC A10.1

Compose and create a range of visual, multimedia, oral, and written texts that explore:

identity (e.g., Foundational Stories);

social responsibility (e.g., Destiny and Challenges of Life); and

social action (agency) (e.g., Human Existence).

– Use representing, speaking, and writing to respond to experiences or texts (e.g., a staged dramatic scene, a television episode, a significant personal event).

 

Jacobs, A. (2016, October 6). Socially Responsible Theatre? Retrieved from HowlRound: http://howlround.com/socially-responsible-theatre

Robin, M. (2014, February 7). Downstream marries water research and performance art. Retrieved from Global Institute for Water Security: https://www.usask.ca/water/news-items/2014_2013/downstream-marries-water-research-and-performance-art-.php