Drama English Bridge- Party Quirks

Lesson Plan Title: Drama English Bridge                                                                                                  

Date: February 28, 2017   Subject: ELA/ Drama      Grade:  7/8        Topic: Drama

Materials: Bodies, Pen, Paper            Time: 1 hr. (Split into two 30 minute classes)

Essential Question: How does role playing using the dramatic arts function as a catalyst for learning about self, others, other subjects, and the world.

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

How does role playing help you learn about yourself, others, other subjects, and the world.

Demonstrate confidence and imagination

To further their knowledge of descriptive language

Broad Areas of Learning:

Developing Lifelong Learners-

As students engage in meaningful cultural and artistic inquiry within schools and communities, they are able to gain a depth of understanding about the world and human experience that enables them to become more knowledgeable, confident, and creative lifelong learners.

Developing a Sense of Self and Community-

Students who possess a positive identity, and understand how their identity is shaped by their interactions with others and their environment, are able to nurture meaningful relationships, and appreciate various worldviews.

Developing Engaged Citizens-

Gives students multiple ways to express their views and to reflect on the perspectives and experiences of others. Students learn how to design, compose, problem solve, inspire change, and contribute innovative ideas that can improve the quality of their own lives and the lives of others.

Cross-Curricular Competencies:

Developing Thinking-

Understanding develops by building on what is already known, and by initiating and engaging in contextual thinking, creative thinking, and critical reasoning. Arts education also involves interdisciplinary thinking wherein students make connections among the arts and other disciplines. Arts education is taught and learned through an inquiry approach that engages students in thinking about big ideas, asking compelling questions, seeking information, investigating and applying disciplinary concepts, experimenting, problem solving, constructing understanding, communicating, and interpreting meaning through creative and critical thinking processes.

Think and learn contextually- Students have to demonstrate their understanding of the scenes that they have witnessed. They will also need to think how to shape their character contextually based on their quirk and who is running the party (Problem Solving and Communicating Skills)

Think and learn creatively- Students have to demonstrate creative thinking in the building and portrayal of their party quirk character. (Experimenting and Creating Skills)

Developing Identity and Interdependence-

Examines perspectives on social and cultural norms and expectations, and investigating the potential for individual and group accomplishments. It also assumes the possession of a positive self-concept and sense of identity, and the ability to live/ work in harmony with others and with the natural and constructed world (this is what they are creating).

Developing Literacies-

Addresses a variety of ways to interpret the world and express understanding through words, numbers, images, sounds, movements, and technologies in various situations. Literacies in arts education involve the ability to investigate, structure, and express ideas, and interpret meaning, using the specific language of each arts discipline (drama).

Developing Social Responsibility-

This competency addresses how people contribute positively to their physical, social, and cultural environments. It requires the ability to contribute to the well-being of self, others, and the natural world, and participate with others in accomplishing shared goals.


Grade 7’s

Arts (Drama)- CP7.4 Investigate how dramatic character develops from role.

– Demonstrate confidence and imagination when working in various roles.

– Investigate when in role how character may be expressed through actions.

– Demonstrate when in role how characters use actions or interact with others for different purposes.


Arts (Drama)- CP7.5 Use drama elements, strategies, negotiation, and collaboration to help shape the direction of the drama and/or collective creation.

– Identify and discuss the importance of focus to successful drama work.

– Explain how drama work helps to develop a deeper understanding of communication and interdependence.


ELA- CC7.8 Write to describe a person; to narrate an imaginary incident or story; to explain and inform in a news story, a factual account, and a business letter; to persuade in a letter and in interpretation of a text.

Grade 8’s

Arts (Drama)-CP8.4 Demonstrate how dramatic characters interact in relationships within the drama and/or collective creation

– Sustain belief in own roles and in the roles assumed by others for extended periods of time.

– Demonstrate confidence and curiosity when assuming different kinds of roles in drama work


Arts (Drama)- CP8.5 Investigate how theatrical elements (e.g., story, character, design, space) are combined to achieve dramatic purpose

-Demonstrate imagination when creating imaginary places and situations in own drama work.


ELA- CC8.8 Write to describe a landscape scene; to narrate a personal story or anecdote and a historical narrative; to explain and inform in a presentation of findings, a biography, a documented research report, and a résumé and covering letter; and to persuade in a mini-debate and a review.

Create descriptive texts (e.g., a landscape scene) as follows:

Present a clear and colourful picture of the place

Include sensory details and vivid words

Use a logical order (e.g., near to far).

PGP Goals:

1.2       ethical behaviour and the ability to work in a collaborative manner for the good of all learners– This lesson is a collaborative effort by the class to help one another learn descriptive language through doing a drama activity. Drama is, in almost all aspects, a collaborative approach and, through the use of drama, will allow the students to learn in a variety of ways such as kinesthetically, visually, and orally.

1.3       a commitment to social justice and the capacity to nurture an inclusive and equitable environment for the empowerment of all learners– In my opinion, this is the number one PGP goal for all drama classes. It is incredibly important to establish a safe space for students to learn. Drama is a great way to include all learners because of the variety of learning styles that drama touches on such as kinesthetically, visually, and orally. Therefore, students and teacher are able to help one another learn which, in turn, creates a positive learning environment for the empowerment of not only the students but the teacher as well.

2.4       ability to use technologies readily, strategically and appropriately– Use of the smartboard for the displaying of my own video as well as the incorporation of the IPads for students to use thesaurus.com.

2.5       knowledge of a number of subjects taught in Saskatchewan schools (disciplinary/interdisciplinary knowledge)- This lesson is a bridge between both Arts (Drama) and English curricular material.

3.1       the ability to utilize meaningful, equitable and holistic approaches to assessment and evaluation– By allowing the students to demonstrate their knowledge of descriptive language through drama activities, the students do not have to worry about getting marked on their drama skills and can adapt their knowledge of descriptive language to fit their situation without having to worry about if they are doing it “correctly.” Thus, this activity is a stress free way to help further their learning while getting feedback along the way.

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– By teaching descriptive language using drama activities rather than English worksheets for example.

4.1       knowledge of Saskatchewan curriculum and policy documents and applies this understanding to plan lessons, units of study and year plans using curriculum outcomes as outlined by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education– Through discussion of curricular goals and the implementation of the outcomes of both Arts (Drama) and English.

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– By allowing the students to act out descriptive words and use them within their speech as a character. Using “Living Descriptions” to establish the English curriculums goal of description of a person.

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

Students are using more descriptive terminology within their vocabulary and their writing. They are using descriptive language in their description of the character from the scenes that they are witnessing. They are using their thesauruses to find other more colourful words to add to their descriptions.


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

The end goal is to have the students write a descriptive essay. Currently, their vocabulary is lacking in this particular department and, thus, this drama activity is being used as an interesting/ fun way to incorporate descriptive language into the student’s vocabulary and writing.

Thus, students will submit a sheet of paper in which they will have used descriptive language to paint a picture of two characters they have witnessed in the improv scenes (without using the names of the students that portrayed that character). Our ability (the teachers within the classroom) to match the description with the student’s portrayals will be used to assess our next step in teaching the students the skills to use descriptive language in their work.

Stage 3- Learning Plan

 Motivational/Anticipatory Set (introducing topic while engaging the students) (15 Mins)

1.      Has anyone done drama before? –discuss why we do drama (See activities below for my view on this subject- Reason for Choosing). –discuss the benefits of doing drama (increased communication skills, (3 mins)

2.      Discuss the English Language Arts curricular goal for grade 7/8- description of a person (See Outcomes)

3.      Discuss the Drama goal of developing acting skills and how this fits with the ELA goal. (See Outcomes) (2 min)

4.      Do a “warm up circle” (Warming up: voice and body through various exercises Ex. Tongue Twisters, stretching, jumping jacks, etc…) (5 mins)

5.      See activity One Word At A Time/ One Sentence at a Time below. (5 Mins)

(This may not take the whole 15 mins depending on the understanding of the students and the fluidity of the two “warm up” activities. I gave it this amount of time as a precaution since it is their first time with drama.)

Main Procedures/Strategies: (5 min explanation and 30 Mins activity (Split into 5 mins each))

Show video of Whose Line is it Anyway? Party Quirks Game (2:43)


See activity Party Quirks below.

1.      Each round consists of 4 people: 3 have quirks and there is one host. Students have 5 mins to conduct the round (but they may not need the full amount of time).

2.      The audience will (on paper) provide a quick description of two characters (from any of the rounds to be handed in at the end of class).


Varying difficulty of “quirks” from abstract to concrete (Ex. An Angry Thundercloud vs. A Cowboy)

Can use the iPads to look at an online thesaurus and/ or type out their “response sheets.”

Using drama to expand vocabulary (a different way to learn ELA rather than only worksheets)(Also gets them up and moving rather than simply sitting in their desks all day)

Closing of lesson: (approx. 10 Mins)

– Identify and discuss the importance of focus to successful drama work.

– Explain how drama work helps to develop a deeper understanding of communication and interdependence. (Clarity, Focus, Intentions) (Could you do this exercise by yourself?)

-How does this lesson apply to your English Class?

-How did your use of descriptive language enhance your ability to form a clearer mental picture of the character your classmates were creating?


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

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.



  1. Use a tennis ball (whatever works) to throw// 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”).


  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



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


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).


  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.


  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

Descriptive: (See other list)

  1. A weightless astronaut that moves as though he is on the moon
  2. A man slowly turning into a bloodthirsty werewolf
  3. A clumsy thief that has to hid things in his sock
  4. An overly excitable man that agrees 100% with anything that is said
  5. A classy businessman that looks down on everything with disgust
  6. An eccentric (peculiar) woman that believes
  7. A clumsy baby that stumbles around trying to learn how to walk.
  8. Re-enacting a slow motion fight scene

(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…


  1. Student suggestions work too! I added substantially to this list after doing this with students. (They make some pretty amazing connections!)
  2. Some of these may be inappropriate depending on grade and maturity level as well as student ability
  3. These are fully adaptable and can be added to at any time (as I did in the descriptive section above this list)

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