Drama- Emotional Recall

This was one of the first drama lessons I created and shows how I started in comparison to the lesson plan work that I do later on. It also shows how the style of my lesson plans have changed as I have progressed further in the education “rabbit hole.”

Lesson Plan

Date: Undetermined

Subject: Drama 20/30             based on the Drama 10, 20, 30 Curriculum

Grade: 11/12 Split

Topic:  Emotional Recall through Guided Meditation

Materials: 1. Body and Mind

  1. Floor Space
Stage 1- Desired Results – you may use student friendly language
Broad Areas of Learning

       Lifelong learners

       Self and Community

       Engaged Citizens

Cross Curricular Competencies

Developing Social Responsibility

       Use moral reasoning processes

       Engage in communitarian thinking and dialogue

Developing Literacies

       Construct knowledge related to various literacies

       Explore and interpret the world using various literacies

       Express understanding and communicate meaning using various literacies

Developing Identity/Interdependence

       Understand, value, and care for oneself (intellectually, emotionally, physically, spiritually)

       Understand, value, and care for others

Developing Thinking

       Think and learn contextually

       Think and learn creatively


What do they need to understand, know, and/or able to do?

1.      Students must be able to enhance character development through the use of emotional recall techniques

2.      Students will call on memories and details from a similar situation (or more recently a situation with similar emotions) and import those feelings/experiences to those of their character

3.      Bring emotion and personality to the stage and call upon it when playing their character


1.      Acquire increased knowledge of others, themselves and the world around them

2.      Develop acting skills

3.      Understand the role of drama in various cultures, past and present


1.      recall and respond to drama experiences

2.      develop increasing commitment to their own roles and the roles of others

2.      begin to develop breath control

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

3.   understand that theatre, past and present, can teach us about ourselves

3.  understand the universality of certain themes, characters and situations in dramatic expression through the ages

3. understand that through theatre history they can discover various acting styles


PGP Goals (and what evidence in the lesson will show that you have achieved the target?):


1.3       a commitment to social justice and the capacity to nurture an inclusive and equitable environment for the empowerment of all learners; and – Showing compassion and kindness to one another in the classroom after the exercise. Supporting those in the classroom that were particularly affected by the exercise.
1.4       a commitment to service and the capacity to be reflective, lifelong learners and inquirers. – The discussion after the completion of the Emotional Recall exercise to see if students respected the assignment and felt it was valuable to them as learners. Student provided feedback on what worked and did not for them will allow me to revamp/emphasize strengths.
2.2       proficiency in the Language of Instruction; -Ability to import my knowledge of emotional recall into my students. The inclusion of a greater range and/or depth of emotion into student performances will designate the success of this goal.
Stage 2- Assessment
Assessment FOR Learning (formative) Assess the students during the learning to help determine next steps. 

Observations of the effects (emotional expression) of the guided meditation into each individuals journey through emotional recall.

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

Discussion on the effectiveness/ value of emotional recall after the activity was completed. Discussion on the potential dangers (cautions) of emotional recall.

Stage 3- Procedures:

Accommodations – which students require differentiation and what kind Modifications – how have you planned to accommodate the student’s needs
-This can be a very emotional and scary experience for students that have had previous traumas/ bad experiences within their lives (At-Risk students).

-There may be students that cannot lie on the floor for extended periods of time if at all.



-Before the activity begins, I let students know that at any time within the exercise, if it gets to real/ scary/ emotionally overbearing, then they can sit up and take a breather effectively coming out of the exercise. This is very important because students need to feel safe and, sometimes, emotional recall activities can bring up past events that students did not feel safe in. Therefore, they need to have the opportunity at ANY time to come out of the exercise and back into the safe space within the drama classroom. Further, it is important to let them know that that is okay and in no way will negatively affect their grade/ or how they are viewed.

-It is perfectly fine to do this activity sitting in a chair (preferably their feet should be grounded into the floor).


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

-There are 10 minute student led warm ups to start class (These go everyday so I factor this into my lesson).

-After the student warmup, I will lead a “warmup” exercise where students lay on the ground and do a few stretches (Ankle rock, “reaching” stretches, head tilts, and floor “shakes”). This will effectively begin to prepare students body and minds for the activities coming up. (5 Mins)

-The second part of my warmup entails a “calm down” that is based on breathing and clearing the mind for the emotional recall. I lead a guided meditation in which students focus on breath and slowly develop deep breathing which both calms and prepares the mind for the next task. (5 Mins)


Main Procedures/Strategies:

After the warmup and calm down, we will begin the Emotional Recall. I use vocal encouragement to walk students through their senses and encourage them to think about the way in which they mentally, physically, and emotionally responded to the recalled memory/emotion.

The first emotion being Anger (5 Mins).

The second emotion is Sadness (5 Mins). (This is a possible trigger emotion for students. Be very wary of students that are sitting up or are emotionally distraught.)

The third and final emotion explored today is Happiness (5 Mins). (Good way to end on an emotional upswing. This helps to relieve some of the tension/ sadness in the room.)


Closing of lesson:

To finish the recall exercise, I lead a cool down exercise (5 Mins) that combined the two warmup exercises. We begin the exiting from the Emotional Recall slowly because, if done too quickly, the feeling in the room dissipates and the experience can be lost. Therefore, we begin to slowly focus on breathing again and focus (specifically) on taking a few deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. After taking a few deep breaths, we slowly begin to stretch using the same stretches as before to slowly bring us out of the exercise and back into the room. To end the activity off, I have students SLOWLY roll over, push themselves up to sitting on their heels, and then very slowly (30 second count) come to standing doing a vertebrae back stretch.

-A quick discussion on the effectiveness/ value of emotional recall after the activity was completed. Discussion on the potential dangers (cautions) of emotional recall was also explored. (5 Mins)

-Because of the draining effect of emotional recall on the body, I feel it is valuable to end the class with 15 mins of Improv games to help alleviate the tension within the room and the residual tension from the emotional recall on the individual as well.


Personal Reflection:


Emotional Recall can be a very interesting exercise to take into a classroom. It can go very well or it can go horribly bad. Thankfully, I believe that, in this case, my lesson on emotional recall went well. The students echoed this sentiment as well which means that I can feel assured that it was at the least minimally effective. When I originally began creating this lesson, I had decided to do a movement exercise after the emotional recall to help my partner teacher introduce the idea of physicality to the students. However, I figured that introducing such a heavy concept without a cool down period after could have made the movement exercise be detrimental to the actual emotional recall process. Therefore, I opted to include an improvisation exercise after to help bring a better, happier overall mood to the room at the end of the emotional recall lesson. The way in which I connected this lesson to the future physicality lesson was to discuss with the students the way emotion influences our physicality. Example: when someone is angry, there is a higher possibility of clenching the teeth together and, therefore, a tightness, pointedness, and sharpness within the facial expressions and body/ movement is registered. I believe that I successfully hit my goal of having the students fully immersed within this activity and hopefully they can continue to add dimensions into their acting by using this actor tool of Emotional Recall. I believe that I will continue to use this lesson in the future. I may add a few other emotions if I was doing this lesson for a second time with the same students to give them a greater variety of emotions to draw upon. I would also keep the Improv at the end of the lesson to relieve tension within the class. I would introduce the movement exercise the next day so that the emotional recall exercise is fresh in their minds heading into this other assignment. I am very happy with how this lesson went and the students seemed to enjoy and appreciate the material which added another layer of success to this lesson.


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