Ideas Needed: Drama

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MissCeliaB, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Aug 14, 2012

    I have been a long-time drama club sponsor, but this year I find myself teaching drama as a course. I have Drama I, and I have to teach the syllabus that the other drama teacher wrote, which is not exactly how I would have structured the class.

    I need to start by covering elements of a play: characters, plot, theme, etc. Does anyone know of a short play that I could use to teach this. It would be especially helpful if there was a video version of the play. Any ideas?
     
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  3. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Aug 14, 2012

    One of my favorite drama units ever was 5 years ago when my sixth graders each had to read two or more plays. We read one as a class and they could pick another out of sets of play books we had.

    After reading the plays, we had to come up with class "rules" for plays. This was essentially a scoring guide. Each student then wrote a play, read the play aloud, and the class voted on which three plays they would produce.

    Volunteers came in to help with the productions.

    The results were stunning. I had coffee with one of those playwrights last week; she told me that the confidence boost she got from doing that play lasted her all through high school.

    I got the idea from Literature Based Writing. www.mthoodpress.com
     
  4. tchr4evr

    tchr4evr Companion

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    Aug 14, 2012

    Looney Tunes Cartoon

    My suggestion is any of the old Looney Tunes cartoons--they are short and easy to follow, and really quite funny. Bugs Bunny ones are by far the best--Throw in What's Opera Doc? and you can introduce opera as well. Also, there a lot of Lego plays on Youtube, my favorite is the one for Everyman--they're short, and fun, and they are very simple.
     
  5. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Aug 14, 2012

    The syllabus does not specify. Ordinarily, I would have students read the play as a class, but I hesitate to do so now. It will be the second day of class, and I have no clue about their reading levels. For some students, it will be their first day in the class. Many of them are extremely uncomfortable "performing" or doing a cold read. Many of the students do not want to be in a drama class, so I don't want to get into heavy analysis on the second day of class.

    I also teach film studies, and I'm trying to keep the two separate, so I want to avoid showing movies as much as possible. However, I do think it is important for students to see performances. That's why I asked for a video of a short play. I may just skip this all together and just teach the vocabulary then move on to vocal and physical warm-ups.
     
  6. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Aug 14, 2012

    Is this for high school? What about Death of a Salesman?
     
  7. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Aug 14, 2012

    It's for high school. I'm looking for something that's about 5-10 minutes long. Super short, to use in a lecture to, as a class, identify the plot, characters, protagonist, antagonist, theme, and maybe plot elements. I'm starting to think that's not a good idea, and I may just stick to more acting exercises tomorrow, though I was hoping to make the drama class slightly more academic.
     
  8. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Aug 14, 2012

    Yeah, that's basically my goal for the first few days. We're doing lots of games and war-ups. I do want to make sure I get some of the academic content in there from the start, though, so it isn't a shock when we start reading more. I'm used to teaching drama after school, and not as an academic subject, so it's taking some time to find the balance.
     

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