Capture students’ imaginations with this climactic battle scene! Designed for grades 3-6, this lesson provides an engaging way for students to learn about physical choices, collaboration, and conflict through creating a pantomime of the battle from The Nutcracker. You can also use this as an opportunity to teach students about physical safety in drama, by emphasizing the need for great concentration when acting out a fight scene.
Any student with siblings will have plenty of experience to draw on for this lesson! Based on the imaginative story of the Nutcracker, this lesson asks students to work in partners, creating a silent drama about a sibling quarrel. Emphasizing the drama tool of the body, this is a great way for students in grades 3-6 to practice imagination, collaboration, and tableau skills. Building off the example given in The Nutcracker, you can also use this lesson to introduce the concept of Conflict/Resolution.
A roll of thunder. A pitter pat of rain. A creaky old door. What connects all these things? They are sound effects that evoke a mysterious, scary mood! Based on the book Thundercake by Patricia Polacco, this lesson is designed to teach students in grades 3-5 how to create mood using sound effects and movement. This is a great way for students to practice vocal skills, emotions, and teamwork by introducing the concept of mood in a story or drama. You could also use this lesson to introduce students to lighting or sound design by discussing how designers create mood in theatrical productions.
Drama is a great way to engage students with historical events by encouraging them to think deeply about point of view. In this lesson, designed for grades 4-8, students will practice concentration, collaboration, and transformation while using Body Objects to communicate different settings. This lesson encourages students to think about point of view and sectionalism, deepening their understanding of the events and forces that led to the Civil War.
NOTE: Civil War Drama is part of our unique library of integrated lessons. These specialized lessons simultaneously teach concepts and skills related to drama and the other subject(s) targeted in the lesson. In addition, these lessons are designed to meet National Standards for Drama and for the integrated subject(s), so you can reach learning goals across multiple disciplines.
Middle school can be a really hard time for students to feel connected to their bodies, but embodying physical choices is a key part of being an actor! We devised this lesson to give students in grades 6-8 a fun opportunity to practice using their bodies to portray emotions, reactions and create character. Given the prompt of being strangers on a park bench, students work together to create a three-person improvised drama.
Whether or not you are new to Reader’s Theater, this lesson will provide you with innovative ways to bring it into your classroom. Providing a bridge from drama to theatre as well as an excellent opportunity for vocal work, Reader’s Theater is a versatile learning tool and tons of fun for all! Adaptable for all age groups, you can even extend this lesson to introduce public speaking to older students. There is also a rubric available which can be used to teach up to 7 different skills of your choosing. Inflection, tone, pitch, rate, and projection are all skills introduced through this lesson.
To maximize student achievement, download this drama journal for students to use as reflection or formative assessment. A drama journal allows participants to reflect on their learning and artistic growth (metacognition). It also allows you, the teacher, to see how students are using the drama vocabulary, thinking about big ideas, and perceiving their own strengths and weaknesses.
This activity focuses on physical reaction as students communicate the contents of a letter. Participants will work on their emotion, believability, and imitation skills.
In teams, participants create still pictures that demonstrate aesthetic principles such as level, shape, and gesture. Tableaux can be used effectively in many drama and integrated lessons, so the possibilities are endless!
To maximize student achievement, download this drama journal for students to use as reflection or formative assessment. For each poem, we have created a corresponding journal page for your students. A drama journal allows participants to reflect on their learning and artistic growth (metacognition). It also allows you, the teacher, to see how students are using the drama vocabulary, thinking about big ideas, and perceiving their own strengths and weaknesses.