Drama Lessons

We designed these lessons to show how to use this site’s material by pulling together selected Activities and Stories to teach drama objectives.  These complete lessons save you planning time — simply search on your targeted skill or concept to limit the results.

The lessons are not meant to be prescriptive.  They are not meant for you to memorize and deliver in any definitive fashion. They are a guide for you.  Alter them, add to them, rearrange them, and personalize them as you see fit.

We have also combined these lessons to create a complete integrated drama curriculum.  We customized these curriculum by grade level focusing on age-appropriate objectives.  These objectives meet National Standards in the Arts. 

Journey to Another Culture Lesson

Journey to Another Culture Lesson Objective: Students analyze the relationships between actors, directors, and stories. In this 6-day unit, students take a deep dive into studying one specific culture or place.  After an introduction into the concept of culture, students research a chosen culture and plan a trip to visit …
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Good News,  Bad News Lesson

Good News,  Bad News Lesson Objective: Students collaborate to plan and practice an improvised drama. Failure is often the best way to learn. In this lesson, students have the chance to experience both a fiasco and a success that show them the importance of planning and practicing in drama.  While …
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Pantomime with a Prop Lesson

Pantomime with a Prop Objective: Students analyze how movement choices and support tools can help to tell a story. In this lesson, students have fun while stretching their imaginations and improving their drama skills. Starting with an introduction to pantomime using imaginary objects, the lesson builds to fully pantomimed scenes …
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Emotion Emotion Lesson

Emotion Emotion Lesson Objective: Students analyze artistic choices used to communicate emotion. In this lesson, students learn about communicating emotions by studying and imitating works of art [ideas & examples provided]. Particular attention is paid to the way posture, gesture, and facial expressions can reveal how characters feel.  Working in …
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This Morning I Felt Lesson

This Morning I Felt Lesson Objective: Students communicate character emotions in a story. Happy, scared, and excited…GO!  Using a set of three given emotions, students in this lesson create scenes that tell the story of an eventful day. Building off of their previous drama experience, students must use both their …
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Art Prints Lesson

Art Prints Lesson Objective: Students connect drama to other art forms. The museum is facing a problem and the students must solve it!  This lesson gives students the chance to take on the role of an art curator in a museum.  Teachers prepare a wide array of printed pictures of …
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Landforms Lesson

Landforms Lesson Objective: Students demonstrate the roles of cause and effect and force in stories. In this action-packed three-day unit, students will explore the connections between drama, science, and language arts. First, students read and enact “The Little Hole at the Bottom of the Sea.”  Then, using the main story …
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Painting Stories Lesson

Painting Stories Lesson Objective: Students communicate emotion and mood through story element choices. This lesson begins by giving students visual images as an inspiration for creating a drama.  After identifying the emotional content in a piece of artwork, students use teamwork working in groups to develop a story based on …
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Jabberwocky Lesson

Jabberwocky Lesson Objective: Students demonstrate the creative process using basic drama skills. Lewis Carroll’s poem “Jabberwocky” provides the inspiration for this fun and challenging lesson. After the introduction of the poem, students work in teams to enact the various characters and events. They use their basic drama skills (concentration, imagination, …
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And That’s a Blue Day Lesson

And That’s a Blue Day Lesson Objective: Students analyze how emotions can be portrayed in drama. How do different colors make you feel?  That’s the starting point for this hour-long lesson that explores the ways colors are connected to emotions.  From there, students also have the opportunity to create their …
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Tableau Stories Lesson

Tableau Stories Lesson Objectives: Students use movement choices to tell stories without words. Students demonstrate supportive audience behavior. This lesson builds on the skills students learned in “Creating Tableaux” by introducing how tableaux can tell stories.  After an individual warm up, students create frozen pictures in small groups and present …
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Three Scenes from a Book Lesson

Three Scenes from a Book Lesson Objective: Students interpret characters, settings, and main ideas of a text through drama. This lesson is a great way for students to actively engage with any piece of literature or a historical event. The focus is on looking deeply at the main ideas of …
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Statue Maker with Nursery Rhymes Lesson

Statue Maker with Nursery Rhymes Lesson Objectives: Students demonstrate collaborative skills and use the body to communicate ideas. Letting students think creatively and abstractly as they work with a partner is at the heart of this lesson. Students mold partners into ideas that complete a reimagining of famous nursery rhymes …
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Creating Tableaux & Pictures in a Gallery Lesson

Creating Tableaux & Pictures in a Gallery Lesson Objective: Students apply aesthetic principles to create stage pictures. Students create frozen images with a team to demonstrate understanding of aesthetic principles integral to work in drama —such as level, shape, line, and illusion of action.  Students discover how their own aesthetic …
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Crazy Shapes & Transform the Chair Lesson

Crazy Shapes & Transform the Chair Lesson Objective: Students analyze physical choices used to communicate character. Students twist their bodies into creative images and adjust their physical expression according to changes in location and situation.   They have fun learning how simple prompts about a setting impact character posture. They explore …
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Pre-K Lessons

Pre-K Lessons

Recommended Lesson Sequence for Pre-Kindergarten  This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching for Pre-Kindergarten students.  This is adjusted and shortened from the longer schedule for older students in Kindergarten.  We put these lessons in a recommended delivery order below, but you may revise, rearrange, and adapt as you …
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The Empty Pot Lesson

The Empty Pot Lesson

The Empty Pot Lesson Objective:  students learn about problem solving and comparing drama to real life This is the 3rd and final lesson in the plant series for kindergarten-age children (see The Carrot Seed and The Tiny Seed).  With plants again as the theme, this lesson uses real life situations …
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The Tiny Seed Lesson

The Tiny Seed Lesson

The Tiny Seed Lesson Objective: students learn about problem solving – what do plants need to grow? Building off the previous Carrot Seed lesson, this one continues the theme working with real life plants and gardens.  This lesson uses the book “The Tiny Seed” by Eric Carle: find a copy …
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The Carrot Seed Lesson

The Carrot Seed Lesson

The Carrot Seed Lesson Objective:  students will compare actions in a drama to people in real life situations. Continuing and reinforcing the previous Prop Box Lesson, growing plants provide the real life inspiration for this lesson.   This lesson is based on the book “The Carrot Seed” by Ruth Krauss: find …
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Prop Box Lesson

Prop Box Lesson

Prop Box Lesson Objective:  students will compare actions in a drama to people in real life situations. This lesson takes place over two consecutive days and requires props related to a topic that you choose.  We provide ideas for topics, or you can choose them complementing your other lessons.  With …
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King Bidgood Lesson

King Bidgood Lesson

King Bidgood Lesson Objective: students will learn how to identify and solve dramatic problems. All children take a bath and, at some point, they refuse to get out of the water as they have so much fun.  Many can identify with this lesson’s book by Audrey Wood of “King Bidgood’s …
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Caps for Sale Lesson

Caps for Sale Lesson

Caps for Sale Lesson Objective: students will learn how to identify and solve dramatic problems. Building on the previous lessons, the students will enjoy acting out the included story of Caps for Sale.  They will interactively learn how to solve problems by wit and not by anger (part of the …
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Henny Penny Lesson

Henny Penny Lesson

Henny Penny Lesson Objective:  students will learn how to identify and solve dramatic problems. Using the familiar children’s fable of Henny Penny, students will take on different animal roles and interactively discuss the conflicts in the story.  Interactively, they will suggest solutions and then act out alternate versions (part of …
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Charlie Lesson

Charlie Lesson

Charlie Lesson Objective: students will imitate the actions of a character with movement and practice adding and resolving simple problems in a drama. Using the original story ”Charlie” written for this lesson, students interactively provide suggestions and act out characters.  The students will enjoy adding descriptions, dialogue, characters, and simple …
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Three Billy Goats Gruff Lesson

Three Billy Goats Gruff Lesson

Three Billy Goats Gruff Lesson Objective: students will learn to identify and imitate the four basic emotions: happy, sad, mad, and scared. Continuing the work from the previous Emotions Lesson in the Kindergarten series, the Three Billy Goats Gruff uses a familiar fairy tale to give the students further practice …
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Emotions Lesson

Emotions Lesson

Emotions Lesson Objective: students imitate the actions and emotions of a character through movement. Building on the previous Morning Lesson, students continue practicing using the three tools (body, mind, voice) in drama.  For this lesson, they will practice expression of the basic emotions happy, sad, mad, and scared and imitate …
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I Woke Up This Morning Lesson

I Woke Up This Morning Lesson

I Woke Up This Morning Lesson Objective: students imitate the actions and emotions of a character through movement. Students will practice imitation using the actions of a most familiar character—themselves!   They will use different types of movement to communicate their morning routines.  The actors will also express the four common …
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Pictures in Air / Imaginary Land / Jack & Jill Lesson

Pictures in Air / Imaginary Land / Jack & Jill Lesson

Pictures in Air / Imaginary Land / Jack & Jill Lesson Objective: students use the three tools (body, mind, voice) in drama. Following the Snowman lesson, use this collection of simple activities and familiar nursery rhyme to continue building skills in the Kindergarten Curriculum.  The group will also model positive …
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The Snowman Lesson

The Snowman Lesson

The Snowman Lesson Objective: students use the three tools (body, mind, voice) in drama. This lesson dovetails in nicely with typical winter theme and related classroom activities.  Students will hear the Snowman story (included) and act out the snowman’s quest using the drama tools (part of the kindergarten objectives).   They …
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The Humpty Dumpty Lesson

The Humpty Dumpty Lesson

The Humpty Dumpty Lesson Objective: students identify the three tools (body, mind, voice) in drama. Many children know the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty.  We employ it here for students to practice skills with the body, mind and voice – also known as the actor’s tools (part of the kindergarten objectives).  …
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The Caveman Lesson

The Caveman Lesson

The Caveman Lesson Objective: students practice concentration while working with other actors using positive non-distracting behaviors. Building on the previous Mirror lesson, students continue working with partners and practicing audience behaviors (part of the kindergarten objectives).  Students gain experience in practicing a drama as the traditional Mirror exercise morphs into …
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Mirror Lesson

Mirror Lesson

Mirror Lesson Objective: students practice concentration and observation while working with other actors using positive non-distracting behaviors. Students have fun following the movements of a partner in this very traditional exercise called “The Mirror” [basic instruction included as part of the lesson]. This lesson can be repeated many times and …
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The Dragon Hunt Lesson

The Dragon Hunt Lesson

The Dragon Hunt Lesson Objective: students add concentration to their use of imagination with the five senses. What child doesn’t dream of searching for dragons?  Building on the previous Magic Carpet lesson, you will guide the children in their hunt as they use their imagination and the five senses in …
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The Magic Carpet Lesson

The Magic Carpet Lesson

The Magic Carpet Lesson Objective: students use their imagination and experiment with the five senses to take a magic carpet ride. Young children revel in using their senses to explore the world around them.  This lesson gives them the opportunity to use their imagination and the five senses to create …
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Intro to the Five Senses Lesson

Intro to the Five Senses Lesson

Intro to the Five Senses Lesson Objective: students demonstrate imagination and experiment with the five senses. Sometimes actors need to convey certain sensory elements (seeing, tasting, hearing, etc).  This lesson gives students practice in using and expressing their five senses while imagining typical experience in everyday life (part of the …
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The Elves & the Shoemaker Lesson

The Elves & the Shoemaker Lesson

The Elves & the Shoemaker Lesson Objective: students demonstrate concentration, listening, and imitation skills. Building on the previous lessons in the Kindergarten series, students begin working with listening and imitation skills (part of the kindergarten objectives).  We adapted this lesson from the Grimm’s fairytale and you can use your own …
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Seeds Grow & The Greedy Little Fish Lesson

Seeds Grow & The Greedy Little Fish Lesson

Seeds Grow & The Greedy Little Fish Lesson Objective: students solve acting problems before acting out a story. Sometimes actors face problems in deciding how they will act out a certain part of a story.  Getting the students to think like artists and problem solve before playing a story is …
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Working with Space Lesson

Working with Space Lesson

Working with Space: Self-management skills Objective: students demonstrate concentration, following directions, maintaining personal space and using positive non-distracting behaviors. Through this series of activities, students will demonstrate cooperation with you and their peers, follow directions, and manage their personal space (part of the kindergarten objectives).  They will have fun working …
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Finding Myself in Drama Lesson

Finding Myself in Drama Lesson

Finding Myself in Drama: Introducing the Five Senses Objective: students demonstrate self-control and relate to other fine arts. Self-management skills are central to this first lesson as children work with imaginary objects, imitating and transforming them through play (part of the kindergarten objectives).  This introductory lesson is fun for you …
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Kindergarten Lessons

Kindergarten Lessons

Recommended Lesson Sequence for Kindergarten  This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching.  We put these lessons in a recommended delivery order below, but you may revise, rearrange, and adapt as you see fit.  This sequence is not a mandate; rather, it is intended to provide you with assistance …
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Body Systems Lesson (Part 2)

Body Systems Lesson (Part 2)

Body Systems Lesson (Part 2): Working with Science Objective: students will use drama to replicate living systems. This continues from Part 1 with students transforming their bodies to simulate organs or other body systems (part of the 4th grade objectives).  Systems (actors and organs) must work in tandem and create …
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Body Systems Lesson (Part 1)

Body Systems Lesson (Part 1)

Body Systems Lesson (Part 1): Working with Science Objective: students will use drama to replicate living systems. Students working in small groups will transform their bodies to simulate organs or other body systems (part of the 4th grade objectives).  Systems (actors and organs) must work in tandem.   The actions of …
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Miss Nancy Lesson

Miss Nancy Lesson

Miss Nancy Lesson: Working with Literature Objective: students use drama to reflect on situations from real life. This Life Drama uses written memoirs as inspiration for creating a drama that reflects situations in real life (part of the 4th grade objectives).  This lesson uses the poem “Alone in the Grange” by …
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Piasa Bird Lesson (Part 2)

Piasa Bird Lesson (Part 2)

Piasa Bird Lesson (Part 2): Adding Narration Objective: students will explore using narration to enhance a drama. This builds on Part 1 of the Piasa Bird Lesson adding narration to students’ interpretations for the bird.  Students will use different narration styles (see our guide for more details) in groups up to four …
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piasa bird lesson

Piasa Bird Lesson (Part 1)

Piasa Bird Lesson (Part 1): Exploring Visual Elements Objective: students will explore how to use visual elements to enhance a drama. Students will explore adding visual elements to a drama through the Native American legend of the Piasa bird.   They will identify the visual elements of shape, line, form, and texture …
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“Westward Ho!” Lesson (Part 3)

“Westward Ho!” Lesson (Part 3)

“Westward Ho!” Lesson (Part 3): Taking Risks Objective: students will explore the contrasts of life in the past to modern times. This lesson (3rd of 3) continues the previous lesson with a focus on risks.  The students will discuss and then enact the risks the pioneers took while traveling on …
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“Westward Ho!” Lesson (Part 2)

“Westward Ho!” Lesson (Part 2)

“Westward Ho!” Lesson (Part 2): Dealing with Conflicts Objective: students will explore the contrasts of life in the past to modern times. This Life Drama (2nd of 3) continues the previous lesson with a focus on conflict.  The pioneers (students) traveling on an arduous journey westward encounter challenges.  As a …
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“Westward Ho!” Lesson (Part 1)

“Westward Ho!” Lesson (Part 1)

“Westward Ho!” Lesson (Part 1): A Life Drama Objective: students will explore the contrasts of life in the past to modern times. This Life Drama begins a series of three lessons with a common theme.  The students create a fictional group of pioneers preparing for an arduous journey westward.  Students …
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My Room Lesson

My Room Lesson

My Room Lesson: Creating Setting Objective: students use their imagination to create a setting for drama. Students will have the chance to describe their bedroom, messy or neat, in partners.  Remind them about the Ask, Don’t Tell rule from our Introductory Lessons as the negotiation strategy to use when making …
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The Sleeping Lion Lesson

The Sleeping Lion Lesson

The Sleeping Lion Lesson Objective: students will learn what sound adds to a drama. Students will want to wake the sleeping lion when they turn this story into a drama.  Students will add sound effects with the voice to personify the creatures of the jungle in conflict with the sleepy …
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Trouble with Machines Lesson

Trouble with Machines Lesson

Trouble with Machines Lesson: Man vs. Technology Objective: students learn how to make a story from simple activities. This lesson for 4th grade students continues work with conflict along with story and literary elements (part of the 4th grade objectives).  Students work in teams to choose a problem and create …
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Crossing the Road Lesson

Crossing the Road Lesson

Crossing the Road Lesson: Conflicts Objective: students learn about different types of conflict through drama. This lesson for 4th grade students uses drama to demonstrate the different types of conflict (part of the 4th grade objectives).  You can download our poster with the 5 different types of conflict to post …
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Making Machines Lesson

Making Machines Lesson

Making Machines Lesson Objective: students learn how actors and directors work together. This lesson for 4th grade students will plan and practice building collaborative machines while taking turns as an actor and director (part of the 4th grade objectives).  Students will gain better understanding of the roles of actors and …
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Objects Walk & Talk Lesson

Objects Walk & Talk Lesson

Objects Walk & Talk Lesson: Personification Objective: students will learn how observation and sound create characters. This lesson focuses students on transformation with observation to create a drama (part of the 4th grade objectives).  Students will observe physical items (list included) and personify them using body objects.  If students haven’t learned …
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Little Wolf’s Ginger Root Lesson

Little Wolf’s Ginger Root Lesson

Little Wolf’s Ginger Root Lesson: Exploring the Past through Drama Objective: students will learn about exploring the past through drama. This lesson for 4th grade focuses on students’ use of improvisation with dialogue in a drama.   Students will model real life behaviors from historical events both with and without background …
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Emotions & History Lesson

Emotions & History Lesson

Emotions & History Objective: students will learn how emotion can influence choices of action. Building on the prior two emotions lessons in our 4th grade series, this lesson examines emotions in character related to historical events.  Students together as partners (or groups up to four) plan a very short scene …
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Emotions Lesson (Part 2)

Emotions Lesson (Part 2)

Emotions Lesson (Part 2): Emotion Stories Objective: students communicate emotions through physical movement, facial expression, and posture. This lesson continues from Part 1 building student’s skills at playing emotions in character.  Students together as partners (or groups up to four) are given a very short scene where they choose two …
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Emotions Lesson (Part 1)

Emotions Lesson (Part 1)

Emotions Lesson (Part 1): Communicating Emotions Objective: students communicate emotions through physical movement, facial expression, and posture. Playing emotions is at the heart of becoming a character and this lesson assists in building that skill.  Students first imitate simple actions to communicate emotions as others try to identify which emotion …
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rabbit_whale_elephant

Rabbit, Elephant, Whale Lesson

Rabbit, Elephant, Whale Lesson: Observation & Personification Objective: students will learn how actors use the drama tools to create a character. Students have fun personifying animal characters to create a story of their own design.   The students’ then use the actor’s tools (mind, body, voice) to create a drama using …
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Using Drama in Careers Lesson

Using Drama in Careers Lesson

Using Drama in Careers Lesson   Objective: students identify how drama is used in careers. What a wonderful lesson for career day or as you near the end of the school year.  Students reflect on all of the skills and tools they have learned in drama and imagine how they might …
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Ferdinand Lesson

Ferdinand Lesson

Ferdinand Lesson:  Fantasy & Real Life  Objective: students compare characters and situations in drama to situations and people in real life. Bullying and being misunderstood are topics explored through the story “Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf.  This lesson in our 3rd grade sequence continues the comparison of people and situations in …
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The First Woodpecker Lesson (Part 2)

The First Woodpecker Lesson (Part 2)

The First Woodpecker Lesson (Part 2):  Transformation  Objective: students compare characters and situations in drama to situations and people in real life.  Students combine the primary drama tools to create character and setting.  Students demonstrate transformation in a drama. Transformation is key to the message of the story and understanding …
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The First Woodpecker Lesson (Part 1)

The First Woodpecker Lesson (Part 1)

The First Woodpecker Lesson (Part 1):  A Life Drama  Objective: students compare characters and situations in drama to situations and people in real life.  Students combine the primary drama tools to create character and setting. Mythic stories appeal to all ages.  This story of “The First Woodpecker,” based on Native …
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Little Breeze – Great Storm Lesson

Little Breeze – Great Storm Lesson

Little Breeze – Great Storm Lesson:  Building Schema  Objective: students use personification in a drama.  Students compare characters and situations in a drama to situations and people in real life. Where does the wind come from?  How are great storms made?  This is a wonderful science lesson but also could …
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The Fire Lesson

The Fire Lesson

The Fire Lesson  Objective: students demonstrate sensory (touch, taste, smell, sight, sound) recall in a drama.  Students identify similarities among art forms. Students become fire, fight fire, and practice fire prevention all through the safety of drama.  This lesson introduces students to sensory (touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound) recall and personification …
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The Three Sillies Lesson

The Three Sillies Lesson

The Three Sillies LessonUsing Narration  Objective: students demonstrate narrative storytelling skills. Jack is on a quest to find three very silly people.  This famous and quite funny folk tale delights students of all ages.    The lesson introduces three different styles of narrator voice and how the choice of style affects …
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Scarf Tale Lesson

Scarf Tale Lesson

Scarf Tale LessonStory Elements  Objective: students adapt and or revise story details.  Students combine the primary tools (body, mind, voice) and a secondary tool (a prop) to create a drama. Students have fun with a scarf, passing it and transforming it.  They participate in a story about a crying baby …
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Adaptation of Living Things Lesson

Adaptation of Living Things Lesson

Adaptation of Living Things Lesson  Objective: students adapt and/or revise story details. Animal characters make up the focus for “Greysum Opossum’s Way” (included).  Students adapt the story putting in their own ideas as they work in a team (part of the third grade objectives).  This lesson integrates well with science, …
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Long Ago Community Lesson

Long Ago Community Lesson

The Long Ago Community Lesson: Remembering & Celebrating Important Events Objective: students demonstrate improvisation to show how drama is used to celebrate and remember important events. This Life Drama takes place over several days and has the students creating a fictional tribe of people facing calamity, surviving, and then celebrating …
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Do Not Open Lesson

Do Not Open (Part 2) Lesson

Do Not Open Lesson (Part 2): Transformation and Prediction Objective: students discuss how transformation reveals the message of a story while applying C.I.T.I to play out the story elements. Miss Moody has a cat that is afraid of storms–but why isn’t she?  What is she afraid of when she finds a …
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Do Not Open Lesson

Do Not Open (Part 1) Lesson

Do Not Open Lesson (Part 1): Transformation and Prediction Objective: students demonstrate character actions, C.I.T.I.(concentration, imagination, transformation, imitation), and identify story elements. Miss Moody has a cat that is afraid of storms–but why isn’t she?  What is she afraid of when she finds a mysterious bottle on the beach after a …
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Yo! Yes? Lesson

Yo! Yes? Lesson

Yo! Yes? Lesson: Communicating Ideas Objective: students identify and communicate author’s message. Looking at the book Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka, students gather context clues about the story of two strangers who meet from different backgrounds.   Students draw inferences from the illustrations and the text clues to determine what the …
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Drama in Other Places Lesson

Drama in Other Places Lesson

Drama in Other Places Lesson Lesson Cuesheet for teachers & students Objective: students identify elements of drama used in celebrations or events that are not formal plays. Students choose an event where they might see elements of drama being used even if it is not a formal play by actors …
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The Dance Contest Lesson

The Dance Contest Lesson

The Dance Contest Lesson:  Drama & Dance Objective: students identify commonalities between drama and dance. Who doesn’t like to dance?    At this age, students still like to move and make up their own dances to music.  If there is a dance teacher or dance artist in your school, ask her …
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The Apple Lesson

The Apple Lesson

The Apple Lesson:  Learning to be an Audience Objective: students compare the impact supportive and unsupportive audience behaviors have on a drama. Students are unaware of the impact their audience behaviors have on classmates who are performing.  This lesson in the 2nd grade school sequence focuses on the audience’s role …
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Lon Po Po Lesson

Lon Po Po Lesson

Lon Po Po Lesson:  Conflict Objective: students identify conflict, problem and resolution in a story while problem solving. Lon Po Po by Ed Young is a Little Red Riding Hood story from another culture and beloved by children who play this as a full class drama.  The words Lon and …
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Animal Treasure Lesson

Animal Treasure Lesson

Animal Treasure Lesson: Emotions Objective: students imitate simple emotions through physical movement, facial expression, and posture. Students practice imitating emotions using their bodies while playing animal characters (part of the 2nd grade objectives).  First read the included story “Animal Treasure or Everybody Gets Tricked” to students and then let them choose …
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Emotion Story Lesson

Emotion Story Lesson

Emotion Story Lesson Objective: students communicate emotions through physical movement, facial expression, and posture. Playing emotions is at the heart of becoming a character and this lesson assists in building that skill.  Students first imitate simple actions to communicate emotions as others try to identify which emotion they have chosen …
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haunted house lesson

Haunted House Lesson

Haunted House Lesson: Audience Impact Objective: students will learn how an audience impacts performance. This lesson for 4th grade students focuses on the audience responses and the impact on performances.   This lesson is designed around the story of the same name – download it before you begin.  The fourth grade …
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tornado lesson

Tornado Lesson

Tornado LessonCreating Objects & Characters Objective: students will learn how to use their bodies to create detailed objects and characters. This lesson for 4th grade students focuses on using actor’s skills to to create human, animal, and personified objects/characters.   This lesson uses still images and videos of tornadoes (not provided) …
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prop story

Prop Story Lesson

Prop Story Lesson Objective: students will learn how props support drama work. This lesson for 4th grade students focuses on the actor’s skills to work with props in a drama.   Simple props are suggested along with picking selected stories from Aesop’s fables.  This lesson makes use of the Pass the Object …
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the chase lesson

The Chase Lesson

The Chase Lesson: Using Space Objective: students will learn how space affects drama. This lesson for 4th grade students focuses on the actor’s skills to transform space using locomotor and non locomotor movements.   You can use this lesson to integrate with Dance or visual art elements.  This lesson makes use …
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analyze drama

How to Analyze Drama Lesson

How to Analyze Drama Lesson Objective: students will learn how analyzing other dramas improves their own. We suggest this lesson as the school year start for students in fourth grade with prior drama experience.   With this lesson, students will analyze how actors (self or others) use concentration, imitation, imagination, and transformation …
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4th Grade Lessons

4th Grade Lessons

Recommended Lesson Sequence for Fourth Grade  The lessons suggested for our Fourth Grade Curriculum are put in a recommended delivery order below, but you may revise, rearrange, and adapt as you see fit.  This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching based on the lessons in this guide.  This sequence …
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Emotion Stories Lesson

Emotion Stories Lesson

Emotion Stories Lesson  Objective: students interpret emotions and actions of a character in a story. Students discuss emotions in small groups and tell stories about when they felt a certain way (part of the third grade objectives).  Students enact one or two stories from their team.  This lesson integrates well …
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Communities Lesson

Communities Lesson

Communities Lesson  Objective: students demonstrate collaboration and cooperation. The story (included) for this lesson is “The Bad Joke That Ended Well.”  This short story brings much merriment and laughter to the telling and playing but also provides an opportunity for students to experience community in a deeper sense.  Students begin …
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Team Machines Lesson

Team Machines Lesson

Team Machines LessonCollaborating with a Prop  Objective: students combine the primary tools (body, mind, voice) with a support tool (prop) and with the skills of collaboration, concentration, transformation, audience behaviors, to create a drama. Drama and machines have much in common.  Students collaborate to complete a task of building an …
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The Museum Lesson

The Museum Lesson

The Museum LessonWorking with Setting  Objective: students combine the primary tools of the actor (body, mind, voice) and a simple support tool (prop, fabric, etc.) to create character and setting. Like the Vision Quest, students enact a story with some members of the team playing characters and some transforming into …
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Vision Quest Lesson

Vision Quest Lesson

Vision Quest LessonBody Objects Review  Objective: students demonstrate concentration, imagination, imitation, transformation and collaboration as they plan and practice a drama. Students transform the body into objects and then combine objects to create settings for a dramatic story.   Students then enact the one character journey story in small groups with …
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Rodeo Stars Lesson

Rodeo Stars Lesson

Rodeo Stars LessonThe Three P’s  Objective: students demonstrate the planning process needed to create a drama. Students create a rodeo (e.g. bull roping, pig catching, clowning, elegant horse riders) with no practicing time as a team; the rodeo is a struggle.  As they reflect on the process, they discover the …
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Pirate's Treasure Lesson

Pirate’s Treasure Lesson

Pirate’s Treasure LessonPracticing Basic Skills  Objective: students demonstrate listening, concentration, movement, and imagination. Students try their best to steal treasure from a pirate.  Shoes, erasers, pencils, or other objects become the treasure that the pirate must protect.  Concentration is the key to solving the best way to get to the …
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Stick, Chair, Person Lesson

Stick, Chair, Person Lesson

Stick, Chair, Person LessonThree Drama Skill Words  Objective: students demonstrate the tools (body, mind, voice) and skills of imagination, imitation, and transformation needed to create a drama. An energetic and delightful starter lesson for the beginning of a school year and a great classroom community activity.  Students pass around real …
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3rd Grade Lessons

3rd Grade Lessons

Recommended Lesson Sequence for Third Grade  The lessons suggested for our Third Grade Curriculum are put in a recommended delivery order below, but you may revise, rearrange, and adapt as you see fit.  This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching based on the lessons in this guide.  This sequence …
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Paper Bag Princess Lesson

Paper Bag Princess Lesson

Paper Bag Princess Lesson:  Story Elements Objective: students identify the story elements in a variety of dramatic stories. Who doesn’t love stories about princesses and princes with a dragon thrown in too?  This is an old story with a new twist, because it is the princess who saves the day …
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Turtle who Lived by the Pond Lesson

Turtle who Lived by the Pond Lesson

Turtle who Lived by the Pond Lesson:  Fantasy and Reality Objective: students use transformation and delineate reality from fantasy in a drama. Which part is fantasy and which reality in the story of the turtle who wants to be something he is not?  Turtle learns a very vital lesson along …
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Sydney & Jojo Lesson

Sydney & Jojo Lesson

Sydney & Jojo Lesson:  Speaking Text Objective: students speak dialogue, use imitation and observation skills to act out a story from beginning to end. Students enjoy exploring family relationships.  Sydney and Jojo are siblings who have trouble getting along.  This lesson engages the voice and employs observation skills to create …
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Zookeeper Solves a Problem Lesson

Zookeeper Solves a Problem Lesson

Zookeeper Solves a Problem Lesson:  Using Voice Objective: students use vocal and non-vocal sounds to create a drama. Students revel in making sounds with their voice, body, and other objects.  This lesson gives them the opportunity to experiment with sound and the five senses to create a drama (part of the …
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Frog & Snake Lesson

Frog & Snake Lesson

Frog & Snake Lesson:  Reviewing the Three Tools & Three P’s Objective: students combine the tools of drama (body, mind, voice) with the processes of planning and practicing to create a drama. Students play animal characters and speak dialogue in this tale of friendship and prejudice. Students develop more experience …
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Hare & the Tortoise Lesson

Hare & the Tortoise Lesson

Hare & the Tortoise Lesson:  Animal Characters & Movement Choices Objective: students use movement to create characters and the illusion of traveling through space while standing in one spot. This lesson demonstrates the difference between locomotor and nonlocomotor movement and how they are used in drama (part of the 2nd grade …
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greatest show on ice

The Greatest Show on Ice Lesson

The Greatest Show on Ice Lesson:  Planning & Practicing Objective: students apply collaborative and planning processes to create a drama. Students hate to plan and revise their work.  This lesson helps students see the impact that planning and practicing have on a finished drama product.    In addition, the lesson further …
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Body Objects Transformation Lesson

Body Objects Transformation Lesson

B.J.’s Journey Lesson:  Body Objects Transformation Objective: students collaborate with a partner using negotiation strategies and applying concentration, imagination, imitation, and transformation skills. Students transform their bodies into objects and then into settings with a team of other actors for the story B.J.’s Journey.   Students work alone, with a partner, …
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mirror lesson

The Mirror Lesson

The Mirror LessonBuilding Concentration Objective: students practice concentration and observation while work together with other actors. Students have fun following the movements of a partner in this very traditional exercise called The Mirror.  With this lesson they move deeper into the use of C.I.T.I. (concentration, imagination, transformation, imitation) in …
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Three Drama Skill Words Lesson

Three Drama Skill Words Lesson

Three Drama Skill Words Objective: students define drama and practice skills (concentration, imagination, transformation, imitation – C.I.T.I.) needed for a drama. Students have fun with concentration and imagination exercises:  both important for integrated drama work.  A great beginning of the year lesson for 2nd grade students with prior drama experience.*  …
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2nd Grade Lessons

2nd Grade Lessons

Recommended Lesson Sequence for Second Grade  The lessons suggested for our Second Grade Curriculum are put in a recommended delivery order below, but you may revise, rearrange, and adapt as you see fit.  This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching based on the lessons in this guide.  This sequence …
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Acting Out Life Cycles Lesson

Acting Out Life Cycles Lesson

Acting Out Life Cycles LessonReviewing the Tools & Skills Objective: students use the tools and skills to transform into human, animal, and object characters. This science-integrated lesson serves as a year-end culmination for students in first grade.   Students play characters going through a transformation.  Each story presents an opportunity …
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The Vegetable Garden Lesson

The Vegetable Garden Lesson

The Vegetable Garden Lesson: Creating Characters  Objective: students compare actions of characters to real life behaviors and demonstrate how the body and voice are used to create character. A vegetable garden and a vineyard vie for attention in this story of a farmer who forgets the produce that has supported …
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The River Lesson

The River Lesson

The River Lesson: Mirroring Life through Cooperation Objective: students discuss how drama is similar to real life. This is a Life drama lesson for students in first grade.   It focuses on environmental, urban and immigration issues as part of the story.  This lesson incorporates the book  A River Ran Wild by Lynn …
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Mindless Woman Lesson

Mindless Woman Lesson

Mindless Woman LessonCommunicating with the Body Objective: students demonstrate how the drama tools are used to create a story. Based on an old Chinese folk tale, this lesson has groups working to create settings for a very humorous story (part of the first grade objectives).  This is a full class …
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Early American Life Lesson

Early American Life Lesson

Early American Life Lesson: Creating Action Objective: students use the body to imitate character actions and create objects in a setting;  they also identify problems and solutions in a story. Students reenact the lives of early American settlers, a great connection to Social Studies (early American life).   This lesson also …
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Hermit Monster Lesson

Hermit Monster Lesson

Hermit Monster Lesson: Playing Emotions Objective: students identify how emotions are used to tell a story. Hermit Monster is small and frightened and becomes large and angry.  Other characters in the story go through emotions as well.  Friendship saves the day rather than anger or fear.  The students identify simple …
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Emotions Lesson

Emotions Lesson

Emotions Lesson Objective: students identify and imitate simple emotions. Students identify and imitate simple emotions in beginning simple exercises.  Next, they create a scene, using the body, to communicate an emotion through imitative action (part of the first grade objectives).  Before working with the children, review our side coaching tips to …
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Hungry Caterpillar Lesson

Hungry Caterpillar Lesson

Hungry Caterpillar Lesson: Sequencing with the Body Objective: students use the body to tell a story. Based on the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, this lesson has students working in partners and triads to create the objects and the caterpillar who systematically eats through each item.  Students …
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The Puddle Lesson

The Puddle Lesson

The Puddle Lesson: More Story Elements  Objective: students discuss the elements needed to make a story. Students work with physical shapes as they play a puddle who wants to be round like the sun.  The students are asked to identify the character, plot, conflict, setting and message of the story …
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Cubby Finds a Home Lesson

Cubby Finds a Home Lesson

Cubby Finds a Home LessonCommunicating with Voice Objective: students use the voice to communicate a story. This winter story has a surprise ending.  Students infer, make guesses, and put clues together to figure out who Cubby is and where he needs to live for the winter.   Students add sound effects …
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Randolph Lesson: Story Elements

Randolph Lesson: Story Elements

Randolph Lesson: Story Elements Objective: students explain elements that create a story. Randolph is a bear who is not ready to hibernate, so he goes on a journey through his environment.  This lesson takes students deeper into discussion about story elements as well as needs of living things – a …
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The Dreamer Lesson

The Dreamer Lesson

The Dreamer Lesson: Body Objects Objective: students use the body and mind to create settings for a story. Students transform their bodies into objects, first alone, then with a partner, and finally with a group creating settings for the story The Dreamer which is the culmination of the lesson.   Students …
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Ghost Who Couldn't Scare Lesson

Ghost Who Couldn’t Scare Lesson

Ghost Who Couldn’t Scare Lesson: Audience Behaviors Objective: students analyze how audiences or viewers make drama better. This story about a ghost who wants to learn to scare people focuses on friendship and the unpleasantness of being a bully.   Students discuss audience behaviors that support live presentations and how respectfully …
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The Pilgrims Lesson

The Pilgrims Lesson

The Pilgrims Lesson: A Life Drama for Advanced Students Objective: students analyze how characters in a story can be similar and different from us. Students live the life of the Pilgrims, a perfect lesson for November.  Students are introduced to the No Denial of Creation rule used in improvisational work …
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The Stubborn Clay Lesson

The Stubborn Clay Lesson

The Stubborn Clay Lesson: Cooperation Objective: students practice collaboration and cooperation skills. Students become clay and their partner molds them into images that answer a question like, “What is something good to eat?”   The students uncover collaboration skills that begin with asking rather than telling their partner what they are …
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Scareman Lesson

Scareman Lesson

Scareman Lesson: Learning to Problem Solve Objective: students solve acting problems before acting out a story. Sometimes actors face problems in deciding how they will act out a certain part of a story.  Getting the students to think like artists and problem solve before playing a story is the goal of …
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Before I Couldn't, but Now I Can Lesson

Before I Couldn’t, but Now I Can Lesson

Before I Couldn’t, but Now I Can Lesson: The Drama Tools Overview:  students identify the three tools (body, mind, voice) in drama. Students use their body to imitate and communicate actions they can do now but couldn’t at one time (part of the first grade objectives).  As students share things they …
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mom figures it out lesson

Mom Figures It Out Lesson

Mom Figures It Out Lesson: Communicating with Movement Objective: students demonstrate locomotor and non-locomotor movement, and discuss how the five senses assist in making inferences. With a new red ball, Jules can’t wait to go out and play.  How does mom figure out that it rained and Jules got caught in …
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Magic Carpet Lesson

Magic Carpet Lesson

Magic Carpet Lesson: Reviewing C.I.T.I. Objective: students demonstrate transformation in a drama activity. Students ride on magic carpets and transform into the creatures and things they find on the way.  While learning to use the space of the classroom for story enactment, students take a journey looking for a lost item …
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Peanut Butter & Jelly Lesson

Peanut Butter & Jelly Lesson

Peanut Butter & Jelly Lesson: Transformation and Imitation  Objective: students demonstrate transformation and imitation skills to communicate ideas. Working with vocabulary words, students learn to express multiple meanings and images of words through the use of physical transformation and imitation (part of the first grade objectives).   In addition, students have to …
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The Ice Wizard Lesson

The Ice Wizard Lesson

The Ice Wizard Lesson: Concentration  Objective: students demonstrate concentration, following directions, maintaining personal space and using positive non-distracting behaviors. Students love the freeze activity where they can demonstrate the skill of concentration; they often beg to repeat it over and over.  This lesson ends with the story of a mean …
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pass the imaginary object

Pass the Imaginary Object Lesson

Pass the Imaginary Object Lesson: The Drama Skills Objective: students demonstrate the skills needed to act out stories. The skills of imagination and concentration are central to this first lesson as students work with imaginary objects, imitating and transforming them through play (part of the first grade objectives).  This introductory lesson …
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first_grade_lesson_sequence

First Grade Lessons

Recommended Lesson Sequence for First Grade  This year-long planning guide maps a year of drama teaching.  We put these lessons in a recommended delivery order below, but you may revise, rearrange, and adapt as you see fit.  This sequence is not a mandate; rather, it is intended to provide you with …
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The Emotion Closet

The Emotion Closet Lesson Overview: the goal of this lesson is to understand how actions and emotions are related. A person’s actions are tied to their emotions and this lesson is designed to explore that relationship.  The students act out basic emotions to different situations using the actor tools of …
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The Oranges

The Oranges Lesson Overview: the students learn about what makes any person special or interesting. This third lesson in our peaceful problem solving series works with a familiar object (oranges) and personification to demonstrate the message.  Students use their senses to explore these oranges (or other objects that are similar but physically distinct) …
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Runaway Bunny lesson, Davenport, IA school.

Character and Movement – Runaway Bunny

Character and Movement – Runaway Bunny lesson Overview: students learn what story elements (character or setting) or words give us clues in a drama. In this lesson plan, we address determining story elements, identifying text clues,  and demonstrating different types of movement.  In the book Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, a bunny asks …
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Ooltewah school and the Defining Words lesson

Imitation and Physical Work: Defining Words

Imitation and Physical Work: Defining Words Lesson Objective: students experience how to communicate ideas. A Language Arts integrated lesson for students using gesture, facial expression, movement and sound to communicate vocabulary words.  Handouts for students are included.  Just supply your own vocabulary words.  The Language Arts objective is to build vocabulary …
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Medgar Evers school and emotion stories lesson

Emotion Stories

Emotion Stories Lesson Overview: your students will learn what makes people feel the way they do. We provide a list of emotions (or create your own) and the students learn how movement in drama can be used to communicate emotion.  This lesson is the second in our character education and …
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Okay to Feel Lesson

It’s Okay to Feel Lesson

It’s Okay to Feel lesson Overview: this lesson works with emotions and how they affect us as individuals. This lesson is a good introduction to our character education and peaceful problem solving series.  This has been adapted from the anti-bullying workshops produced on behalf of the Kennedy Center.  This lesson includes the …
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Science Integrated Drama Lesson

Science Integrated Drama Lesson

Drama Lesson Integrated with ScienceOverview: this drama lesson demonstrates tailoring the Body Objects activity for science.This FREE lesson steps you through an acting story with a focus on science. The emphasis is on the question: “How can we use our bodies to show what we know about story and habitats?” …
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Language Arts Integrated Drama Lesson

Language Arts Integrated Drama Lesson

Drama Lesson Integrated with Language ArtsOverview: this drama lesson demonstrates tailoring the Body Objects activity for language arts learning.This FREE lesson steps you through an acting story with a focus on language arts. The emphasis is on the question: “What impact do details have on creating and communicating ideas?” This …
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acting story

Acting Story Lesson

Acting Story Lesson using Body Objects activityOverview: this lesson combines drama skills with a story to form a drama.This FREE lesson couples an acting story (included) with body objects work to create a Drama. Using a story turns the Body Object activity into a Drama. The goal for participants is …
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students showing drama skills

Drama Skills and Vocabulary Lesson

Drama Skills and Vocabulary Lesson using Body Objects activity Overview: this lesson starts building drama skills in groups new to integration work. Use this FREE skill-building lesson with students to introduce concentration, imagination, and teamwork through group activities. Their goal is to increase their drama skills by learning to create …
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The Sacred Scarab Lesson - Review & Assess

The Sacred Scarab Lesson – Review & Assess

The Sacred Scarab Lesson: Review & Assess  Overview: the students review how all the tools and skills they learned fit together to create a drama.  Objectives:  students demonstrate memorization skills; demonstrate interpersonal and collaborative skills; define story elements.  Reviewing skills previously learned are at the heart of this summative lesson: acting …
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The Hare and Tortoise Lesson: Playing Animal Characters

The Hare and Tortoise Lesson: Playing Animal Characters

The Hare and Tortoise Lesson: Playing Animal Characters Overview: the students will learn how to play non-human characters. Objectives:  students define and practice collaborative strategies; define the drama tools; define story elements. Fables are a great way to combine all the drama skills into the first story they will play …
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The Circus Lesson: Introducing the Three P’s

The Circus Lesson: Introducing the Three P’s

The Circus Lesson: Introducing the Three P’s Overview: students demonstrate the skills necessary to create a good drama. Objectives:  students identify the importance of planning and practicing; discuss good audience behaviors; demonstrate use of the drama tools (mind, body, voice). Students create a variety of circus acts.  At first it …
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free drama lesson

Body Objects – a FREE drama lesson

Body Objects Lesson: Creating Settings with DetailsOverview: students collaborate with a partner using negotiation strategies and applying concentration, imagination, imitation, and transformation skills.Objectives: students collaborate with a partner using negotiation strategies; apply concentration, imagination, imitation, and transformation skills; identify story elements.Students transform their bodies into objects and then into settings …
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Concentration and Partner Work Lesson

Concentration and Partner Work Lesson

Concentration and Partner Work Lesson: Statue Maker Overview: students explore the role of the mind in drama. Objectives: students evaluate self and praise others; define the 5 key vocabulary words (imagination, imitation, transformation, concentration, and collaboration); practice self-management; demonstrate collaborative strategies Freeze!  How long can students stay frozen?  Can they …
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Book, Stick, Chair, Person Lesson: The Three Drama Words

Book, Stick, Chair, Person Lesson: The Three Drama Words

Book, Stick, Chair, Person: The Three Drama Words  Overview: the students will learn what transformation, imitation, and imagination have to do with drama. Objectives:  students name the four fine arts; evaluate self and praise others; define the 5 key vocabulary words (concentration, imitation, imagination, transformation, collaboration); speak and listen in character.
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Introducing the Five Senses Lesson

Introducing the Five Senses Lesson

Introducing the Five Senses Lesson Overview: the students will learn why actors need to know and use all 5 senses. Objectives:  students name the four fine arts; demonstrate the five senses; evaluate self  and praise others. The five senses are key to acting, visualizing literature, and understanding the world.  Often …
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