Fun Group Game: Animal Sounds

Animal Sounds-After we played this game with my 6th graders, we talked about how this might relate to friendship or success in school. My students actually found some really good connections! We also played this in preparation for our Shakespeare play and discussed how, in this game, you have to be confident to get the job done, vocal so people can hear you, and enjoy what you’re doing even if you may feel a bit goofy. Although I played this with my 6th grade class, 4th and 5th graders can play this game successfully too.
Players close their eyes, and then a teacher moves among them whispering the name of an animal to each person. The challenge is to find all the other animals of one’s own kind, and the first group to be completed wins. No one can talk; players can only make animal sounds. Loud chaos ensues, and gradually order and unity emerge as animals find one another. Be prepared to shepherd people from danger, though usually the game is very safe. Many do not move much, but rather focus on listening and calling out to others. animals (aim to have the same number of each animal—around three of each) might include wolf, cat, pig, kangaroo, snake, lion, crow, monkey, frog, elephant, and others. It was fun to make it more challenging at the end, but throwing in choo choo train, pirate, leaky faucet, race car and other wacky sounds like that.
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Lesson Plan: Inventions (& Airplanes)

I took a phenomenal class about drama in the classroom. Here’s my lesson plan from the class. It’s about inventions and it’s geared towards upper grades. Enjoy!

Lesson plan PDF

LOVE Drama (Lesson 6)

­­­­Six Drama/Theatre Lessons
Drama /Theatre Specialist
Fullerton School District
All the Arts for All the Kids
Storytelling:
This set of lessons explores dramatic work as one learns to express a story.  Since drama can be defined as “an actor with a conflict”  and, in most theatre, drama is contained and expressed through  story, story literature and character archetypes from six different cultures are explored.
The lessons are linked both to theatre arts standards and history/social science and language arts curriculum standards.
Emphasis is placed on expressional fluency, critical thinking, divergent thinking, cooperative learning, creating solutions to problems, and comparing and contrasting cultures and style. 
Students participate in acting exercises, games and playmaking.
April 2002

Lesson Six
Title:  Storytelling is Performance
Overview: 
Lesson Six is part Two of Lesson Five
Note:  It is very important that you, as the teacher, are able to retell the story, without using notes, in your own words.  Know the characters, what they say, what happens next, etc.  If you falter, the energy of the story will falter, and the students will begin to fall out of the game of acting out the story.  So, know the story cold!
Objective:
Students will dramatize  a story using props and costumes, responding to cues, and making creative choices appropriate to their character and the story.
Materials:
·        Everything used in Lesson Five
Vocabulary:
Same as Lesson Five.  Add “cue.”
Background:
Remind the students how the storyteller needs the audience and the audience needs the storyteller.
Procedure:
1.    Review the choices the class made last lesson.
2.    Make sure the students know that a cue is. (A signal to do something)  Tell them that we are going to use cues today in order for everyone to know when to play their parts.
3.    Divide the room into distinct acting areas.  You will need :
·        The Gate into the city
·        Han’s hut
·        The Mandarin’s Palace, with chairs for the Council and Mandarin.
·        An area in which the Wild Horseman can sit.  (The Horseman never really need to leave this place.  They can do all their acting from a space rather near the gate, and just get louder as more mean as they get “closer.”
·        A faraway place, from where the old wanderer comes, and where the messenger rests  until it is time for his part.
4.      Instruct the students that you will still help them tell the story.  When you are standing near a student it is their cue to act the story.  Everyone else in the class is the audience at that point.  If you go  stand near the Wild Horsemen then they will act as the Horsemen (review their cues.)
5.    Review who is audience and who are actively acting (by you physically keeping the focus), until  everyone knows what is expected.
6.    Announce “And now, for the first time anywhere on Earth, Ms.——————class presents their version of the story Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like.  Once upon a time, (moving toward Han)there was a .boy named Han.  Han was an orphan boy who swept the gate of the city.  He but he was a happy boy and waved to everyone coming through the gate.”
7.     This is where your finesse as teacher, will come into play.  For many children you can cue  “So the Mandarin said……” and the child act the appropriate part of the story.  For some children you will need to say  “And so the Mandarin told him to come over by the throne…”  You leave a pause and the child will say “Come over here by the throne!”  Sometimes you will need to say “And the Mandarin said ‘Come over here by the throne’.  And the child will repeat exactly what you say, and how you said it. 
8.    Try your best to not tell or show the child how to do his/her part.  They know the story.  Just urge them on with your story narration, giving them more and more clues as to what the character is to do or say next.  You will find all levels of ability regarding understanding and accomplishing of jumping into the drama. 
9.    You may have to remind students when they are to stop acting and become audience members, but insist on it.  You can keep focus by telling the story with energy and showing the students where to look (wherever you are!)
10.At the end of the story, give each child a chance to receive applause for their work.  Praise their storytelling abilities.
11.Repeat if desired, changing parts.  A student can take your part at this point.
12. As this is your last lesson, direct students’ attention to the Storytelling Tree.  Review all the ornaments,  and the associative stories and concepts.  Use as much vocabulary as possible, as a review. 
13. Direct student’s attention to the present ornament.  Remind them   you still feel sharing a story is like giving someone a present.  Challenge each of your new storytellers to tell one of the stories they’ve learned, or a new story they make up, to someone in their family.  Assure your students  it will be a wonderful gift, because they have become wonderful storytellers.
 Assessment:
·        Did students  dramatize  a story using props and costumes, responding to cues, and making creative choices appropriate to their character and the story?
Integration/Correlation/Extension/Modification
·        It is important  not to put students in front of an audience until they have gained confidence communicating all aspects of their story.  That means being able to stay in character, remember the sequences without cues, projecting  voice and character and being comfortable with props and costumes.  If you and your class want to continue working on these skills…Wonderful!  But please don’t put students in front of an audience before they are truly ready.  It will be a bad experience for everyone if they go on unprepared.
·        Ask students if they would like to act out other stories.  Use no more than three-four students in a group.  Make sure all are familiar with the story.  Have them use the same technique  you used to help the students act out the story.
·        In story telling, one generally uses few props and costumes.  But designing such is an excellent activity.  Have students choose a story and design the costumes and props.  They may need to research the country or culture of the story, or a chosen time period. Have them make a design portfolio.

LOVE Drama (Lesson 5)

­­­­Six Drama/Theatre Lessons
Drama /Theatre Specialist
Fullerton School District
All the Arts for All the Kids
Storytelling:
This set of lessons explores dramatic work as one learns to express a story.  Since drama can be defined as “an actor with a conflict”  and, in most theatre, drama is contained and expressed through  story, story literature and character archetypes from six different cultures are explored.
The lessons are linked both to theatre arts standards and history/social science and language arts curriculum standards.
Emphasis is placed on expressional fluency, critical thinking, divergent thinking, cooperative learning, creating solutions to problems, and comparing and contrasting cultures and style. 
Students participate in acting exercises, games and playmaking.
April 2002


Lesson Five
Title:  Storytellers Make Choices
Overview:  In the past four lessons, the storyteller has modeled making choices of dramatic story telling technique, and invited the students to make  choices too.  Also, the past three lessons have covered literary character archetypes.  Now it is time to use the students’ experience and knowledge to help them tell a story as a performance.
This performance is for the class only.  The emphasis is on making creative choices.  The lesson  is designed to give the students experience  dramatizing a story.  But the audience is comprised of their own classmates, as are the performers.
Don’t worry!  The students will love to perform just for themselves.  It will seem a natural   extension of the storytelling techniques you have been teaching, and they have been discovering. 
If you are tempted to let them share their stories, as a performance, with another audience,   please see the “Integration…etc.” section at the end of this lesson.
Note:  This lesson is in two parts.  This lesson involves making many preparatory choices.  The next lesson is the actual performance.
Objectives:
·        Students will make creative dramatic choices when they, in partnership, portray a dragon, of their own design.
·        Students will identify the character archetypes of Hero, Villain, and Fool.
·        Students will identify the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of the story.
·        Students will identify the moral of the story.
Materials Needed:
·        Poster depicting dragons in various times, cultures and countries.
·         Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like——————————————–
—–or other story , teacher’s choice.
·        Props and costume pieces for the characters in the story.  If you use Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like,  here are some suggested props:
(Headware is not included because of lice problems.  If your class is absolutely free of such problems, hats are the most easy and  inexpensive items one can use to designate character)
For Han, the Hero:  A child sized broom
For the Mandarin and his Council, the Fools: For the Mandarin, a Chinese style robe 
Wise Man, a book;  General, faux armor; Merchant, moneybag; Workman, sweat rag around neck;  Messenger/Spy:  A sash or strip of cloth, tied diagonally across the chest (quasi military style).
For the Wild Horsemen, the Villains:  Strips of faux tiger skin to tie on arms, or legs, or as headbands.
Dragon, The Magical Solution: Child sized staff, or walking stick.
·        White board and markers or prepared word  strips of Who, What, When, Where, Why,  andMoral of Story, Magical Solution
·        If you are using a Storytelling Tree, a small broom ornament, or a dragon ornament would be appropriate.
Vocabulary:  ( grade appropriate)
mandarin, hut, jade, merchant, dragon, courtesy, wanderer, China, orphan, solution,
magic, cast
Background or Motivation:
Place the ornament on the tree.  Review all the stories the students have learned using the ornaments as prompts.  Tell the students that the new ornament will be in the story for today.  They should look for it and raise their hands when they see it in the story.  (Don’t forget to acknowledge them when they do this.)
Displaying  the poster of the dragon illustrations is a good way to begin the discussion regarding dragon imagery being found in many countries and culture.  Discuss the various dragons’ demeanor (angry, sad, mean, goofy etc.)  Identify for the students the origins of the dragons.( “This dragon is from Chinese stories, this one is Japanese.  This one is from an English story, “St.  George and the Dragon.”  This dragon was created by a Disney artist for the movie Sleeping Beauty…”etc.)
Procedure:
1.    Move the dragon poster out of sight.
2.    Divide the students into pairs.  Three students may also work together if there is
not an even number of students in the class.
3.  Tell the students that their assignment is to make one dragon, using both or their   bodies.  (“Two kids make one dragon.) 
4.  Give the students about five minutes to talk over their project.  When they begin to look as if they need to get on their feet, give them permission to do so and “practice” making their dragon.
5.  Ask all students to get into a small ball next to their partner.  Tell them you will start counting.  They are to begin forming their dragon on “1” and “freeze” their dragon on “10.” 
6.   Count and let the students make their dragons.  Give them feedback as they “freeze” for you to gaze upon their work.  Try to make a positive comment about each partnership.  (“Wow!  This one has two heads!  This dragon is so long!…”)
7.   Note for the children that even though they are all making dragons, everyone’s dragon is different from the other dragon.
8.   (“Isn’t that interesting!  Everyone thinks they know what a dragon looks like.” )  Show the students the title of the book.
9.   Read and/or tell the story.
10. Help the students generate the 5 W’s and the Hero, Villains and Fools.  (Introduce the idea of a Magical Solution, when the students identify the Dragon instead of Han as the Hero. Help them identify the Moral of the story (Did the story, teach, warn and/or entertain?”)
11. Announce the students that they are going to be able to act out the whole story with costumes and props. (“Costumes help us know who’s who.  Props are anything an actor holds in his hand that helps him tell the story.”)  They will be excited about his.  Warn them that today we are getting ready to tell our story, but we won’t perform it until next lesson.  (Actors need to understand the story and get ready.  That’s what we’ve been doing today. “
12. Warn the students that everyone will have a part to play.  But not everyone will get to play the part they want to play the most.  (“Will we be able to tell our story if we have one Han and nineteen dragons?”)  But everyone will have a part.
13. Proceed to cast the parts as makes most sense for your class.  You can choose, or the children can volunteer. Whatever way you decide, remain firm, and brook no objections (There is reason the Director in  Theatre is called “Director,” not “President,” or “Teacher.”)  Invite each student to cast to the front of the class, and have them put on the costume or hold the prop. 
14. Note:  Actors, as a general rule, love to play villains . You can stifle many objections by making the Wild Horsemen—which will be “everyone else” who has not a named part—seem the most exciting part to play.  Give them cues to make the sound so hoof beats.  Give them a cue to wave their swords, and growl.  Give them a cue to shoot their bows and arrows.  Pretty soon, everyone will want to be a Wild Horseman.
15.  Before students sit down, review who they are, reemphasizing vocabulary and terms (“And the Hero is…?  And the Merchant has a …well yes, it’s a little bag, but what do we call something the actor holds in his hand to help tell the story…? …That’s right, a prop.”)
16. Note:  You really don’t need to write down a cast list.  The students will remember as long as they have had contact with props and costumes.)
Assessment:
·        Did students attempt to create dragons?
·        Were students able to identify the elements of the story and the archetypes.
Integration/Correlation/Extension/Modification
See Lesson Six 

LOVE Drama (Lesson 4)

­­­­Six Drama/Theatre Lessons

Drama /Theatre Specialist
Fullerton School District
All the Arts for All the Kids
Storytelling:
This set of lessons explores dramatic work as one learns to express a story.  Since drama can be defined as “an actor with a conflict”  and, in most theatre, drama is contained and expressed through  story, story literature and character archetypes from six different cultures are explored.
The lessons are linked both to theatre arts standards and history/social science and language arts curriculum standards.
Emphasis is placed on expressional fluency, critical thinking, divergent thinking, cooperative learning, creating solutions to problems, and comparing and contrasting cultures and style. 
Students participate in acting exercises, games and playmaking.

April 2002

Lesson Four
Title:  Laughing Helps Us Learn:  The Fool Story
Overview: 
Fool stories delight us for so many reasons.  One way these stories delight us seems especially relevant to children.  This is when the Fool is more lazy, more clueless and more out of control of his life than we are. 
Adding physical comedy to storytelling helps captivate the audience.
Objectives:
·        Students will exaggerate physical movements in order to create humor.
·        Students will begin to identify the who, what, when, where, why of a story.
·        Students will identify a moral to the story.
Materials Needed:
·        World Map
·        Poster of classic fool characters from folk and fairy tales, and popular culture.
·        small artificial of head of lettuce (You could use real baby lettuce.)
·        “Buried Treasure, a Story from Italy,” Usborne Stories from Around the World,  Retold by Heather Amery, Usborne Publishing Ltd., London, 2000; or other Fool story, teacher’s choice.
·        A folk nonsense song, grade appropriate,  such as “John Jacob Jingle Heimer Schmit,”  “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly,”  “There’s a Hole in the Bucket,”  etc.
Vocabulary:
Noodlehead,, numbskull, bumpkin, silly, bobo, fool.  Younger students may also need to know:  hammock, fertilizer, merchant.
Background:
If you are using the Storytelling Tree, note the ornaments to review the stories that have already been told, and the character archetypes  represented.
Tell the students that since they have learned so well  about  “good guys”, (heroes, protagonists,) and “bad guys” , (villains, antagonists), now they going to have a little fun.  But first!  A song!
Sing a nonsense song the students enjoy, such as John Jacob Jingle Hiemer Schmidt.  Enjoy yourself too. This lesson needs a light touch, and a bit of silliness. The song and singing can set a nice atmosphere for fun. As the saying goes, comedy Is hard, but it should also be fun!
Procedure:
1.    Display the poster of fool characters, along with the vocabulary words.  Have the students read aloud all the vocabulary wards. Note for them that there are many ways to describe the “funny guys”  in a story.
2.    Ask the students to identify the various characters.  Briefly discuss them. (For example: “That’s right!  That’s Daffy Duck.  Daffy never does seem to learn his lesson does he?  He’s always as silly at the end of the story as at the beginning.” )  Whatever  Fools you choose, the discussion can cover how Fools make us laugh,  how sometimes they seem wiser than their more clever, meaner cohorts, how sometimes they actually  wise up by the end of the story, etc.  Mostly, this discussion should get the students actually thinking about the role of humorous characters, 
3.    Write on the white board Who, What, When, Where, Why.  Ask the students to keep in mind these words  as you share with them the next story.
4.    Share “Buried Treasure.”  Instead of  “manure”  you may want to say “fertilizer.”  Keep the lettuce concealed until the last minute, so that the students discover the lettuce at the same moment as Mario. (Place the artificial lettuce as an ornament on the story telling tree.)  If the students are young, you may add sound and motions as you did in the other lessons. 
5.    Ask the students to identify the 5 W’s.  This should be brief.
6.    As in lesson three, ask students to find a space in which they can work, in the classroom.  They need to be near no one else and not near equipment, furniture, etc.  Ask them to get into a “small ball.”  Ask them to make a picture in their brains of Mario pulling weeds.  And they should remember that Mario has never pulled weeds before, so he probably didn’t know how and wasn’t very good at it.  He probably looked pretty funny.
7.    Instruct students to “grow”  into Mario pulling weeds  and to pull the weeds in slow motion.  Count as before.  After “10,”  say “Freeze!”  Be amused, at their efforts.
8.    Encourage them to go beyond their first efforts, by  being specific in their pantomime, and exaggerating their movements.  (For example, demonstrating as you talk:  “  You all looked pretty funny, but I bet you could be even funnier.  First, be really precise in your movement.  A better choice than just pulling  the weeds kind of fast, would be to exactly use your fingers to pull one weed.  Only, it seems to be  a really long weed. Now, exaggerate this motion as you become more and more amazed at how tough this little weed is to get out of the ground, and then suddenly, Bump!–you’re sitting flat on your behind!”)
9.    Try the techniques with pulling weeds, digging up a cloud of dust, spraying water and spreading fertilizer.  Each time, encourage students to first, be specific in their pantomime, and then exaggerate the motion to make it funny.
10.Last of all, let the students show you how Mario looked the first time he saw all those rows of lettuce appear as if by magic.
11.For a cool down, ask students to lay down on the floor, as if they were laying in Mario’s hammock, in the warm sun.  Have them breathe as was described in Lesson Three.
12.Before students return to seats, ask them to think about what the story was meant to teach.  Focus students’ thinking on what Mario has learned.  Write the word moral on the white board.  Remind the students that stories tend to Teach Warn and Entertain. (See Lesson One.) Have a quick discussion on the purpose of this story.
Note:   Steps  #3 and #12 should be brief.  They  serve only as introductions to the concepts.  Follow up occurs in the next two lessons.  
Assessment:
·        Did the students exaggerate their specific pantomime, achieving humor in their work?  (Did they make you laugh?  Each other laugh?)
·        Did students identify  the 5 W’s and the moral of the story?
Integration/Correlation/Extension/Modification
Note:  Discretion must be used to make sure that a discussion on “Fool’ characters does not give students the impression that it is in any way  acceptable to make fun of “slow thinkers”  or the less experienced among us.  Always   ask, “Did the story teach, warn or entertain us?” , and ask the students to note the moral of the story.  This should keep the discussion on the right track.
·        Invite students to find a “fool story” from at least three different countries or cultures.  You may direct them to the “Jean Sot” stories of the American South,   “Bobo” stories from Mexico,  “Chelm” stories of European Jewish culture,  etc.  Fool characters also co-exist with “Trickster” characters  such as Navajo “Coyote” stories, African “Anansi” stories,  and from the American South, Brer Rabbit stories .  Modern examples include the picture book series featuring The Stupids. Even the Amelia Bedelia  stories are gentle “Fool” stories.  Encourage students to retell the stories to the class.
·        The Grimm’s fairy tale “Jack and the Golden Goose”  (it goes under many titles) is a classic Fool story.  The bumpkin character of Jack is endearing, and the other characters in the story end up appearing much more foolish than Jack.  Read the story to children.  Encourage them to act out the part where the towns people who try to steal the goose end up sticking to each other.  Remind them to be specific and then exaggerate in order to create the humor.
·        U. S.  Television cartoons very often use the fool character.  Have the students make a list of these.  (The list might include Daffy Duck, Shaggy in Scooby Do, Pinkie in Pinkie and the Brain,  Disney’s  Goofy and Donald Duck.)  Have students identify why the characters are enjoyable to watch. (“They are funny!”  is not a specific enough answer!)



LOVE Drama (Lesson 3)

­­­­Six Drama/Theatre Lessons
Drama /Theatre Specialist
Fullerton School District
All the Arts for All the Kids
Storytelling:
This set of lessons explores dramatic work as one learns to express a story.  Since drama can be defined as “an actor with a conflict”  and, in most theatre, drama is contained and expressed through  story, story literature and character archetypes from six different cultures are explored.
The lessons are linked both to theatre arts standards and history/social science and language arts curriculum standards.
Emphasis is placed on expressional fluency, critical thinking, divergent thinking, cooperative learning, creating solutions to problems, and comparing and contrasting cultures and style. 
Students participate in acting exercises, games and playmaking.
April 2002

Lesson Three
Lesson Three:  Villains Try to Keep Heroes from Succeeding
Overview:
Villains in stories throw into sharp relief the goodness and strength of heroes.  Not only do villains represent humans who thwart noble hopes and dreams, but frequently villains represent natural and supernatural powers.  These powers are mysteriously at the villain’s beck and call.
A dramatic, colorfully drawn Villain character ensures the reader’s allegiance to the Hero and heightens the story’s conflict.  The vanquished Villain provides a satisfying climax to the story. 
A good story teller uses his/her body, voice and mind to make the story come to life.  And a few well chosen props don’t hurt either.
Objectives:
·        Students will compare and contrast heroes and villains.
·        Students will  participate in the sound and motion of the Villain story
·        Students will use their bodies, voices and minds to portray a villain’s encounter with a hero.
Materials needed:
·        Poster of Heroes from Lesson Two
·        Correlating pictures of Villains for all the fictional Heroes.
·        World map
·        bandanna or napkin
·        small towel
·        small comb
·        mortar and pestle (Cookware or import stores are a good source of a small inexpensive set)
·        Dog ornament
·        Cat ornament
·        White board and markers
·        “Baba Yaga, The Witch”, Usborne Stories From Around the World, retold by Heather Amery, Usborne Publishing Ltd., London, 2000;  or other Villain story, teacher’s choice.
·        Illustration of Baba Yaga
Vocabulary:
Villain, “bad guys”, antagonist,  Russia, mortar, pestle, loom, weave, Baba Yaga
Background:
If you are using the Storytelling Tree, review the previous lessons as prompted by the ornaments already hanging on the tree.  Note, but do not explain, the new ornaments (dog, cat, comb).   Tell students that these new ornaments are characters and items that will appear in today’s story.
Procedure:
1.    Present the poster from last week, along with the correlating pictures.  Invite the students to match the “bad guys” with the “good guys”.  Briefly review the concept that heroes overcome obstacles. Introduce the word antagonist, and use it throughout the lesson.
2.    Ask “If heroes overcome obstacles, what do villains do?”  After discussion, write the following on the white board:  Villains try to stop heroes.  Ask students to identify the ways the villains on the poster try to stop their correlating heroes.
3.    Hold up a picture of Baba Yaga.  Describe this fictional character as a character that exists in Russian stories.  (Refer to map.)  Detail the characteristics of this character, including her iron teeth, her house on chicken feet, her fence of bones,  her herd of skinny cows, and her manner  of traveling in a mortar and pestle. Use your mortar and pestle to describe the way Baba Yaga travels. (“Not like a Halloween witch on a broom.  The mortar sort of jumps and bumps, along as the witch rides inside, steering as if her pestle was an oar.”)
4.    Note:  At this point the students will be eager for the story and will be asking to see  the book.  Tell them today that you are going to share the story from your head. Remind them  not all stories are written down in books.  We also carry stories in our heads and in our  hearts
5.    Indicate  you will use a few things to help tell the story.  Get out the bandanna, towel and comb, and lay them ready to use as props.  Refer to them as your props. 
6.    Tell the story.  Be sure to use your voice and body to create the characters and dramatic tension   Add sound and motion as you see fit, inviting the students to participate, as you have in the past two lessons. 
7.    Additionally, use the bandanna to wrap an imaginary piece of cheese.  Indicate the dog and the cat ornaments, when you mention these characters in the story. 
     Use the comb and towel as they are called for in the story.
8.   Invite the students to find a space on the floor where they will be able to stand without touching anyone or anything.  Call upon them to use their common sense  not to stand near equipment, doors, walls and furniture. 
9.   Ask students to form themselves into a small ball on the floor.  Tell them no voices should be working at this point. (“Silence, please.”)
10.  Ask students to make a picture in their minds of Baba Yaga.  Describe the character vividly so that the student can create a clear picture. 
11. Instruct students that  when you start counting, they are to “grow” into Baba Yaga, to show you what the picture in their brains looks like.  Tell them they are to use their bodies and minds to create this villain.  Tell them to begin growing on“1” and to freeze on “10”, so that you can “get a good look at them.”
12. Begin counting.  If children exercise good creative effort and control, finish counting and say “Freeze.”  Look carefully, commenting on their good work.
13. If students flounder, return them to the small ball and begin again.  If students are excessively shy, ask them to keep their eyes shut until you say “10.”
14. Be sure to be encouraging, and not dictatorial as they create their witch characters   Ask “Do I see iron teeth?… oh, is she really old?…  Are your hands like Baba Yaga’s?… Your mouth?…  Your legs?”  Students will change as you point out various details.  That’s fine as long as they are creating their own work, and not copying someone else’s characterization.
15. Now, invite each witch to step into her mortar, pick up her pestle and “Bump, bump, bump,”  through the forest, chasing Misha.  Remind students that they may touch NO ONE  while traveling.  Be firm about this, or you will have kids behaving in an unsafe manner.
16. Invite students to “Freeze!”  Invite students to pretend they are almost ready to catch Misha when, suddenly,  Misha throws the comb.  “Oh, no!  The thorny forest is growing up between you and Misha.  Quick! Try and bite it down with your iron teeth!”  
17. “I wonder what Baba Yaga would yell at Misha?  Go ahead and tell Misha how mad you are at her!  Show with your face and your voice how frustrated you are that she got away!”  Encourage students to respond.
18. “Now Freeze!  In some stories the witch is destroyed when she melts.  When I say “go” you will silently melt into a big puddle, again, touching no one and nothing else but the floor.  Ready, go. And meeelllt, meeellllt,and…mellllllllllt.” 
19. Good.  Please, silently, take three quick breaths through your mouth, and one out your mouth….Again…Again.  You may sit up and go back to you seats.”
Assessment: 
·        Did students use their voices, minds, and bodies to create the Villain character?
·        Were students able to correlate villains with their heroes, and participate in a discussion of comparison and contrast?
Integration/Correlation/Extension/Modification
·        Have students Name as many fictional heroes as they can, (Think fairy tales, folk tales, comic books, animated television and movies, live action television and movies.)  then villains associated with them.  Encourage students to name the ways and means the villains try to stop the heroes.
·        While Baba Yaga stories are rather rare in the United States, in Eastern European literature, the Baba  Yaga character is ubiquitous.  Assign students to research other Baba Yaga tales.
·        Ask students to write an ending to the story that has Baba Yaga give up her evil ways. Discuss how students feel about the ending.  Is  it satisfying?  Will it be as fun to tell? 
·         Note:  Be sure to assure very young children that there is no such thing as Baba Yaga.  Make sure that in their dramatic play she is vanquished.  

LOVE Drama (Lesson 2)

Six Drama/Theatre Lessons
Drama /Theatre Specialist
Fullerton School District
All the Arts for All the Kids
Storytelling:
This set of lessons explores dramatic work as one learns to express a story.  Since drama can be defined as “an actor with a conflict”  and, in most theatre, drama is contained and expressed through  story, story literature and character archetypes from six different cultures are explored.
The lessons are linked both to theatre arts standards and history/social science and language arts curriculum standards.
Emphasis is placed on expressional fluency, critical thinking, divergent thinking, cooperative learning, creating solutions to problems, and comparing and contrasting cultures and style. 
Students participate in acting exercises, games and playmaking.
April 2002
Lesson Two
Title:  Heroes Overcome Obstacles
Overview:  Stories of “Good Guys” achieving success against great odds, achieving  definitive victory against those odds, seem to be particularly satisfying to the human soul.  Whether the hero is likely or unlikely, with supernatural powers or only deserved or blessed luck, he or she, at some point, must overcome an obstacle.  The obstacle must be overcome by strength and/or ingenuity.
This is the ongoing struggle that human beings, and perhaps especially children, face. A good Hero story inspires us to be valiant in overcoming our own obstacles.
Materials: 
·        Poster of heroes, real and fictional, some easily recognizable, others obscure.  Include a variety of ethnic and genders, current and historical heroes. Group the fictional heroes together and the nonfictional heroes together.  You will need the group of fictional heroes for Lesson Three.
·        Horton Hatches the Egg,by Dr. Suess, Random House, New York, 1968; or other “Hero”  story, teacher’s choice.
·        White board and markers
Vocabulary:  (as is appropriate for grade level)
fictional, real, hero, heroine, protagonist, main character, “good guy”
Objectives:
·        Students will differentiate between pictures of real and fictional heroes.
·        Students will participate in pantomime of large physical obstacle.
·        Students will generate  list of ways to overcome the pantomimed obstacle.
·        Students will participate in sound and motion during telling of the Hero story.
Background:
(If you are using the Story telling tree, use the wrapped gift ornament as a prompt for the students to remember that they are learning to share stories, and that sharing a story is like giving a present.]
Display the pictures of the various heroes.  Ask children to identify the characters.  Help them to determine which are fictional, and which are real life heroes.  Help the children identify those heroes with whom they are not familiar.  Share bits and pieces of their hero stories.
Procedure:
1.    Establish pantomime of an obstacle. For example, you might say “We’re going to pretend for a little while.  Loook!  Look at this huge rock that’s right in front of me.  It’s so tall I don’t know how I can get over it.  It’s so wide I don’t see how I can get around it.  What a problem! (Push and pull the obstacle)  I just can’t  seem to move this obstacle, this problem, at all.  Let’s call this big problem an obstacle.  Whew! I’m tired.  Can anyone think of a way I can get on the other side of this  obstacle?”
2.    Choose a student to describe his way of solving the problem.  Then invite the student up to demonstrate his idea.  Work with him as a partner in the pantomime.  For example, if a student’s solution is to use a ladder and climb over the top, volunteer to help him get the pantomimed ladder, and climb up, before or after the student.  Once you are both on the other side of the obstacle, thank the child profusely.  Ask him to “give me five”, or a similar victory  ritual.  Then say to the child “Hooray!”  You overcame the obstacle!  You’re my hero!”
3.    Repeat step #2 at least two more times, with alternate ways of overcoming the obstacle.
4.    Using the white board, write ”Good guys” .  Ask students if it is reasonable to  describe all the pictured heroes as “good guys”.  Write the word “hero” on the board.  Share with students the fact that this is another term to describe “good guys”.
5.    Write “Heroes overcome obstacles.”   Ask for an example from the poster of a hero who overcame an obstacle.  Keep equating “solving a big problem”, with “overcoming an obstacle.
6.     Also, write on the board the words heroine, and protagonist.  Tell students that these are also words to describe the main character in a story.  This character is someone who overcomes an obstacle. (Heroine describes a female hero.)
7.    Announce to students that you have a story to share about a hero.  Tell them there will be places during the story for the audience to help the story teller. (You may want to review the audience’s responsibility as described in Lesson One.)
8.      Share Hero story.  If it is Horton Hatches the Egg, potential places for the audience to join in the dramatic story telling, from their seats, could be as follows:
·        Invite the students to make the sound and motions of a storm during” It poured and it lightninged! It thundered!  It rumbled!”
·        “Soon it was Autumn.  The leaves blew away.”  Sound of wind, motion of leaves flying.
·        “…and said with a sneeze,”  Invite students to sneeze as Horton would sneeze.
·        “They taunted. They teased him.”   Invite students to make “Nyaaa, nyaaa, nyaaa, nyaa, nyaa”  or other playground teasing noises.
·        “He held his head high, and he threw out his chest…”  Invite students to do the same taking Horton’s stance.
·        “Rolling and tossing and splashed by the spray…”  Invite students to make the sounds and motion of the ocean.
·        Invite students to make the appropriate sounds during “A thumping!  A bumping!  A wild alive scratching!”
·        Invite students to make the appropriate sound after “…the egg burst apart!”
·        Invite students to repeat all the crowd says, such as “What’s this all about…?” And ”My goodness!  May gracious!”   and “My word!  It’s something brand new!  It’s an elephant-bird!”
·        “And they sent him home happy…”  allow students to provide “100%!”
9.    Review how this fictional character, Horton, was the hero of the story, by helping students to identify the obstacle Horton overcame.
10.If you are using the Story telling tree, ask a student to place the egg ornament on the tree.
Assessment: 
·        Were students able to identifyfictional and nonfictional heroes?
·        Did students participate in the dramatic play of the Obstacle pantomime, including offering ways in which to overcome the obstacle?
·        Did the students participate, as cued, using sound and motion during the Hero story?
Integration/Correlation/Extension/Modification
·        Invite students to write or draw a picture of a story in which they, themselves, are the heroes.  The obstacle the hero overcomes should be clearly identifiable.
·        Invite students to read Horton Hears a Who, also by Dr. Suess.  Encourage them to find places in which the audience could add sound and motion to aide the storyteller in the sharing of the story.
·        Ask students to think of more unlikely heroes in unusual situations.  (A lion protecting a lamb, a mouse helping a cat,  a fisherman helping a fish to escape, a kindergartner saving a sixth grader, etc.)
·        For older students:  Ask students to represent a nonfictional hero’s obstacle in a visual art medium.  (For example, a student might draw a picture of Jackie Robinson jumping over a hurdle representing racism.)  Discuss how the hero story, told in words, can be translated into visual art.
·        For older students:  The hero of a story  is most often the protagonist of a story.  However, sometimes he/she is not.  Challenge students to take a hero story, and, without changing the main details of the story, make another character the protagonist.  Tell the story from another character’s point of view.

 

LOVE Drama (Lesson 1)

Drama/Theatre Lesson
Drama /Theatre Specialist, Fullerton School District
All the Arts for All the Kids
Storytelling:
This set of lessons explores dramatic work as one learns to express a story.  Since drama can be defined as “an actor with a conflict”  and, in most theatre, drama is contained and expressed through  story, story literature and character archetypes from six different cultures are explored.
The lessons are linked both to theatre arts standards and history/social science and language arts curriculum standards.
Emphasis is placed on expressional fluency, critical thinking, divergent thinking, cooperative learning, creating solutions to problems, and comparing and contrasting cultures and style. 
Students participate in acting exercises, games and playmaking.

April 2002
Lesson One
Title:  The Storyteller’s Art
Overview:  Storytellers have existed throughout time, with the necessary consent and participation of  their audiences.  Storytellers’ audiences range from the nursery to political gatherings, religious disciples to  the farmers’ hearth,  the royal court, to the lecture hall.  Storytelling exists to teach, explain, demonstrate devotion, entertain or all of the above.
Storytellers learn to engage their audiences, with their  material and their manner of presenting the material.  Unless an audience listens, the story stops and the goals of the storyteller fail.  Audiences learn to support the story teller through social and cultural mores. (For example, some cultures listen in respectful silence.  Some cultures respond verbally to cues, becoming integral to the performance.)
Objectives: 
1.    Children will participate in sound and motion stories, responding to appropriate cues.
2.    Children will, through their participation, demonstrate the concept that as a storyteller cooperates with an audience, the audience cooperates with the storyteller.
Materials Needed:
(Note:  In this lesson, as in subsequent lessons, stories and books will be suggested.  However, other stories and books can be substituted depending on teacher choice.
The teacher can choose a different Hero, Villain or Fool story.  There are plenty of these stories  in every country and culture.  It is important that the teacher be excited about the story, and prepare to tell the story in as an exciting and engaging manner as possible.  The storyteller’s art is one of the dramatic arts!  So, in looking for substitute stories,  chose a story you really enjoy telling.
Picture Books
·        How I Spent my Summer Vacation, by Mark Teague, Dragonfly Books, published by Crown Inc., a division of Random House, 1995;
·        Tasty Baby Belly Buttons, by Judy Sierra, Illustrated by Meilo So, a Borzoi Book, Albert Knopf,  publisher, 1999.
·        White board and markers (or prepared word strips “The storyteller’s job is to make the story interesting.”, The audience’s job is to have Open Ears, Open Minds, and Open Hearts.”, “ Stories Teach, Warn and Entertain.”
·        World map
Optional: (To be used in every lesson, if desired.)
·        A potted live or silk plant or tree, large enough to support “ornaments.”  Use these ornaments to represent various characters and items in the various stories.  The ornaments can be placed on the “Storytelling Tree”  as a review tool, or as items to pique interest about the story the students will hear during the lesson.
The following are a list of items I have used.  These “ornaments” will be noted in the following lessons as optional materials, and the teacher can make his/her own choice as to which items to use, if any.  Also, naturally, as the choice of stories and books will vary depending on teacher choice, so will the ornaments. That said, here is a list of ornaments and their corresponding story.
·        small wrapped gift box (“a story is like a present…”)
·        Dog, bird, monkey:  Tasty Baby Belly Buttons
·        Egg:  Horton Hatches an Egg
·        Mortar and pestle, dog, cat, comb:  “Baba Yaga”
·        Artificial mini lettuce head:  “Magic Field”
·        Miniature broom:  Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like
Vocabulary:  (as grade appropriate) Note:  Vocabulary listed will match with the suggested stories.  If the teacher makes other choices, substituting a different story, the vocabulary will, obviously be different. 
 
stampede, cattle, wrangler, matador, buckaroo, oni, millet, dumplings, pheasant, minuscule, storyteller, cooperation, cue
Background:
Have a short discussion with the students regarding their last vacation, or school break.  Ask them to shut their eyes and make a “remember picture” in their mind of the best thing they did during that vacation or break.  Remind children of various activities they might have experienced.  (“Did you spend time at your grandma’s home… did you go someplace fun with your family… did you stay at home and read a million books… did you play outside with your  neighbor…?” etc.)  Ask students to share with you their memory, or “remember picture.”
Choose a few students and listen to their stories.  Draw students out, asking for details, being delighted that they will share with you.  Thank each student for telling you his or her story.  Use and emphasize the words story and storyteller.
Tell the students you liked their stories so much you might go share their stories with someone you know.  (“  At dinner tonight I might say to my daughter that  there was this child in my class today, and he had such a great time when he went to the mountains with his Dad and Mom,” etc.)  Honor the fact that the students shared with you.  Demonstrate that you were a good listener.  Repeat specific details of the stories as you speak, so that the students will notice how closely you paid attention.
Tell the students that you feel as if you received a gift, a present, today, when they told you their stories.  Tell them you are going to pass the present along when you share their story with someone else.  (“A story is like a present.  You give someone a gift when you share a story.”)
Procedure: 
1.  Invite students to listen to a story about a boy and what he did on his summer vacation
2.  Present How I Spent My Summer Vacation, by Mark Teague.
3.   Help the children discover all the storytellers involved.  Discuss the fact that Wallace Bleff shared his story with his class.  Also, a man named Mark Teague made up the story and pictures of the book.  Then point out that you (the teacher) were a storyteller also, because you told the story to your students. 
4.   (“In the next few drama lessons we have we’re all going to learn about stories and how to express stories—share stories ,  with other people.)
5.   Using prepared word strips, or writing on the white board, discuss the following concepts in light of the story you just read.  Refer to illustrations as examples of these concepts.
·         Stories Teach, Warn and Entertain (“Did Wallace’s story warn us of anything?” etc)
·        The Storyteller’s job is to make the story interesting. (“How did Wallace make the story interesting?”)
·        The Audience’s job is to have Open Ears, Open Minds, Open Hearts.  (“What does it mean to have open ears?” etc.)  Students will have many ideas regarding these concepts.  You may want to note that open ears can mean listening well,  and open mind may mean using one’s imagination.  It can also mean not deciding before you hear a story whether or not you’ll like it.  Having an open   heart can  mean letting oneself be touched emotionally by a story.(“So if the story is supposed to be funny, go ahead and laugh.  And if the story is supposed to be a little scary, go ahead and feel a little afraid. And if the story is a little sad, go ahead and …that’s right, feel a bit sad.)
5.   Prepare to presentTasty Baby Belly Buttons, by Judy Sierra. Tell students that in Japan(refer to map) the audience is invited to help tell the story.  Tell students that when you give them a signal, or cue,  students are invited to follow what you do and or say.  Review vocabulary students may need to know to understand the story. (dumplings, millet, oni, pheasant, etc.) 
6.   Each term noted in italics in the text  can be accompanied by a motion as you say them.  Share the story as described. (”One morning , as the old woman was washing clothes in the river, a melon came floating along, tsunbara, tsunbara”  Using your hand, imitate a melon floating down the river, and say “tsunbara, tsunbara, tsunbara,”  inviting and indicating the students to do the same. You might even say, “This is your part!” if students don’t join in right away.
7.   Other opportunities for sound and motion, for yourself and students:
·         “Zushin, zushin!” Sway back and forth as if you are a monster marching.
·        Chant “Belly buttons, belly buttons, Tasty baby belly buttons!”  in a monstrous voice. (Make sure students chant with you.)
·        Walk your fingers in your palm as you say “Tontoko, tontoko.”
·        Use a high pitched voice for the pheasant as you say “Ken, ken, ken, ken, I smell millet dumplings!”
·        Use a goofy monkey voice as you say “Kya, kya, ,kya, kya, I smell millet dumplings.”
·        Use your hand to toss the dumplings to the pheasant and monkey.
·        Knock on the castle door, using a deep voice, “Don, Don, Don!”
·        Cry like a baby, rubbing your eyes for “Boro,boro,boro,boro!”
·        Pretend to get your toes nipped, knees knocked, and head bopped as the animals attack the monsters.
·        Use a swift sword motion and sound to cut the rope tying the babies.
8.   Praise the students for their work.  Discuss how they did their job as an audience.  Thank them for their help in making your job easier as a story teller, by helping to make the story interesting.  Ask, did the story teach us? How?  Warn us?  How?  Entertain us? How? 
9.   If you are using the Storytelling Tree, invite students to put representative items on it.  Include the present to remind everyone that sharing a story is a wonderful gift. Tnank the children again for their stories with you.
Assessment:
·        Did the students participate in sounds and motions?
·        Did the students demonstrate their responsibilities as audience members demonstrating open ears, open minds, and open hearts– criteria you discussed and decided together?
Integration/Correlation/Extension/Modification:
·        With young children, bring in some millet (pet stores have it) and pass it around.  Bring pictures or actual dumplings.  Discuss how many different cultures have a special type of “dumpling” in their cooking.
·        Set a movement pneumonic for Open Ears, Open Minds, Open Hearts.  (For example, point to ears, brain and heart, each time you mention the Audiences’ job.)
·        Ask students to draw or write a version of their own summer vacation.  However, they must have an open mind, and extend their thinking and add some fun exciting new fictional details to their stories.  Have the students read or tell their stories to classmates.  Classmates may  guess what is “real” and what is fictional.
·        Sing some story songs: “The Cat Came Back”, “The Ship Titanic”, “On Top of Spaghetti”, “Found a Peanut”, etc.