Quick and Accessible Lessons for Supply Teachers

Help! I'm going to be away and I teach DRAMA!

Below is the first in a series of posts that will address the question: What can I leave for a drama or dance supply teacher that is manageable, accessible, and will set my students up to be successful while I'm away? 

A fantastic resource for supply lessons is the images from Chris Van Allburg’s book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. These alluring back and white images, with their accompanying titles and captions, get students imagining all kinds of dramatic scenarios that are ripe for story-making.

 

The images can be purchased in large format as individual cards. They can be used as the basis for lots of dramatic and writing activities for junior, intermediate, and senior students, including:

 

  • Creating tableaux based on the images. For example, students can recreate the moment before the image was taken, and/or the moment after. Deepen these images by adding more dramatic conventions, such as soundscapes, or thought-tracking the characters.
  • In small groups, create a new story based on the image, using the existing title as inspiration. What characters appear in the story? What happens? Create a short scene, mime, or series of tableaux that tells the story, or write the story and adapt it into a scripted dialogue.
  • A process drama based on the fictional character of Harris Burdick, the vanished photographer who took the pictures, can be found in Larry Swartz’s Dramathemes and David Booth’s Story Drama. This structure uses mantle of the expert, role play, and other dramatic activities to bring the mystery of Burdick to life.

 

The images and instructions for small groups can be left with a supply teacher, and students can be assigned images or choose what they find most interesting for their classroom work. Students can work collaboratively and present their creations to the rest of the class for peer feedback.

A fantastic resource for supply lessons is the images from Chris Van Allburg’s book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. These alluring back and white images, with their accompanying titles and captions, get students imagining all kinds of dramatic scenarios that are ripe for story-making.

 

The images can be purchased in large format as individual cards. They can be used as the basis for lots of dramatic and writing activities for junior, intermediate, and senior students, including:

 

  • Creating tableaux based on the images. For example, students can recreate the moment before the image was taken, and/or the moment after. Deepen these images by adding more dramatic conventions, such as soundscapes, or thought-tracking the characters.
  • In small groups, create a new story based on the image, using the existing title as inspiration. What characters appear in the story? What happens? Create a short scene, mime, or series of tableaux that tells the story, or write the story and adapt it into a scripted dialogue.
  • A process drama based on the fictional character of Harris Burdick, the vanished photographer who took the pictures, can be found in Larry Swartz’s Dramathemes and David Booth’s Story Drama. This structure uses mantle of the expert, role play, and other dramatic activities to bring the mystery of Burdick to life.

 

The images and instructions for small groups can be left with a supply teacher, and students can be assigned images or choose what they find most interesting for their classroom work. Students can work collaboratively and present their creations to the rest of the class for peer feedback.