Unit Overview


Social Studies expectations, Grade 5, are woven together throughout the various drama activities in this unit. Students should be familiar with basic tableau, role play and should have experience using the creative and critical analysis processes when creating and viewing drama work. This document includes French translations for prompts and PDFs. This resource was written for Grade 5; it is appropriate for Junior and Intermediate students to Grade 8. This resource is easily adapted for Grades 5 through 8 by selecting the appropriate expectations to connect with the activities, specific to the grade in focus. 


This drama unit examines the role of community and government in dealing with challenges.  Students work collaboratively in groups to establish a fictional community and their own personal roles within it.  When presented with a challenge, community members must join together to deal with the issues.  Students engage in role play in a variety of different contexts to explore themes related to these issues. Students use the creative process to demonstrate an understanding of how time and place can support the development of role.  Students will learn and use a variety of dramatic conventions to build their individual roles. As a final task, students will work in small groups to create the next chapter in the story.  They will use techniques learned and understand the benefit of incorporating visual and technological aids in performance.

Unit Guiding Questions

  • How do we work together to build a community and solve problems within the community?
  • What drama strategies help us learn about different parts of the community?
  • How do communities work together to solve problems?
  • What obstacles might they face?

Unit Lessons: How will assessment and instruction be organized for learning?

Approx. Duration 1 class= 60  minutes
Lesson 1

Establishing Community

Students will establish a fictional community (each half of the class) as a group.  Together, they will decide on defining features of this community as well as a list of rights and freedoms, flag and a municipal holiday.  Governments will be elected and students will work to develop their own personal roles.

4 classes
Lesson 2

A Challenge is Presented

Members from both communities will be faced with a common challenge: a road is being built on green space that divides the two communities and there is a possibility of a garbage dump being placed on site.  Students must consider how this proposal affects their role and the community at large.

3 classes
Lesson 3

Will We Accept the Garbage Dump in our Community?

An historical article detailing the Kirkland Lake controversy of 2000 is compared to the current fictional situation.  Students will speak and question others in role while maintaining their focus.  They will explore how to work collaboratively towards a common goal while representing their own personal interests.

3 classes
Lesson 4

Hearing From the Experts

A dramatic convention called Mantle of the Expert is used to delve deeper into the various viewpoints of the issue at hand.  Some students will take on the role of these experts while the others will evaluate their information and determine how it would change the perspective of their own characters.  Students will become comfortable speaking in improvisational situations through the conventions learned and used in this lesson.

3 classes
Lesson 5

What Happens Next? The Final Installment

Students will use the creative process to create a dramatic depiction of their community's journey from its creation to the present.  As a group, they will determine what happens after the final community meeting, including this in the final performance as well.  Students will be able to reflect on their performance and the work of others using the critical analysis process. Students will articulate what worked effectively and what needs improvement, and will then have an opportunity to re-work their presentations.
3 classes

Lesson Guiding Questions

Lesson 1
  • What defines a community?
  • How does our town or city differ from other places in Ontario?
  • How might a community face a conflict and solve problems?
Lesson 2
  • How does developing your own personal character allow you to become more involved in the process drama?
  • How does seeing the issue from a different standpoint (e.g., Mother Nature) allow us to take another perspective?
Lesson 3
  • How does learning about a real life situation (Kirkland Lake) change the way we see the challenge in our own drama?
  • How does using tableau crossover allow us to see the road/garbage dump issue from the perspective of the other community?
  • How and why do our perspectives differ?
Lesson 4
  • How does hearing testimony from various experts change your character's opinion?
  • How do we maintain the integrity of our role and yet allow it to change/adapt when it is called for?
Lesson 5
  • How might we consolidate our learning in a final dramatic piece that demonstrates our learning from the unit while illustrating what happens after the final town hall meeting?

Assessment and Evaluation: How will students demonstrate their learning?

Assessment of learning

Culminating Performance Task

1. Students will be evaluated on the creation of a final dramatic presentation. Evaluative tools include a rubric (role play, tableau, use of props), and peer evaluation (Two Stars and a Wish).
Assessment for Learning
Four Checkpoints and a Rubric

Check Point #1/Lesson 1
venn diagram, journal response 

Check Point #2/Lesson 2
Role play checklist, writing in role
Check Point #3/Lesson 3
Role play checklist, writing in role
Check Point #4/Lesson 4
Mantle of the Expert template, journal response