Unit Overview

Description of Unit

In this unit, students are introduced to the concept of community and the people who play key roles in meeting its various needs. Students spend time living in these community helper roles and are challenged to solve problems which are designed to illustrate the interdependence of people in a community.

In role, the students are presented with a problem of a local park being unfit to visit and use.  Students are  introduced to some community members whose lives have been affected by the conditions in the park and are challenged to take action to address the situation. Students  learn how to advocate for themselves by engaging in talks with the mayor and participate in whole class role play as they clean up the park and host a re-opening ceremony for the neighbourhood.

Overall Expectations

A.1 Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process to the composition of dance phrases, using the elements of dance to communicate feelings and ideas
A.2 Reflecting, Responding and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process to communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of dance pieces and experiences
B.1 Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process to dramatic play and process drama, using the elements and conventions of drama to communicate feelings, ideas and stories
B.2 Reflecting, Responding and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process to communicate  feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of drama works and experiences
Oral Communication
  1. listen in order to understand and respond appropriately in a variety of situations for a variety of purposes.
  2. use speaking skills and strategies appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes
  1. read and demonstrate an understanding of a variety of literary, graphic, and informational texts, using a range of strategies to construct meaning
  1. generate, gather and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience.
  2. draft and revise their writing, using a variety of informational, literary, and graphic forms and stylistic elements appropriate for the purpose and audience.
Media Literacy
  1. demonstrate an understanding of a variety of media texts.
  2. identify some media forms and explain how the conventions and techniques associated with them are used to create meaning.
  3. create a variety of media texts for different purposes and audiences, using appropriate techniques.
Social Studies: Community Roles 
  • identify people with whom they have significant relationships, and the rules and responsibilities associated with people, places, and events in their lives and communities

Big Idea and Guiding Questions

An inclusive community is built and maintained by connected and interdependent community helpers. Strong communities are formed and empowered when all community members cooperate and solve problems.  Learning to build and follow community guidelines fosters a strong community and teamwork.  Equitable communities meet their members diverse needs through roles and relationships that work, interact and depend on each other to solve problems, protect and value each other.
Through role play and dance, we can build an understanding of how community helpers work, move, interact and maintain a community. We can explore qualities of movements and experiencing situations that might occur  in our everyday lives and how building relationships helps us participate to solve problems in a drama.

Guiding Questions

  • Who are our community helpers and how do we understand their roles in meeting our needs?
  • How can drama activities and dance build an understanding of these community helpers and their important roles? 
  • How do community helpers rely on each other and solve problems?
  • How might we help build a safe and inclusive community?
  • How does hearing multiple points of view about a problem help us to better understand it? 
  • What powers/rights/options do we have as citizens when we face a problem in our community?

Critical Literacy

In this unit, students assume a variety of roles enabling them to take on different points of view about a common topic. They are exposed to different points of view through their interaction with guests in role. Students generate texts designed for a specific purpose and audience, attending to their vocabulary use and adherence to text conventions. Students are also asked to go beyond their direct personal experience and consider the needs/interests of all community members when planning for their park re-opening event. When students are acting as advocates for their neighbours when they appeal to the Mayor for help, they are also learning about what tools/means they have available as citizens when they feel their needs/rights are not being met.
*Instances of the use of Critical Literacy will be marked with the letters CL throughout the unit.

Assessment and Evaluation: How will students demonstrate their learning?

Assessment of Learning

In this unit, Assessment of Learning takes place at three key points:
Lesson 4: Statue and Tableau Checklist
Lesson 6: Creative Movement Rubric 
Lesson 8: Role Play Rubric and Writing Task Success Criteria


Assessment for Learning

Check Point #1/Lesson 1: Community Needs/ Community Helpers

Co-constructing and using success criteria for self and peer assessment; andecdotal notes

Check Point #2/Lesson 2: How Do Members of a Community  Depend On Each Other?
Teacher observations and anecdotal comments,  descriptive feedback, exit card
Check Point #3/Lesson 3: The Importance of Parks
Success criteria chart, self-assessment, artefact
Check Point #4/Lesson 4: Standing Together to Solve Community Concerns 
Participation checklist, exit card
Check Point #5/Lesson 5: Plan of Action

Self-reflection using role pay success criteria, anecdotal comments, exit card

Check Point #6/Lesson 6: Repairing the Damaged Park- Dance!

Elements of Dance checklist, oral feedback

Check Point #7/Lesson 7: Park Re-opening Planning and Visit from the Councilor

Anecdotal notes and feedback

Check Point #8/Lesson 8: The Re-opening Event

Questioning in Role, exit card


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

Approx. Duration 1 class= 50
Lesson 1

Community Needs/Community Helpers

In this lesson students establish and define a community and how community helpers are people who help us meet our needs.  Students recreate and role play where several community helpers are introduced in context and students experiment with what kinds of things these helpers can do.
Lesson 2

How Do Members of a Community Depend On Each Other?

 Students explore the setting in which different community helpers do their jobs. They also experiment with how different roles interact with one another.  Students solve problems in role as community helpers experiencing the ways in which a problem in one aspect of the community has a ripple effect on several others.  They also learn to see a problem from multiple points of view. 
Lesson 3

The Importance of Parks

In this lesson, students explore parks as important community spaces. They investigate who uses them, how they are used and what they should ideally contain. Imagined exploration of park games and a class field trip to a local park to collect images on digital cameras help students build concern and background knowledge for the events that are to come.
Lesson 4

Standing Together to Solve Community Concerns

The teacher in role as a woman from the community shares stories about damages that have been done to her local park. She and some of her neighbours tell stories of how the situation is seriously affecting their lives. The class joins her in bid to do something about it by writing a letter to the mayor, urging him to take action.
Lesson 5

Plan of Action

The mayor responds to the students' plea for help by inviting them to present a plan of action to him at an upcoming council meeting. The students come up with solutions to each of the problems they brought forth to the mayor outlining how they could be fixed and who could fix them. The students rehearse their proposal in groups and later the whole class assumes different roles in a meeting with the Mayor. 
Lesson 6

Repairing the Damaged Park-Dance!

The students have got support from the mayor to fix four problems in the park. As a class, and later in groups, students create a series of movements to go along with the solutions they came up with to fix the park. One by one, each group dances their way to a repair while the mayor and other helpers watch. 
Lesson 7

Park Re-Opening Planning and Visit from the Councillor

Now that the park is fixed, it's time to plan for the re-opening ceremony. In their community helper groups, students plan how they will contribute to the event, make it inclusive and determine what kinds of supplies they need. After meeting with a city councillor to have their plans approved, they get to work at preparing props/materials for the big day.
Lesson 8

The Re-Opening Event 

The big day is here! Students take turns acting as community helpers engaging with the citizens of the community as part of a re-opening ceremony. They share food, play games, learn about the garden and listen to a closing speech from the mayor.
Students contribute to a classroom book or write an article for the local newspaper about how to build an inclusive community and how they can affect change in their community.