Unit Overview

Summary Description of Unit

In this unit, a fictional context invites students to encounter multiple perspectives related to a complex community issue. In role, the students are presented with a proposal to build a community centre in Habitown. This community centre will affect the community members, the environment and the animals living in this habitat. Students encounter a variety of text forms, with a focus on reading for meaning, inferring and examining points of view. After a rich exploration, students are expected to arrive at an informed point of view to decide: Should the community centre be built?

Overall Expectations


A1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process to the composition of movement sequences and short dance pieces using the elements of dance to communicate feelings and ideas

A2. 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


B1. 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

B2. Reflecting, Responding and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process to communicate feelings, ideas and understandings in response to a variety of dramatic works and experiences

Oral Communication: 

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 literacy, graphic, and informational texts, using a range of strategies to construct meaning.

recognize a variety of text forms, text features, and stylistic elements and demonstrate understanding of how they help communicate meaning


1. generate, gather, and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience

Media Literacy: 

1. demonstrate an understanding of a variety of media texts

2. identify some of the media forms and explain how the conventions and techniques associated with the are used to create meaning

Science and Technology: 

1. Habitats and Communities: analyse the effects of human activities on habitats and communities 

Big Ideas and Guiding Questions

Urban development affects communities, habitats and the relationship between them.

In order to make an informed decision, one needs to research and explore multiple perspectives on the issue.

Drama and dance are tools that help us understand issues and help us communicate our understanding and point of view.

All texts are biased and we can use strategies to help us recognize the author's intent.

Guiding Questions

  • What are the effects of urban development on relationships within our community?
  • What are the effects of urban development on our natural world (habitats)?
  • How does one arrive at an informed point of view?
  • How can we use drama, dance and critical literacy strategies to help us understand, explore and represent these ideas and feelings?
  • How do we use the elements of drama and dance to communicate our ideas?
  • How do we recognize bias in a variety of texts (e.g. newspaper articles and flyers)?

Critical Literacy

In this unit, students are introduced to the key concept that texts are constructions and, as such, contain bias and reflect/advocate a specific point of view. Students are taught how to deconstruct a text for bias and are given the opportunity to generate their own texts to communicate a particular point of view for an intended purpose and audience.

By interacting with characters who hold multiple points of view around the controversial community centre opening, students come to understand the importance of examining an issue from many sides in order to fully appreciate its complexity.

Through this unit, students not only come to appreciate literacy skills as tools for personal advocacy but they are also provided with a model of how an individual citizen can affect change in his/her community.

*Instances of Critical Literacy will be marked with the letters CL throughout the unit

Find out more about Critical Literacy and how it links to dance and drama.


Assessment and Evaluation: How will students demonstrate their learning?

Assessment of Learning

Culminating Performance Task

1. Students will be evaluated using a rubric for a culminating performance.

In the culminating activity, students will create a presentation for the community meeting that will state their opinion of what they think is the right thing to do about the building of the community centre. This presentation will consist of:

Two tableaux

A Movement Phrase

A Chant creation and choral dramatization of the chant

A persuasive statement that articulates their opinion

A rubric will be used for evaluation

Students will use the creative and critical analysis process to create, refine and revise their work.

Students will keep an on-going journal to track their thinking, explorations and understandings of this unit.

Assessment for Learning

On-going Feedback

Throughout the unit, students' achievement of the identified learning goals is monitored using a variety of assessment for and as strategies and tools such as:

  • journaling (e.g., consolidation questions at the end of lessons)
  • discussions
  • peer and self assessment
  • teacher feedback
  • questioning
  • side-coaching
  • checklists
  • rubric
  • conferencing


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

Approx. Duration 1 class= 50


Lesson 1

The Letter

Students are introduced to a letter written by a fictional character, KC. Through questioning, inferring and analysis of the letter, students begin to construct the life of KC. Students generate questions they would like to have answered and write a collaborative letter to KC to find out more information.

1 class
Lesson 2

Moving Through the Space and Exploring Emotions

Students explore emotions and actions through movement and review the elements of dance. Students create tableaux with transitions and body shapes that express the thoughts and feelings of the characters.

1 class
Lesson 3

How Can I Be Heard?

Students are introduced to editorial writing and practice reading for bias and to identify the point of view. They generate questions and use the drama strategy "hot seating" to build character background. The students then write a letter to the editor in role as KC.

2 classes
(75 min.)
Lesson 4

Memories of the Past

Another character, FL, is introduced into the drama. Students read her blog and examine a collection of objects which represent her personal belongings. They use this information to make inferences about her past experiences and future hopes and dreams, which are then represented in two tableaux. Students compare and contrast the two tableaux, and reflect on the effectiveness of their creations. 

2 classes
(105 min.)
Lesson 5

Choral Dramatization

Students explore another point of view and meet another character. They read text for information about animal habitats. They also examine a flyer, drawing inferences and detecting bias and analysing point of view. Students interpret text using choral dramatization techniques and compose and present their own chants to convey a clear point of view.

2-3 classes
(130 min.)
Lesson 6

Creating Dance Phrases

In small groups, student create dance phrases that communicate their understanding about how animals use their habitat to survive. They are guided through the creative process and are instructed to use the elements of dance to plan and refine their compositions. Students co-construct success criteria which they then use to refine and assess their work.

2-3 classes
(120 min.)
Lesson 7

Activity Centres

Students choose three to five activity centres to continue to explore the characters and the issues of the drama (centre 3 may be assigned as mandatory)
Centre One: Diary Entry/ Hot Seating Activity
Centre Two: Radio Interview/Interviewing
Centre Three: Newspaper Article/ Critical Thinking and Writing
Centre Four: Diary Entry/ Tableau Activity
Centre Five: Movement Phrase Creation

3 classes
(150 min.)
Lesson 8

Culminating Activity: Presentation for the Community Meeting

Students review the characters and issues explored in the drama and reflect on the many perspectives and opinions that emerged throughout the unit. In small groups, students share their ideas and potential solutions to the unresolved issues. In role as concerned members of the community, each group prepares a persuasive presentation for the mayor. The teacher, in role as the mayor, calls a community meeting and the students use tableau, role-play, movement and chanting to present their informed point of view. The unit concludes with group discussion and reflection.

3-4 classes
(160 min.