Curriculum Expectations

Learning Goals


B2.1 Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: express personal responses and make connections to characters, themes, and issues presented in their own and others' drama works


I can:

  • use tableau and thought tracking to express my personal response to inclusion and exclusion

Reading 1.8: make judgements and draw conclusions about the ideas and information in texts and cite stated or implied evidence from the text to support their views


I can:

  •  make judgements and draw conclusions about inclusion and exclusion, and support my opinion with evidence


BLM #1: Elements of Tableau Anchor Chart
BLM #2: Exit Card - Tableau Reflection
(photocopied for each student)
BLM #3: Question Chart
BLM #4: Grouping Strategies
Appendix #4: Observation Tracking Sheet


Approximately 20 minutes

Minds On 


Whole Class > Introduction to Big Idea and Graffiti Mural

Share the focus and purpose of this unit with students.  Prompt: We are going to explore ideas of exclusion and inclusion using drama and dance. We see it everyday in books, pictures, in the news, and in our own lives. 

Post the Big Ideas and Guiding Questions on chart paper or black board and review them with the class. On chart paper or mural paper, write the headings: "exclusion" and "inclusion." Individually, or in pairs, invite students to brainstorm words, phrases, drawings, examples related to each word. Encourage students to represent as many ideas as possible on the chart or mural paper. Post the graffiti mural, and advise students that they can add to words and images as the unit progresses. Explain that this graffiti wall is the first element to be posted to their wonder wall, which is like a billboard where they can publicly share all of their learning. Explain that students will also use a journal or learning log as a private record of their learning throughout the unit.

Whole Class > Atom   

Play the Atom game to explore the concepts of of exclusion and inclusion kinesthetically. The first time you play the game, set it up so that students experience exclusion by calling numbers that will leave some students out each time. 

Prompts: Find your own space in the room, and when I say, "Go,"  move around the room, exploring all of the open space. Create interesting pathways through the open space, keeping distance between yourself and others. When  I call, "Atom," a number you must join with others to create a grouping of the number that I have called. For example if I call, "Atom 3," groups of 3 are formed. You must attach to different people each time a grouping is created. 

After playing the game, ask students to consider whether the game was inclusive or exclusive. Discuss possible solutions with the whole class in order to make the game inclusive (hiding people within the atom, linking two groups together and sharing a person, etc.). Play the game with the new inclusive focus a few times. On the last round get students into groups of 3 or 4 in order to form groups for the next tableau exercise.

Pre-Unit Preparation

View the list of literary resources in the appendix and use those resources often throughout the unit as a way of exploring how these complex ideas are handled in a variety of contexts.

Gather a variety of picture books and novels to have available to the students during the unit. Read a rich picture book that relates to issue of inclusion and exclusion before the unit starts. 
Encourage the class to bring in news clippings, magazine pictures, other images and text to contribute to a class wonder wall about the theme of inclusion and exclusion.

Assessment for Learning

Use the graffiti wall as diagnostic assessment tool to gauge student awareness and understanding of exclusion and inclusion at the beginning of the unit.

Differentiated Instruction (DI) 

Use flexible groupings and change groupings throughout the lesson to promote collaboration amongst different learning styles.

Approximately 45 minutes



Small Group > Tableau

Tell students that they are now going to draw from the two-dimensional representations of inclusion and exclusion on their graffiti wall to create three-dimensional representations of inclusion and exclusion using their bodies. Review the elements of tableau by posting and referring to BLM #1: Elements of Tableau Anchor Chart.   

Step One: Organize students into small groups and direct them to create a tableau that represents inclusion. Advise students that their tableau can tell a story of inclusion, or it might be more like a poem that suggests feelings or provides an impression of what inclusion means to them.  Ask them to focus on body shapes and relationships in particular. Invite a few groups at a time to share their tableau. As students view the images, invite them to call out words or phrases from the graffiti wall that they see represented in the tableaux. If the tableaux inspires new words or phrases, invite students to share them aloud and add them to the graffiti mural. 

Step Two: Instruct students to create a tableau that shows exclusion. Invite  a few groups at a time to show their tableau with the class and discuss.
Prompts: Who is being excluded here? How do you know? Why are they being excluded? What sorts of power are being exercised in the tableau? Is it equal or unequal? Could the power balance be changed? Under what circumstances or how? How do you know this? What evidence in the tableau supports your observations? Can anyone suggest one alteration to this image that would change the power dynamic? Please come up and, like a sculptor working with clay, carefully make on change to this image. 

Invite the entire class to study the image after it has been altered.

Prompts: What observations can you share? How does this one alteration to the image change the meaning? Has the power dynamic changed in any way? What conclusions do you draw from this? 

Step Three: Direct each group to find one alteration they can make to their tableau that shifts the power in some significant way. This becomes their third tableau. Direct each group to find a way to connect their three tableaux. The transition between the three tableaux should be carefully choreographed, with each body moving purposefully in slow motion from one pose into a new pose. Direct  students to:

  • freeze in inclusion tableau for 4 counts
  • move from inclusion into exclusion on 8 counts
  • freeze in exclusion for 4 counts
  • transition to exclusion with one alteration on 2 counts
  • transition back to inclusion 8 counts
  • freeze in inclusion tableau for 4 counts 

You may want to provide a count for students using a drum, snapping your fingers, or simply counting out loud. Provide sufficient time for students to revise and refine their tableaux with transitions, and then invite a few groups to perform at a time.

Invite viewers to study the tableaux and transitions carefully. Challenge students to watch for the quick alteration to the exclusion image, which is made on just two counts.
Prompts: What stands out for you in these images? What do many of the inclusion images have in common? What do many of the exclusion images have in common?  Are there any images that you would like to see again to examine and analyse together?

Assessment for Learning (AfL)

Use teacher observation to assess students' representations of inclusion/exclusion through tableau. Use Appendix #4: Observation Tracking Sheet  to assess students use of the elements of tableau.

Differentiated Instruction (DI)  

Use a variety of grouping strategies for tableau work to engage the various types of learning modalities.  See BLM #4: Grouping Strategies

Quick Tip

See appendix for a list of related junior level picture books and novels, and teacher resources


Invite students to regard the tableaux as texts. Ask them to provide evidence from the "text" (the tableau) to support the ideas they share in the discussion that connect to their own lives. This discussion should help in generating ideas for the journal entry.

Critical Literacy Focus (CL) 

Texts can be very powerful in shaping and securing meaning (ways of thinking and being). Critical literacy interrogates how this is done. Students analyze and evaluate how texts  are constructed and can be both deconstructed and reconstructed.  They are encouraged to experiment with vexing  or altering  the story or dynamic in order to determine what options might be possible -and under what circumstances -in texts and in life. 

Approximately 15 minutes



Small Groups > Brainstorming Verbs > Graffiti Mural

Assign half the groups  the word exclusion and half the class the word inclusion. Ask them to reflect on the tableaux they created and viewed, and to brainstorm 3-5 verbs (action words ending in  "ing" or "ed"  associated with their assigned word).

You may want to brainstorm a few words together to get them started:
inclusion: joining, connecting, trusting, welcoming, unifying, opening, encompassing, inviting
Exclusion: block, closed, pushing, turning, locked, falling, searching

Ask each group to record their words neatly on a large 11" x17" piece of paper. Encourage visual learners to draw images evoked by the words they are brainstorming. Ask each group to post their list of verbs and their illustrations to the wonder wall, under the appropriate title: inclusion or exclusion. Students may also add more words, images, and phrases  to the graffiti wall posted at the beginning of the lesson. 

Individual > Exit Card

Instruct students to complete BLM #2: Exit Card - Tableau Reflection explaining how tableau expanded their understanding of the concepts of inclusion and exclusion.

Assessment for Learning (AfL) 

Collect and review student reflections on their tableaux to inform your planning for future lessons.