In this lesson, students will deepen their understanding of community by working together in role to face a challenge that will be presented by the teacher. Students will explore the following questions in their drama work: What strengths do we have to face such a challenge? Where are we lacking and where can we find the resources to help us?
How do communities work together to solve problems?
What obstacles might they face?
What are the characteristics of a strong leader?
Do leaders take charge and follow their own ideas?
Do leaders listen to others' ideas before making a decision?
How does developing your own personal role/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?
How might we use process drama to evaluate a conflict and make decisions?
B1.1 Engage actively in drama exploration and role play, with a focus on examining issues and themes in fiction and non-fiction sources from diverse communities, times and places
B1.2 demonstrate an understanding of the element of role by selectively using some other elements of drama, to build belief in a role and establish its dramatic context
B1.3 plan and shape the direction of the drama or role play by collaborating with others to develop ideas, both in and out of role
B2.1 express personal responses and make connections to characters, themes, and issues presented in their own and others' drama work
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to
Share the criteria for successful role play with students (for an example see Larry Swartz's from Dramathemes as adapted in BLM #6 Role Play Checklist). Discuss what each criteria would look like in practice (e.g., how will you question others in role?) Create a class generated rubric as an anchor chart to which students may refer.
Role on the Wall
Writing in Role
Inner Outer Circle
Chairs, desks, pylons
Map from Lesson 1
BLM#7 Letter from Minister of Transportation (2 copies)
|Approximately 30 minutes
Pause and Ponder
Whole Class > Lead the Way
Divide the class in half (or thirds, depending on numbers) and have students choose a leader. This could be the mayor of the community or another student. Inform students that this is the only person who is allowed to speak. Prior to students entering the room, clear an open space and set up a simple obstacle course using desks, chairs, pylons, etc. The leader will position her/himself at one end of the space while her/his teammates are at the other end. Leaders give each teammate detailed directions to get them through the course safely and successfully.
Whole Class > Role on the Wall
Prompts: What are the qualities of a strong leader? What type of a person would you want representing you in your democratic government?
Questions incitatives: Quelles sont les qualités d'un dirigeant fort? Quelle sorte de personne aimerez-vous comme représentant dans un gouvernement démocratique?
Create a role on the wall using a successful leader as the character of focus. Draw a figure (like a gingerbread man) to represent the character. On the outside of the figure, list the qualities and characteristics of a strong leader. On the inside, record the feelings that person may feel when in a leadership role.
Discuss the importance of these qualities in a leader and a community at large when dealing with challenges.
Key Questions for Discussion:
What is an example of a community that has been faced with a challenge?
How did it face this challenge?
Did it need assistance from outside sources to solve the problem?
Who are strong leaders you know who have faced problems?
Questions clés de discussion:
Donnez un exemple d'une communauté qui a fait face à un défi.
Comment a-t-elle fait face à ce défi?
A-t-elle eu recours à l'aide de sources extérieurs pour résoudre le problème?
Nommez des dirigeants forts qui ont fait face à des problèmes.
Assessment for Learning (AfL)
Assess what students know already about qualities of a leader using the Role on the Wall activity. Use BLM#6 Role Play Checklist to formatively assess students.
Assessment as Learning (AaL)
Use the writing in role and inner outer circle activity as a method of reflection for students.
Consider playing the warm up game in partners. Alternate leaders in the obstacle course. Have two smaller obstacle courses running at the same time to allow more participation.
Add more obstacles to the warm-up game by putting limits on some characters. Examples could include, a broken leg, vision loss, or a broken arm.
During Role on the Wall, use visuals of successful leaders that students would be familiar with to help guide activity.
Scribe for students having difficulty with writing in role or use digital assists such as Google Read and Write.
Students may find it challenging in the Lead the Way exercise to stay quiet and let one person lead. Provide a non-verbal task, such as blowing wind, if they get too close to the trees and have students not in the obstacle course form a line of trees (setting) in role.
Meet with the two mayors prior to giving them the letters. They are not to share any information with their community before they meet. This will allow them to prepare their thoughts and ask any questions.
You will need to decide if the mayors have agreed to accept the garbage dump or if they are being told that they must agree. If you decide on the former, prepare the mayors in advance.
Have students highlight their chosen sentence, phrase, or word to ensure flow in Inner Outer Circles activity.
Link and Layer
Refer back to the list of Rights and Freedoms created by each community. How do these new developments infringe on their rights?
Possible Extension: Brainstorm a list of strong leaders that the children look up to and post in the classroom.
|Approximately 100 minutes
Whole Class > Town Hall Meeting Role Play
Invite members from both communities together for a special regional meeting. Introduce yourself as a special representative from the Ministry of Transportation. Read aloud the letter from the Minister of Transportation (BLM#7 Letter from Minister of Transportation). Invite students to respond and react in role. Students should speak in role as the character they have created for themselves.
Give a copy of the letter from the Minister of Transportation to each mayor and ask them to discuss it with their constituents. Allow time for initial reaction and discussion. If the discussion is slow to get started, write some guiding questions on the board to spark conversation:
Key Questions for Discussion:
What are the benefits of having a road in between the two communities?
What are some of the negative implications?
How will this affect your daily/family life?
Does this decision infringe on your personal rights and freedoms?
How might this affect your neighbouring community?
Questions clés de discussion:
Quels sont les avantages d'avoir une route entre les deux communautés?
Quelles en sont les implications négatives?
Comment est-ce que ça touchera votre vie quotidienne ou familiale?
Est-ce que cette décision violera vos droits et libertés personnels?
Comment est-ce que cette décision pourrait toucher votre communauté voisine?
Small Group > Tableau
Have each community create a tableau to illustrate how they are feeling at this moment. Reinforce that within the community, there may be people who are in favour of the road and people who are opposed. When constructing the tableau, students may wish to group themselves with people who are like minded or be separated to show conflict. Upon completion, students will choose one word or phrase that demonstrates how their personal character is feeling (e.g., "frustration", "hear my voice", "great for business"). Invite all groups to freeze in tableau at once.
Then invite each community to share their tableau and view the other half of the group. Switch. One half of the class will sit as an audience while the other takes their tableau pose. When tapped on the shoulder by the teacher, each student will say her/his phrase aloud (in role). Teacher must ensure that all voices are heard; she/he has the freedom to go back to students multiple times if their voice adds to the overall theme of the piece or return to a student who wasn't able to speak. Repetition can be powerful!
Students are to hold their position until the teacher has finished leading the thought tracking voices. Switch and repeat with the other group. Prompt: What similarities and differences do you see between the two communities?
Question incitative: Quelles sont les ressemblances et les différences entre les deux communautés?
Whole Class > Visit from the Minister Role Play
Have both communities will come together in a whole class town hall meeting (still in role) for another announcement. Enter as teacher in role as provincial Minister of Transportation. Announce that a potential deal has been made between the provincial government and a large city an hour away to take over (appropriate) the vacant land. This is the reason for the new highway being put in through their communities to reach the large city.
Take questions as teacher in role from community members (try to lead them toward asking what the land will be used for). Tell them that because of the rapidly expanding population of the larger city, there is no room for waste storage. Therefore, a monetary agreement has been made with the provincial government, wherein the larger city's garbage will be brought and dumped here. Allow time for a few questions but say that you must get back to the city for an important meeting. Students will challenge this decision in role.
After the visit, make a list of the pros and cons of this decision. Prompts: How might this project benefit our town? What are the negative implications? How will this affect our surrounding environment? Questions incitatives: Comment pourrait ce projet bénéficier notre ville? Quelles sont les implications négatives. Comment est-ce que ça touchera l’environnement alentour?
Small Group > Graffiti > Brainstorming Environmental Perspectives
Out of role, discuss how this decision will affect the local and broader environment. Have students create a graffiti brainstorming with the central word being environment or the image of an Earth. Have students list ways in whichthe garbage dump will affect the Earth/environment. Around the outside of the word/image, write words or phrases overheard in the community about the dump (e.g., someone else's problem, what are we going to do?). in a different colour, write corresponding feelings and emotions that come as a result of those words as written.
|Approximately 30 minutes
Individual > Writing in Role > Inner Outer Circle
Invite students to write in role to the Minister of Transportation. Use the role play and the graffiti brainstorming as the basis for their writing. Prompt students to take a stand in role as citizens for or against this highway and garbage dump.
Suggested Writing Prompts:
Dear Minister, I believe this garbage dump is good for our town because. . .
Dear Minister, I believe a garbage dump on our land is a huge problem because. . .
Suggestions incitatives d'écriture:
Cher Ministère, Je crois que ce dépôt d'ordures est bon pour notre ville parce que...
Cher Ministère, Je crois qu'un dépôt d'ordures sur notre terrain est un immense problème parce que…
Place students into two concentric circles. Place the pro-garbage dump people in one circle and the con-garbage dump letter writers in another circle. The inner circle should be those who have an opposing view point. Invite students to choose one powerful sentence, phrase or word to read aloud when prompted by the teacher. Play mood music to enhance reflection and focus. Begin to tap students individually, in turn to hear their words read aloud. Tap inner and outer circle students alternatively. Repeat powerful statements if appropriate by re-tapping certain students. Let students reflect in a moment of silence at the end of the activity.