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ACU 422 Process Drama Resource File (Amanda)

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YK Wong

on 15 July 2013

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Transcript of ACU 422 Process Drama Resource File (Amanda)

The time frames that the students will be exploring will be specifically from 2008 where the scandal surfaced and beyond. Focusing on themes of honesty and integrity, I intend to start with students recalling events in their life where they have lied to or been lied to by someone and using still images to present them. Next the teacher can come in as an editor-in-chief role and address the students who become journalists about the online petition, thereafter giving them the task to cover the full story about the online petition and scandal. The teacher can apply different strategies such as Image Theatre, flashbacks, tableaux, hot-seating, thought-tracking and improvisation for the students to examine emotions and perspectives of parents from both Hong Kong and China; a day in the life of a Chinese mother; relationship between Hong Kong civilians and their own government that spurred them onto seeking international aid; perspectives of US civilians and the Chinese and Hong Kong governments regarding the scandal and petition. An officer hat can be used for hot-seating as a state officer addressing the Chinese population about the scandal. Another possible sign can be comments made by people all over the world about the fear that persists about China’s milk powder. One other sign can be milk powder tins to hook students in on a day in the life of a Chinese mother. Students can end off by writing their own thoughts and what they think would happen or should be done in the future on sheets of paper. It will all then be placed on the floor for a Gallery Walk.
Amanda Wong's Resource File
ACU 422 Process Drama
Rice Dumpling
The importance of family
1950 Maria Hertogh Riots
How much do you know about your chocolates?
What are the themes/learning areas?
What is the pretext?
What are context, roles, frames, signs and strategies for this drama?
The simple story highlights themes such as dampening of the bonds of kinship and loss of traditions due to a rapid changing world. Set in the 21st century, it looks at values such as filial piety and the importance of family bonds that are embedded within performing these traditions - which can be SEL development for students in Secondary School while learning about drama as an art form.
A phone call of an elderly woman to her son starts the story of an elderly woman who finds it difficult to gather her children and grandchildren for the tradition of making rice dumplings for Dragon Boat Festival as a family. She later dies of a heart attack while making rice dumplings.
screen shots of text messages
photos of rice dumplings
rice dumpling leaves
I envisioned Rice Dumpling to be exploration of the theme of weakening family bonds in the 21st Century. Setting it in a present day Asian family context, I would have groups of 4 students to write a weekly To-Do-List as Mothers, Fathers and Children and tableau to portray family gatherings for festivals. Subsequently the teacher can be in role as the elderly woman improvising a scene where she calls her son and thereafter conducts Hot-Seating with the students. From then on, through a series of strategies such as improvisation, tableaux and gossip mill, the students would explore the struggles of the elderly woman in getting her family to come together to wrap rice dumplings; the perspectives of different generations; flashing back to her past when she learns the tradition from her own mother; and 20 years into the future. One useful sign for students to improvise a scene of the protagonist trying to contact her children would be screenshots of text messages to show her struggle but a change in the way people connect to each other in the 21st century. Other signs can include rice dumpling leaves and photos of rice dumplings that can be used to inspire students in the introductory activity of constructing their own rice dumplings recipes and for the flashback into her past. The story culminates to the elder woman’s lonely death. Therefore, students would play roles of the children, neighbours or friends, and strangers and do an interview about her death. To conclude, the students would do up a new weekly To-Do-List as the same characters as in the beginning of the session but with things they would do with their loved ones.
A coward or inevitable decision?
Baby Hunger Outbreak in Hong Kong
What are context, roles, frames,
signs and strategies for this drama?
What is the pretext?
What are the
themes/learning areas?
What is the pretext?
What are the context, frames, signs and strategies for this drama?
What are the
themes/learning areas?

How dishonesty and lack of integrity have lasting consequences.
The "Baby Hunger Outbreak in Hong Kong, International Aid Requested" is the online petition to the White House by desperate Hong Kong parents who saw the clearing out of baby milk powder products from the shelves of their stalls, leaving them with the lack of it to feed their babies.
Themes such as honesty and integrity can be explored in the process drama where students examine lasting consequences of the breach of customer’s trust amongst milk powder factories in China where melamine was found in their products, leaving 300,000 infants affected with 6 babies killed from kidney stones and damage. This can be used as a cross-curricular activity for Writing and Representation in the Upper Secondary English curriculum where they can understand the issue explored wholly and generate content for writing.
an officer hat
the online petition "Baby Hunger Outbreak in Hong Kong, International Aid Requested"
comments from the article "Food Fears Persist In China 2 Years After Milk Scare"
What are context, roles, frames,
signs and strategies for this drama?
What is the pretext?
What are the
themes/learning areas?
Shaun Tan's "The Lost Thing" is a picture book that tells the tale of a boy who finds an unusual creature while gathering bottle-tops at the beach. Thinking it was lost, he attempts to find where it belongs or who owns it. However, everyone around him barely noticed the creature let alone cared about it. They were not welcoming to this disturbance to their lives. The boy takes pity on the unfortunate creature and continues to find its home.
milk powder tins
Exploring racial disharmony through the custody battle of Maria Hertogh
The journey of the boy and an unusual creature encompasses many themes. For instance, alienation; sense of belonging; and being oblivious to many things in life due to our monotonous, busy world. From this narrative, the students can learn values of empathy and diversity. This can tie in with SEL development for students in a Secondary School and can teach them about drama as an art form.
the photo/letter of the boy
With the central theme of alienation, I suggest playing a warm up game that is associated with the theme to begin the session. A volunteer would be an “it” who attempts to enter a circle their classmates formed by linking hands. The circle people are tasked to prevent “it” from entering. Next the teacher can build the imaginary world in present time through creating the landscape with students milling around as people of Raffles Place in the morning. It will be important to add the imaginary realm into the context, so then the students can do Role on the Wall of strange and imaginary creatures. From then on, the teacher can introduce the story with the video and pause at significant parts for an activity. I visualized the teacher paralleling real situations to the different moments of the story for students to relate to their lives. Strategies such as forum theatre, tableaux, thought-tracking, image theatre and improvisation can be employed to explore perspectives of different roles in the story; contrasts between the creature’s and boy’s homes; situations of alienation due to differences; and the future of the boy and creature. The last activity is vital to conclude on a happier note, where after a few years, the students writes as the boy to the creature a letter on his photo. It will be placed on the floor beside the drawing of their own creature. It becomes a collective picture of boys and creatures together probably symbolising a single community – with no alienation.
Being alienated because it was different.
What are the context, frames, signs and strategies for this drama?
What are the themes/learning areas?
What is the pretext?
As part of the Lower Secondary History syllabus, this process drama covers a significant part of Singapore's history that teaches us the need for racial and religious harmony and understanding. Students can examine and empathise with the different parties; making a connection to how it escalated to a riot between two racial communities; identity crisis that Maria goes through; as well as ask themselves whether the verdict of the court was justified.
article of Maria Hertogh's death
Maria Hertogh Riots is the infamous racial riot in Singapore that has great influence in the way Singapore is today. It sparked from the custody battle between biological and foster parents of 13-year-old Maria Hertogh (Nadra). The pretext that is used for this process drama would be the article on Maria’s death at the age of 72 combined with a video of her message to the people of Southeast Asia.
Maria's message to the people who studied about her life
contrasting photos of Maria Hertogh and the two families
the tug of war rope
What textbooks usually present is a macro view of the incident, briefly touching on perspectives of the two mothers and rarely on Maria herself. Thus, with this process drama, I hope students would empathise with Maria and the two mothers more. Students can start with building a sculpture of the emotions of a girl in a new country and family. Subsequently, the teacher can present the video and article to question about the existence of Malay and English identities of Maria. The teacher can do Hot Seating as a Malay villager who received news all about the custody battle brought to Singapore, bringing the class into the context of 1950 Singapore. Along with improvisation of an interview with different parties involved such as Che Aminah, the Hertoghs and British officials; the teacher can have students to look at two contrasting photos of the two families with Maria and do Thought Tracking with tableaux for each other in two groups to view and listen to the emotions and thoughts of the people involved. An interesting way to represent the riots is to play Tug-of-War and hence a rope could be a useful symbol for students to understand the effects of the custody battle on Maria, her two families and the communities. The teacher can include a Thought Tunnel for students to think about how she is affected by the whole event. To end off, the students themselves can become the jury to decide on where Maria should go. This process drama would hence combine both drama conventions as well as Source-based skills used in History to explore the Maria Hertogh Riots.
What are the themes and learning areas?
What is the pretext?
What are the context, frames, signs and strategies for this drama?
What are the themes and learning areas?
What are the context, frames, signs and strategies?
What is the pretext?
A video of how cocoa beans are harvested is the pretext for which later this process drama would delve into the dark side of the tasty treat of chocolate. More specifically, it takes a look at the lives of the children that work in these cocoa farms.
The issues that revolves around this process drama are the effects of consumerism where the students can examine the human capacity to do evil as a means of profit, child slavery and trafficking. This would be an opportunity to increase the students' awareness for these issues and can be part of the SEL development for tertiary students. I chose tertiary students as I feel that they would be able to handle a topic as overwhelming as this.
Focusing on child slavery and trafficking in African cocoa farms, the context will be in Africa in the present time. The teacher can begin by having the students to write down what they want to be when they grow up and paste them on the walls. Then the teacher can question them ‘What are some of the sweet treats?’ and focus in on chocolates. After, the students can improvise scenes of events when chocolates are given out and they can discuss about the goodness of chocolates and how it was made. The teacher can present them with the video of how cocoa seeds are harvested. One interesting way to direct the students straight to the issue is for the teacher to take on a role of a child trafficker and pretends to force the students to harvest cocoa seeds, the same way they are shown in the video. A sign to hook them in is for the teacher in role to distribute cardboard knives for the students to use as a prop. The TiR can proceed to tear down all the dreams they pasted on the wall and throw them. Other strategies can include tableaux, improvisation, collective sculpture, Forum Theatre and Conscience Alley to explore the emotional trauma that the cocoa children experience and how traffickers can lie their way around the law. The teacher wrap up with a discussion about what are the children deprived off and come up with solutions that can improve their situation. Or the teacher can have the students to write down what they will say to these children if they ever get to meet one.
When I was a child, almost every girl had a Barbie Doll and at that age it was the most ideal look I wanted to have when I grow up. However, as I grew older, I realised the odd proportions of the doll and led me to think about using Barbie as a pretext to tell a tale of a girl who became too obsessed with wanting to become like Barbie.
The most direct themes are anorexia and the effects of media on how women or girls define what is ideal. But there are other learning values from this about self-esteem and acceptance of oneself that the students can benefit in terms of character development. It is suited for Secondary School students as most are still in their puberty stage and it will be good to create awareness about this issue.
My focus would be on the effects of media represented by popular toy Barbie has on young girls. The teacher can come in as a little girl who introduces her doll to the students and how much she wants to look like her when she grows up. The teacher can then prompt the students into creating an image of the relationship between women or girls with the media. Tableau can also be done to highlight the emotions and thoughts of the girl obsessed with becoming Barbie’s figure. Other hooks such as pictures of anorexic models or celebrities can be used to as signs to spur students on into examining and discussing the effects of the media promoting such images. Forum Theatre can be used on a scene where the girl refuses to eat and a friend tries to convince her. This challenges the students to think about how they would react if they were put in a situation like that. Conscience Alley would be a good way to let students become the role of a parent give advice to the little girl character or through thought-tracking in conjunction with a still image of the parents with the girl character. The teacher can look further into perspectives of slimming companies and the media that profit from projecting these ideal image of being thin in different contexts such as interviews. In concluding the process drama, the teacher can have students to draw themselves on a piece of paper and write words of encouragement and acceptance for themselves and the girl.
photos of anorexic models and celebrities
picture of a scale of proportions comparing a real woman and a barbie doll
fake cardboard knives
Barbie: Thinspiration?
The white flag symbolises surrender in the war hence, this pretext is used for this process drama to look at the fall of the crown colony of Great Britain - Singapore - and the man that was said to be responsible for it.
Students can learn about the Surrender of Singapore which is part of the Lower Secondary History syllabus. Students can investigate further and learn to empathise with the British officers who made the difficult decision of surrendering to the Japanese, leading to the fall of Singapore and shame to a great colonial empire.
I will contextualise the process drama in the significant Battle Box, an underground command centre for the British during World War II. I would focus on exploring about how General Percival and his command officers are faced with a tough decision and may not be cowards as many say he was. With this focus, the teacher can prompt and scaffold the students about the events that led to the decision to surrender. Which is to say, the teacher can use drama strategies such as flashbacks and flash forwards to reenact the critical battle errors and decisions that led to the Surrender conference such as losing food depots at Bukit Timah. Hence, the context can be changed to places of battle or the command centre. With the teacher prompting students with information, he or she can also allow the students to construct the kind of emotions and thoughts that were going through a soldier's mind during war. The most interesting way to show the part on the surrender conference is to have the teacher to be in role as General Percival while the students become commanding officers, all gathered to discuss whether to surrender or not. The teacher can again prompt the students with information to let them have an informed choice. At the end of it the teacher can do a vote of whether to surrender or not and whether the result is historical accurate or inaccurate because what the students take away is how difficult it was to come to a decision like that. The teacher can include a dream scene to have the civilians to voice their opinions to General Percival to see more perspectives from the ground below.
Media's influence on women's ideal image and its consequences
The hidden evil within the sweet delights
General Percival
an officer's hat (TiR)
the map of Singapore
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