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Get a CLUE about Drama!
Transcript of Get a CLUE about Drama!
Evidence Set #5
What does this evidence tell us?
Evidence Set #3
Evidence Set #1: Dwyer & Math
Evidence Set #2: Gardner & Science
This theory, developed by Dwyer (1996), demonstrates that we learn 80% of what we do and 90% of what we teach others. This model shows us that traditional teaching methods (such as writing and reading textbooks) are not effective ways for students to learn the information we wish to convey to them. By teaching through drama, teachers can provide students with hands-on, experiential learning opportunities that allow them to become active participants in their education, rather than passive receipients of knowledge. Drama can be incorporated into many, if not all, subject areas in order to help students learn through authentic experiences in the classroom. Although it is important to understand that incorporating drama can help students demonstrate their learning, the question then becomes, how do we do this? It's time to get a CLUE about drama!
Creating a 'drama contract' is an important procedure to complete in the classroom. It is important to make students feel comfortable, especially if drama is not their forte. Developing rules such as 'no judgement' and 'right to participate or pass' gives students the chance to express their learning in a safe environment. While implementing a 'drama contract' in our classroom is important, it is even more imperative to implement these rules as a future teacher. Helping students feel more comfortable practicing drama strategies and activities will help to further their learning. Many students feel that making mistakes is an extremely negative thing. As teachers, I believe it is impotant to convey to students that there are no mistakes in drama! If students feel that they have made a mistake, it should be addressed in a positive manner that allows students to learn from that mistake. Mistakes are the only way in which true learning is achieved, and it is impotant to remove the negative stigma from making a mistake. Perhaps the most important rule in this list is to have fun! If students are not having fun, they are less likely to engage in their work, which takes away from their learning! As a teacher, it is important to encourage students to have fun and learning in new and exciting ways!
Venn diagramming is an awesome hands-on activity that can be used for many different purposes. In our case, we used the Venn diagramming activity to demonstrate our knowledge about the differences between drama and theater. While this information was new to some people, and familiar to others, everyone was able to quickly and easily demonstrate their opinions on the questions asked. As a teacher, this would be a great strategy to use as a diagnostic assessment when beginning a new unit of study. Teachers can use this strategy to understand what their students know about a certain topic, in a fun and active way, in order to adjust their teaching practices to fit the needs of their students.
Clue #2: Venn Diagramming
Clue #3: Shape Movement
To begin our 'shape movement' activity, we read numerous passages from the book 'aRHYTHMetic', which included various shapes, number patterns and counting stories. After reading a passage about different shapes that can be found in everyday life, we reviewed the different shapes that elementary students learn in math (hexagon, triangle, circle, trapezoid, etc).
After reviewing the shapes, we made various shapes using our bodies! Our teacher yelled, 'two, triangle' and groups of two got together to make a triangle with their arms or legs. Next was, 'three, square', and 'four, hexagon'! This activity would be beneficial to use in an elementary classroom because it makes math more interactive. Students must work together with their peers to first determine what the shape is that they must create, and then work collaboratively to create that shape. It is important that the teacher debrief students before, during and after this activity, so that the purpose is clear. It is no use to have students forming shapes without knowing why they are doing so! I believe that this activity would be beneficial to help teach to a variety of learning styles, and it gives students the chance to have hands-on experiences in manipulating shapes and using mathematical terminology. As noted in Dwyer's (1996) pyramid, by 'doing' math and shapes, students are more likely to retain that information in a meaningful way!
Clue #4: Tableaux and Role Playing
The final story we read was called 'Teacup Pups', which was a scene depicting a number of dogs in various positions in a living room, surrounded by biscuits! After reading this story, we split into two groups to create a tableaux of the living room scene! Creating a tableaux of a scene from a story can help students work collaboratively as a team, develop spatial awareness (when determining who should be positioned where) and critically think about the characters portrayed in the story. Not only is this a drama activity, but there are numerous ties to language and math, as well.
After constructing our tableaux, we were instructed to think critically about the character we were representing. In this story, some dogs had lots of biscuits, while others had few. We each had to come up with a story about why our dog had the number of biscuits they did! This activity helps develop critical thinking skills, and gives students a chance to role play through the perspectives of others. In this case, there was a strong connection to the math curriculum, because students were instructed to understand and count how many biscuits each dog had. I think this is a great activity to use in a primary or junior class! If a group of adults had this much fun creating a dog tableaux, I think young students would love it! This activity makes math extremely active and hands-on, and give students a chance to get up and moving. Once again, this activity can be tied back to Dwyer's (1996) theory that we learn 80% of what we do. Students who are actively engaged in creating a tableaux and counting with this book are more likely to develop deeper understandings to the lessons we are teaching them!
Before beginning to practice drama strategies and learn how to implement these strategies into the classroom, we started with a quick activity that allowed us to think about and demonstrate our comfort level in relation to drama. In this position mapping exercise, a chair was placed in the middle of the room to represent 'drama'. While some people were sitting on or hugging the chair to show excitement and enthusiasm, I was way on the other side of the room! I have no had a lot of experience with drama instruction, and although I do not have much trouble engaging with drama experiences, I expressed my nervousness in having to teach drama to students! This nervousness was slightly countered by the wish to learn about and become stronger in my abilities to teach drama and be able to integrate it into a variety of subject areas. With my limited experience, the best way to describe drama (in my opinion!) is as an investigation. I know there are strategies and tips out there, so the challenge is for me to find them! Therefore, throughout this course, I have looked for clues about how to teach drama and make it a focus of my future classroom.
The focus theory of today's class was Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences (1983). This model demonstrates the fact that rather than seeing intelligence as one concrete ability, there are different types of abilities and intelligences that different people can possess. Gardner's (1983) original seven intelligences include linguistic, visual, bodily-kinesthetic, music, mathematical, interpersonal and intrapersonal (spiritual and naturalistic intelligences were added as additional categories later). Each of these categories show strengths in different areas. These are not discrete categories, but may cross into one another. People may have strengths in specific areas, but it is highly likely that they will fall into more than one category. This model shows that everyone is different and that we all learn in different ways. Therefore, as teachers, we must attempt to focus our lessons on teaching to these various intelligences. The clues/strategies that follow demonstrate how simple it is to create lessons that benefit students with different intelligences.
Clue #5: Connection Webs
This lesson incorporated science concepts into drama instruction. The first activity we did was connection webs. I think this would be a good strategy to use as a hook or introduction to a science lesson. In our class, we were asked to think about things that you would find in a garden. After choosing something, you had to connect yourself to other similar objects (ie. sun helps flowers grow, bees take pollen from flowers, etc). This could act as a diagnostic tool in some cases, but also get students thinking about what the following lesson will be focusing on. This activity targeted the skills of visual, kinesthetic and mathematical learners.
Clue #7: Shape Patterns/Rhythm
Reading the book 'In the Tall, Tall Grass' gave us another way to frame our thinking about our science lesson. After being assigned our various bugs and participating in the movement activity, we gathered with our groups (others who were assigned the same bug) and created a shape pattern rhythm to go along with this book. We used boomwhackers to tap out the rhythm we created with our shapes. Each shape was designated a certain number of beats and we used this to create a rhythm pattern. This activity primarily targeted the skills of visual, kinesthetic, musical and interpersonal learners.
Clue #6: Movement
The movement strategy is a really cool activity to help teach kinesthetic, visual, intrapersonal and interpersonal learners! In this activity, each student was desginated as either bees, wasps, caterpillar/butterfly, ladybugs or aphids. We sat in a circle with one person standing in the center. The person in the center called out a bug, and those bugs had to get up and run to another seat. The person left standing was the new caller. If the caller yelled 'ladybug garden', everyone had to run around and find a new seat! This activity would be beneficial to use at the beginning of a lesson because students would be actively engaged in the activity. By assigning a bug to each student, teachers can spark interest and teach student what those bugs are if students are unfamiliar with them. The only drawback that I can find to this game is that it could get quite dangerous. Even in our class, people were getting pushy to find a seat, and I believe this could cause come tension in primary and junior-aged students.
Clue #8: Choral Reading
The images to the right show the various features of choral work that we learned this week. These include role, number of voices, pitch, tempo, dynamics, rhythm and rhyme. Not only does manipulating and incorporating features of choral work target interpersonal learners, but this is a highly musical focus. I believe that this would be a good strategy to use in the classroom because it teaches students about choral work while being highly entertaining and active. Students can learn a lot while having a lot of fun! Out class discussed each of the features displayed and then worked them into our next activity, rolling theatre.
Clue #9: Rolling Theatre
In rolling theatre, each group was assigned a passage to read during the shared reading done by the teacher. Each group had to use at least two different features of choral work while including actions to go with their passage. I loved this activity! Some groups talked really fast and with a high pitch, while others spoke in unison in very low pitched, slow voices! Everyone was extremely engaged because we had to pay attention to when it was our turn to contribute to the shared reading. I believe this activity alone focused on many different intelligences. Linguistic learners would benefit from having to read and present the passage, visual and kinesthetic students would benefit from the actions, musical students would enjoy the sounds and patterns and interpersonal learners would enjoy the collaborative potion of this activity. Overall, most (if not all!) learners would have positive learning experiences from this activity. Due to the fact that the passages we were reading were informational, students would have an interactive way to learn this material. I would definitely use something like this in my classroom because it gets students up and moving and becoming active learners. By having each group focus on a different passage, this becomes a modified form of jigsaw learning. Each group becomes an expert in their reading and is 'teaching' the rest of the class this information. This strategy relates back to the first theory we discussed. Dwyer (1996) states that people learn 90% of what they teach others, so I believe this strategy would be an effective way to allow students to actively engage with the materials that teachers wish for them to learn!
Clue #1: Freeze!
One very important first strategy to teach in order to effectively manage your drama class is the 'freeze!' game. Many students are familiar with this game, and it is important for teachers to implement this into the drama classroom. In order to get students' attention when they are working on an assignment or presentation, the teacher yells 'freeze!' and students have to stop what they are doing and freeze in the exact position they are in! I believe this is an important tool to use within the drama classroom (or with any other subject) because some students may use drama and movement as an excuse to become unruly or silly in the classroom. By introducing 'freeze' as a game and then consistently reinforcing the use of it in your classroom, I believe this can be a very effective classroom management tool!
Bloom's Taxonomy & Social Studies
In 1977, Albert Bandura proposed social learning theory. This triarchic model demonstrates the relationships that exist between the innate personality of an individual, their learning environment and the modeled behaviours to which they are exposed. Bandura (1977) proposed that humans develop and learn behaviours through our environment and based upon the actions and behaviours that we observe others carrying out. Bandura carried out multiple experiments, including the famous Bobo doll experiment, to test whether people could learn behaviours through imitation. In this experiment, adults modeled aggressive behaviours toward a blow-up clown doll. Children observed how the adults interacted with the doll, and then were placed in a room with said doll. Bandura observed that the children were more likely to act aggressively toward the doll if they had watched an adult model that behaviour previously. Conversely, if a child observed an adult hugging and playing nicely with the doll, they were more likely to carry out the same behaviours. Bandura (1977) reached the conclusion that children learn behaviours through the process of observational learning, modeling and imitation of behaviours that others display. This is an important theory to keep in mind as a teacher because education is an extremely social environment. Students are constantly surrounded by parents, teachers and peers who behave in certain ways. As teachers, we must ensure that we teach our students what behaviours are appropriate in school. If students are carrying out these behaviours, their peers are more likely to imitate those desirable behaviours. Education provides students with a social context through which they can model and imitate behaviours based on the classroom environment and the behaviours exhibited by their teachers and peers. For our presentation, we chose social learning theory as our guiding theory because of the social setting that drama class provides for students. When students are collaborating and working closely with their peers, they form relationships that impact their behaviours in the classroom. Teachers not only need to be aware that the modeling and imitating of behaviours is very prevalent in schools, but understand how these relationships work and how we can use the social setting of our classroom and the behavioural models to our (and our students') advantage!
For our presentation, we chose to connect drama to the grade four Language Arts curriculum. We chose Ronald Dahl's (1964) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for our mentor text. Our group felt that this book provided an abundance of opportunities for students to be creative, have fun and learn many different expectations set out in both the Language Arts and the Drama curriculums. This book is about Charlie, a poor hungry boy who lives with his parents and all of his grandparents. Charlie's family can only afford a little bit of food, and every day Charlie has to endure walking past Willy Wonka's magical chocolate factory. Willy Wonka announces one day that he is finally opening his chocolate factory up for five lucky children to tour! Since Charlie only gets a chocolate bar once a year on his birthday, he does not think he will have a chance to get one of the golden tickets hidden beneath the wrappers. After finding a dollar bill on the ground, Charlie miraculously uncovers the final golden ticket! Throughout the tour, the 'bad' children are ejected from the factory in mysterious ways; one falls into the chocolate river while trying to drink from it, while another eats a piece of gum and turns herself into a blueberry! Honest little Charlie ends up being the only child left, and Willy Wonka passes the chocolate factory on to Charlie and his family, providing him with more food than he could have ever imagined! The following strategies allow students to utilize drama, reading, writing and oral communication skills to demonstrate their understanding of this amazing book!
I love the story board strategy! This tool directly relates to the language arts curriculum in that it allows students to organize and sequence important ideas and themes from the story. Students are given an outline in which they can sequence actual events from the story, or make up their own alternative story! As we will later examine, this strategy allows students to apply, analyze and evaluate their thinking and understandings of a story through creative means. Although we did not have a lot of time to model this during our lesson, this strategy could be well-integrated into the drama curriculum. I believe that I would use this strategy first as a drawing and writing task, and then further develop it into a drama tableaux or play. After students have written out their story board, I would ask them to create a tableaux of the various scenes depicted in their story board. Another way to integrate this into drama would be for the students to create their own play based off of events that happened in the book. Students could develop a story board to outline their play or presentation, thus providing them with opportunities to synthesize and invent different forms to represent this book! Although this task could be done individually, I believe that using a collaborative approach would benefit many students and provide them with a social context to enhance their learning and behaviours. This is definitely a strategy that I would use in my classroom to promote students to develop a deeper understanding of a story or concept.
Clue #10: Story Board Making
Clue #11: Voice Over Narration
I LOVED the voice over narration strategy! This strategy allowed everyone to be extremely interactive and involved, while learning about the book and having fun! In this strategy, someone acted as the narrator and read a scene out to the class. While the narrator was reading, the class acted out the various roles and events that were occurring throughout the story! This strategy was so interactive and kept everyone involved! Students were forced to pay attention to the narrator and understand what the story was talking about in order to act out the events that they heard. It was clear in our clas that some students were influenced by the behaviours that others were exhibiting, which demonstrates how influential behavioural modeling is, even as an adult! In the case of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this strategy allowed students to interact with the various character and become more familiar with their roles in the book. I believe that this could be adapted to fit across multiple curricular areas. For example, students learning about the life cycle of a butterfly could act as a butterfly as another read a passage from a science book (similar to the activities that we participated in last week while reading 'Ladybug Garden').
Clue #12: Writing in Role
Writing in role is a strategy that involves putting yourself into the shoes of a character of a story. This strategy provides students with opportunities to interpret and understand the perspectives of other people. This strategy allows students to delve deeper into the life of a character they are interested in learning about. In our case, Annique demonstrated a writing in the role of Veruca Salt, a spoiled brat who has her parents wrapped around her little finger! By taking a more in-depth look at Veruca's thoughts and behaviours, students can begin to develop greater understandings of why that character acts as they do. I would absolutely use this strategy in my drama classroom! While this strategy allows students to practice their writing skills, it also gives them a chance to look at the world through the eyes of another, something that many students may struggle with. By providing them with the opportunity to think like various characters, students are applying their knowledge of the book with their own personal thoughts as to how the character has developed. In my classroom, I believe that I would use this strategy to create a sort of mystery for my students! I would ask students to write in the role of a character of their choosing, but not to tell their peers who they have chosen. Writing to give hints without giving away your character can be a challenging task, and allows students to perfect this skill while collaborating with their peers! This modification of the writing in role strategy directly relates to the next strategy that we chose to demonstrate; hot seating!
Clue #13: Hot Seating
Although there could be a few drawbacks to the hot seating strategy (for example, some students may not feel comfortable being the center of attention), it is definitely a strategy that could be extremely effective if implemented properly in the classroom! In this strategy, students take on the persona of a specific character! In our case, we used hot seating in relation to language arts. Students can choose a character from the book being read (for example, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), and learn specific details and information about that character. Peers then interview the student, asking questions relating to their character! This strategy allows students to build reading comprehension, explore characters, analyze story events, draw inferences and gain a deeper understanding about various characters. This strategy relates back to our guiding theory, social learning theory, because it provides students with a social context in which they can model and imitate behaviours based on the classroom environment and the behaviours that their teachers and peers are exhibiting. I would definitely use this strategy in my future classroom! Not only does it provide students with a way to deepen understanding about the lesson, but it gives them a chance to think on their feet and think about how to orally ask and answer questions in a safe context. Although we chose to incorporate language arts into this strategy for our presentation, I would definitely adapt this strategy to fit into multiple other subject areas in my classroom. For example, students can act as various historical figures to deepen understanding in aspects of social studies (for example, Sir Issac Brock, kings, queens, knights and peasants from Medieval Times, and various other characters from important historical time periods. This strategy could also be adapted to subjects such as math or sicence, where students could secretly choose and learn about an object and then have their peers question them in order to determine which object they are portraying! Hot seating is a great activity for promoting critical thinking skills, as well as providing students with a hands-on learning experience to keep them engaged with the information that they are learning!
Clue #14: Collective Drawing
The final strategy that we incorporated into our presentation was collective drawing. In this strategy, students work as a team to develop a collective drawing of an image or scene. Working in groups provides students with an opportunity to work together and learn from one another within a social context. In our presentation, we asked students to work collaboratively to create a drawing of what they think Willy Wonka's chocolate factory would look like. I love this activity because it gives students the chance to think outside the restrictions of the book and expand their creativity. I believe that this could be worked into more dramatic and active work, as well, by asking students to collectively draw their work and then create a tableaux of their scene! I would definitely use this strategy to teach drama and integrate a variety of subjects in order to spark students' creativity. I have seen versions of this activity done in my placement class, an ELKP class, where students are all working together to create drawings or depictions of what they think something may be. For example, my class went on a trip to the pumpkin patch around Hallowe'en. The next few days, the students worked in small groups to decide what the inside of a pumpkin looked like. They also worked collectively to create jack-o-lantern designs for the pumpkins that they got to take home! This example shows that collective drawing does not have to be confined to drama or language arts, but can be integrated creatively throughout the curriculum, and at any age or grade level!
The theory that we focused on in today's class was Bloom's Taxonomy. As seen on the previous slide, this theory provides us with a hierarchy of skills that gradually promote more hands-on experiential learning. The first level of learning is remembering information. Being able to list, identify and recall information is the basis of how students begin to retain knowledge. Remembering is followed by understanding, where students demonstrate the ability to explain, justify and predict information that pertains to what they have learned. Being able to apply (brainstorm, make and draw) information is the next step, followed by the ability to analyze (contrast, compare and research) that information. Evaluation of the information, including judging, assessing and ordering/sequencing/ranking is an important step in this process because this is where students are becoming critical about the information they are receiving. At the very top of the hierarchy is the ability to invent or create, design or compose various works that relate back to the information they have learned. Bloom's Taxonomy is important to keep in mind when designing lessons and activities, because teachers need to be able to interpret where their students are at in their thinking and learning, and how their lessons will enable students to progress to the next level in the hierarchy.
Our main focus today centered around connections to the social studies curriculum. To set the stage for all of the activities in which we participated, we read the story 'Where the Wild Things Are'! This story provided the foundation on which all of our activities were based. The first portion of the curriculum that we discussed was the Elements of Tableaux, which teachers are required to teach in the drama curriculum. The elements of tableaux first teach students the meaning of 'tableaux' - a still (non-locomotor) picture. The elements chart goes into detail about various body positions, space or physical areas, relationships and energies/forces that can be demonstrated through a tableaux. Students can show a scene that has strong energy and a curved bodily shape/position, or a very straight position in a strong, zig zag-ed shape! There are many ways to express feelings and thoughts through tableaux, and it is important to teach students these differences so they can create a tableaux that accurately displays the emotions and feelings they wish to 'get across' to their peers.
Next, we participated in another collective draw, similar to the collective draw we used in relation to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! Rather than relating this collective draw to literacy, we focused more on the social studies curriculum. We were asked to create a map of a city and place ourselves in the role of a person in that community (for example, doctor, teacher, ice cream store owner, farmer, etc). We then attached all of our maps together to create one big community. I really liked this activity because it forces students to work collaboratively with their peers. As discussed within the previous collective draw strategy, it is evident that students are provided with a social context in which they can begin to listen to and understand others' points of view. I really enjoyed the links to social studies in this activity because collectively drawing a map of a city hits many curriculum expectations! This activity provides a fun way for students to develop spatial and mapping skills (ie. adding a compass, a legend, a scale, etc) while interacting with their learning. By asking us to think about the various people that are involved in a community, students can begin to understand the roles that people play in the world and how everyone fits together. In my class, I would use this activity to compare different time periods. For example, what does a city look like now in comparison to the Renaissance Era or somewhere far away from here? I think this would be a great activity to incorporate into any classroom!
Clue #16: Exquisite Corpse
The exquisite corpse strategy has to be one of my favourites because it is so much fun!! I love this strategy! This strategy related back to the book 'Where the Wild Things Are' that we read at the beginning of our class. Students are each given a piece of paper folded into three parts. On the top piece, students are encouraged to draw the head and neck of a 'wild thing'. Then students pass the paper around, and the next student (without looking at the head!) draws the wild thing's body all the way to its knees. Finally, after one last pass, the last student draws the legs and feet of the wild thing without looking at the rest of the drawing. I will without a doubt use this strategy in my classroom! I love the idea of a bit of mystery for the students. I have conducted a somewhat similar strategy in my ELKP classroom, where students are making a monster with dice! Students rolled one die with monster body parts (arms, tail, legs, etc), and another with numbers. If they rolled four legs, that was the number of legs their monster would have! Since I am in a kindergarten class, I conducted this lesson with a small group of students, and we collectively constructed our monster (each student did a different body part). Students loved the artistic part of this activity and the 'silliness' of making a monster, without even realizing that they were learning how to count and represent numbers! This strategy is a great way to allow students to think creatively about the book that they read and their drawings can come back into play later on within other activities related to this subject!
The elements of tableaux that we learned about were then put to use through an incorporation of the pop-up story strategy! As the book was being read aloud to the class, some students were creating a tableaux of each scene of the book. As the teacher 'flipped the page', the students would jump up into the tableaux of the scene that was just read about. This strategy is great because it allows students to focus on the story and create an understanding of what is actually happening in different parts of the book. I would use this in my classroom because it gives students who may struggle with reading a more hands-on approach to understanding the story. By acting out each scene, they have to think about what is happening rather than just relying on the words that they may have difficulty understanding.
Clue #15: Pop-Up Story
Clue #17: Teacher in Role
It was so much fun having the teacher play the role of a news anchor interviewing students about who they were in our community! Students could refer back to the collective city map we drew and choose a character they wanted to be. Then the teacher took on the role of a news anchor and interviewed various members of the community about their role within the city. As we discussed during class, it is important for younger students that the teacher first explain that they are going into role before actually doing so! If this is something students are used to, it is not as important to warn then, but some students may be uncomfortable with the fact that their teacher is missing! I would incorporate this strategy into my classroom because it is something different and new. I believe that students would be more engaged if the teacher put effort into creating whole new personas to keep the lessons interesting! It is also a great opportunity for students to be creative and invent new characters and share their interpretations of what various people do in our community.
As demonstrated within our presentation earlier this class, the voice-over narration strategy can be used to encourage students to act out various parts of a book or story. Relating 'Where the Wild Things Are' to social studies allowed us to incorporate the voice-over narration strategy in a different way. After interviewing students to see what their roles in the community are, the voice-over narration strategy was used to develop a news story about something terrible happening in our city! This strategy was extremely effective for tying the social studies aspects of the mapping into the book. I would use this strategy in my classroom to encourage students to think about how the book can relate to the city. In our class, we did this by further interviewing students and asking them how they were affected by the strange occurrences in the city. Then, we brought out our exquisite corpse drawings of the wild things to tie everything together. I think this is a good strategy because it keeps all students involved and engaged in the learning activity. There is a chance that some students may not be comfortable speaking and answering questions in front of the class if they are not effective at 'thinking on their feet'. For these students, I may modify this strategy by giving them a list of questions that they may be asked about their character beforehand, in order to provide them with processing time to think about possible answers that they could give. For students who struggle with oral communication, providing a list of questions that they can write or record their answers to may be an effective modification, as well. This modification would still allow them to participate in the activity in ways that they may be more comfortable with.
The corridor of voices strategy was really cool! This activity linked back to our teacher in role interviews as members of our community. Each student chose a phrase to explain how they were affected by the wild things. Some of the phrases included 'they tipped over a garbage can', 'they ate all the ice cream', 'footprints in my yard' and 'they ate all my crops'! The class then created a tunnel using our hands, and one by one students walked through while everyone repeated their phrase to create a corridor of voices! I loved this strategy because it allowed students to think about how different people might react to various occurrences in the community. The only problem I found with this strategy was that by the last few people who went through the corridor, many students had lowered their hands and/or stopped repeating their phrase. Thus, the last few students did not get to hear all the phrases! The teacher then stopped and made everyone form the corridor again so the last few students could experience the voices, which was important so everyone gained the experience. The corridor of voices may present a problem for some students who may have physical disabilities that limit their movement, or for students who are claustrophobic and may have a hard time passing under everyone's arms. If this is a problem, it is possible to modify this strategy so that the student can sit in a chair and have their peers stand further back to say their phrase. This eliminates the possible claustrophobic feeling from the activity and allows students whose physical exceptionalities limit their movement to participate, as well. I believe that this strategy could be used across the curriculum as a possible reinforcement technique. I would incorporate this into older grades by asking students questions and getting them to repeat the answer along the corridor to reinforce learning of various concepts. I think that students would enjoy the hands-on aspect of this activity. It gives students a chance to participate without being the center of attention, which may be beneficial for some students!
Clue #18: Corridor of Voices
To consolidate and summarize the learning that occurred throughout all of the activities today, the teacher went back in role as the news caster and interviewed different characters to find out how they were affected by the wild things. This was an interesting consolidation because if some students missed the phrases that were being repeated in the corridor of voices, this activity provided them with a chance to hear each phrase or problem separately. I found this to be an effective activity to tie the whole lesson together because it relates back to the news cast that was done at the beginning of this lesson. I would definitely use this strategy in my classroom because I think it would provide students with a fun and familiar context through which to view the story. This consolidation also relates back to the social studies curriculum in that it allows students to think about different communities. As previously mentioned when discussing the collective draw, this lesson allows students to practice a variety of skills from within the social studies curriculum (mapping, understanding and comparing communities, etc). Following the consolidation of this lesson, our class discussed possible extensions that could accompany this learning activity. One of the extensions that I thought was a great idea was to make a trap for the wild things. This extension is really interesting because it incorporates so many aspects of the curriculum. Students can draw out a trap and then build the trap, which really ties into science connections such as simple machines. This extension highlights the highest level of Bloom's Taxonomy, which requires students to invent or create projects based off of their learning. Students are extending their knowledge and integrating other subject areas, which provides them with a real-life context for demonstrating their understanding. I would incorporate this as a group project to promote student collaboration and experiential learning! It was also suggested that we could do a flash forward extension to 50 years in the future, when grandchildren are asking their grandparents various questions about their experience with the wild things. This activity would promote critical thinking skills and questioning abilities, as well as requiring students to recall and analyze information that they learned throughout the activity! Overall, I felt that today's lesson was extremely effective in highlighting many aspects of the Arts curriculum, as well as effectively incorporating various pieces of the social studies curriculum. I loved how each of the activities built off one another and flowed together to ensure that students were not just remembering knowledge, but that they were understanding, applying, analyzing and using it to create new and exciting learning experiences!
Evidence Set #4
Maslow, Critical Literacy & the Arts
The theory that guided today's lecture was Maslow's (1954) Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow (1954) proposed a pyramid of needs that must be fulfilled in people's lives. At the bottom of the pyramid are the physiological (or physical) needs that must be met to ensure survival. Without these needs being addressed, it is not possible for any other needs to be met. Physical needs include necessities such as food, shelter, water and rest. As discussed further within this section, it is clear that one's physiological needs must be met in order to achieve needs higher along the pyramid. The second tier or needs are one's safety needs. These include things like proper clothing, supervision, rules and guidelines and, in drama class, the safe use of props. Once needs are met, people can begin to strive for belonging. Belonging can be achieved in many ways, including positive feedback/constructive criticism, trust, cooperation, group work and inclusion. It is important that students feel like they belong in their classroom and school community in order to reach the next tier, self-esteem. Self-esteem is largely built on the basis of belonging and includes things like having responsibility. As we discussed during class, students with behavioural exceptionalities may have their responsibilities removed as a punishment for negative behaviour, when providing them with opportunities to prove their responsibility is an important step in promoting self-esteem. Teacher can also help build students' self-esteem by letting them know that they are valued. Similar to the positive feedback that provides students with a sense of belonging, self-esteem can be built through practices such as 'two stars and a wish'. Students are given two compliments about their work, as well as one piece of constructive feedback that can be used to improve their skills. If all of these needs are met in someone's life, it is possible to achieve self-actualization, or attain a sense of purpose in life. As we will see within this section, many people do not have their basic physical and safety needs met, which prevents them from learning. As a teacher, I believe it is extremely important to determine when students' needs are not being met so that we can work to help meet those needs to promote learning and growth opportunities for all of our students.
Due to the vast number of social issues that can arise out of theories such as Maslow's (1954) Hierarchy of Needs, today's class focused on critical literacy in the arts. Our class was split into four different groups which had to come up with a word or phrase that described critical literacy. Each of these definitions was placed in one point of the star and then each group was given a case study relating to their words/phrase. Each group was asked how they would help or deal with each situation, and how their case related back to critical literacy.
3 I's: implication, interpretation and inquiry.
The case study that this group focused on was about a boy from Grenada who loved to hear his grandmother's stories when he was young. She would tell her stories orally and the boy would act along with the stories. After moving to Canada, he became bored because stories were always read, never spoken. No one would listen to his story telling and he felt left out. He lost his interest in stories and did not feel included in his new school. Our group decided that in order to restore this student's interest in reading, we would allow him to create and tell his stories to the class when they were given writing assignments. It is clear that this students' belonging needs are not being met in his new school, and as a teacher, you should be striving to help this student meet those needs. Allowing him to continue participating with his own traditions and providing the class with opportunities to learn from him would help this student feel like he is a valuable part of his classroom.
Social justice, fairness and equality.
The case study examined in this group centered around a new teacher in a Catholic school was a lesbian. The teacher wanted to discuss her lifestyle with her students, but the principal would not allow her to do so. This case depicts an example of how equality is not always achieved. The situation that this teacher was placed in was not fair to her beliefs because she was not allowed to share her beliefs with her class. The group discussing this case determined that talking about different family types without explicitly mentioning her own beliefs may be a way to circumvent this issue. It was interesting to hear the different points of view that our classmates had about this case, because it is such a controversial issue. It is clear that there are many different views that need to be taken into account with this issue, and it is largely dependent on the specific case how this issue would play out.
Questioning norms, the author or the message/purpose (extending the boundaries)
The case study that this group discussed was about a little boy who loved to read. He did not like conventionally gender-stereotyped books for boys, however, but preferred 'girl' books about princesses and fairies. Alt his parents felt that as long as he was reading, they didn't care what it was, his teacher kept giving him books about sports and 'boy' things. One of the solutions for this case that the group suggested was to allow for different focus groups throughout the class. If the class is given the task of reading a book or acting out books, splitting the class into groups with a variety of different books may allow the teacher to help the boy read books that he is interested in without centering his different tastes out in front of his peers. Someone else in our class suggested that the teacher may not be aware of the boy's reading preferences. We then suggested that the teacher conduct a 'favourite books' survey to find out more about her student's likes and dislikes. Again, this case depends on the specific purposes, but I believe that these suggestions are a great starting point for helping to fulfill the boy's needs in this case!
Detecting perspectives, biases, voice and whose voice is present/missing
The final case that was discussed in relation to critical literacy and the arts focused on a girl in a wheelchair. Her class would read books about children with physical disabilities and then compare their classmate to the children in those books. It is clear that in this case, the students need to develop a deeper understanding about the circumstances that their classmate has to face being in a wheelchair. The group looking at this case study suggested that the class participate in role playing activities that provided them with the opportunity to see things through the perspective of their classmate. Having students use scooters in the gym would provide them with a different way of looking at physical disabilities and the struggles that students with disabilities face on a daily basis. Even just asking the girl in the wheelchair how she feels when she is compared to children in books would provide a voice to someone whose perspective may be underrepresented.
Clue #23: Zip, Zap, Zop & Graffiti Strategy
The game 'Zip Zap Zop' was so much fun! I had never played this game before today's class and I'm glad I learned about it! In this game, the class stands in a circle and one person says 'zip' and points at another person who must say 'zap' and point at a third person, who says 'zop' and points at someone else. If you make a mistake, you are out of the game and must sit down. I think this is a great game to get students thinking and engaged in class! I would definitely use game in my classroom as a beginning-of-the-day activity to get students' attention, or as a time-filling activity if there is extra time during the day. I believe that there are many possible ways to modify this game in order to accommodate for all students in the classroom. For example, if you have a student with visual impairments, one way to adapt this strategy may be to have students tap the person next to them as they say the word, rather than 'shoot' the word around the circle. This would ensure that the student with the exceptionality is included in a safe way. In older grades, I believe I would use this strategy in a similar way as we did in our class. The way this game was conducted in our classroom led to discussions about equality. Throughout the game, different groups of people were removed based on qualities such as hair colour, eye colour or what they were wearing At the end of the game, we were asked if the winner won because she was the best player. Of course, the answer had to be no because people were unfairly removed throughout the game! We then expressed our feelings about being removed from the game using the graffiti strategy. In this strategy, students are asked to 'paint' their feelings like they were doing graffiti. Some people in our class expressed anger, sadness and disappointment at being removed from the game for unfair reasons. I would use this strategy in my classroom because it gives students a chance to be creative. Rather than write a sentence or paragraph about their feelings, students can imitate drawing (or actually draw!) graffiti expressing their emotions. I believe that this is a really great activity because it targets multiple types of learners and includes all students. Because students are not required to actually draw their feelings, students with exceptionalities (such as physical disabilities or poor fine motor skills) can still participate in the activity to the best of their abilities!
Clue #24: Musical Gist
The mentor text that was used to guide today's activities was called 'Gift Days'. This book is about a girl in Uganda who wants to go to school and become a teacher, but is not able to because of the social norms that guide her society. It is expected in this country that girls stay home and complete the chores and provide for the family, while boys attend school. After much discussion, Nasali (the main character) convinces her older brother to help teach her to read so she can become a teacher. This book focuses on gender roles in different parts of the world and how various people are expected to act in the community. Although it can be rare for girls, education in Uganda is the only thing that helps to break the cycle of poverty because it allows girls to get jobs outside of the household. Nasali learns how to read and is eventually able to attend school so that she and her family can have a better life. This book was very interesting, and I would be selective of when I would use it in my classroom. I believe it may be a touchy subject for some students, so touching on the issues in a safe and appropriate way would be very important. I would use this strategy for older students in order to spark discussions about equity and rights, but I do not feel that younger students would benefit from the messages that this book provides. I felt this book, along with the strategies we learned today, were beneficial in promoting critical literacy and critical thinking skills. This book allowed for obvious comparisons to Maslow's (1954) Hierarchy of Needs and to help determine which needs were and were not being met for these characters. It is important for students to be critical about the texts they are reading, and I believe that this text provided a good foundation for becoming critical readers and thinkers in the classroom!
I thought the musical gist strategy was really neat! In this strategy, the class was split into three groups who each had a different phrase they had to sing throughout different parts of the story. These phrases included 'I will be a reader, yes I will', 'hope to go to university' and 'that is the way it is, that is the way it's always been'. I felt that this strategy really allowed students to get involved with the reading. It promoted students to stay engaged so they knew when to sing their part, which helps students focus on the content of the book, as well. I would definitely use this strategy in my classroom, but I'm not sure how I would go about implementing it. I was unsure whether the phrases we repeated were just taken from the book or were a separate activity. I would hope to find a book that you could pull lines from for students to repeat throughout the reading that would aid in student comprehension and keep them engaged in the story. I think the phrases that were given for this strategy were beneficial in promoting critical thinking skills. When students are told to repeat a phrase such as 'that is the way it is, that is the way it's always been', it allows them to begin to question social norms and why things may be the way they are. I believe that this strategy could be used in multiple subject areas that require critical thinking skills, such as social studies, that require students to question norms and interpret different perspectives. This strategy seemed similar to the rolling theater strategy we participated in a few weeks ago when reading Ladybug Garden. In both strategies, students are actively participating in the reading, which I believe would really help students gain a deeper understanding of the materials.
After reading the book, we participated in creating a tableaux about the book. The class was split into two groups, each of which had to create a tableaux thinking about various people in the story and the community. Each person had to come up with a character to portray, whether that character be a girl cooking who wishes she was at school, someone doing laundry or a boy at school. Through the tap-in strategy introduced during the first week of class, each person described their character and how they felt about their position in the community. For example, I acted as a young girl doing dishes who was sad because she did not have the opportunity to attend school. Throughout the past few weeks, we have participated in creating many tableau's. It has become clear to me that this is a strategy that can be used just about anywhere! There are so many different variations of this strategy that it can be adapted or modified to fit numerous educational scenarios. As we noticed this week, the tableaux was used to help students gain a deeper understanding of various characters in the community. The next activity we participated in was similar, because students were acting out different parts of the book as they were being read. The voice over narration strategy allowed students to focus more on the book and create a deeper understanding of the meanings behind the text. These strategies linked to the critical literacy theory that we focused on this week because they gave students a chance to step into someone else's shoes and see what life would be like from alternative perspectives. As we said within our 'what is critical literacy?' star, it is important to detect various perspectives, biases and voices within a variety of texts. In this case, the voices of young girls may have been missing because of the social hierarchy that exists within societies such as Uganda. These strategies also gave students a chance to present those voices that may have been missing. While there were many young girls in the book who did not step out of the social boundaries and ask to attend school, creating a tableaux allowed students to develop and understand the voices of those girls. I would definitely use these strategies in my future classroom because they provides students with multiple opportunities to be critical about the text they are reading. By just reading the text, some students may not fully comprehend the social hierarchies that exist, but being able to act out, discuss and interpret the various perspectives of the books would serve to help students create deeper meaning based on the text, thus making them critical thinkers!
As we have seen in previous classes, hot seating is a great strategy that can be adapted to use in almost any scenario! Within the context of this book, hot seating was implemented as a way to ask the main characters of the book questions about their life and their role in the story. In our example, Nicole acted as the main character, Nassali, and answered questions from her perspective. Similar to the tableaux, hot seating gives students the opportunity to hear different voices and perspectives and create a deeper understanding of the text. In my opinion, the only downfall with this strategy is that some students may not feel comfortable being put on the spot in front of their peers. One way I would modify this strategy to account for that would be to provide students with a list of possible questions they may be asked in order to allow them to prepare answers in advance, rather than being forced to think on their feet if they struggle in that area. I think that doing hot seating in small groups may also be beneficial, because it gives more students the chance to be in the spotlight and allows for a greater variety of character portrayals and questions.
Clue #25: Q-Chart
When participating in hot seating, some students may have difficulty coming up with questions that are appropriate for the character being portrayed. The Q-Chart is a great tool for students to use to develop meaningful questions to ask the characters in a story! the Q-Chart provides different levels of questions, each set slightly more difficult than the last. The first level focuses on recall questions such as 'who is..', 'what did..', 'where do..', etc. These questions are more basic and require students to remember various facts and events from the story. The second level takes these recall questions a step further by asking the 'how ' and 'why' questions. Although these questions are more difficult, they are still largely based on recall. Level three and four questions delve into more understanding and personal interpretations questions, usually beginning with 'what would..' or 'how do you think..'. These questions require students to be more critical about their responses, providing them with a deeper understanding of the character's perspective. I love the Q-Chart strategy and would definitely use this in my classroom. This strategy would fit well into other subject areas, as well, providing students with a good basis for asking questions during other subjects such as language and math!
Movement in Drama
Writing in Role
Teacher in Role
Corridor of Voices
Summary of Clues
There are numerous great extensions that could be added to the 'Gift Days' story and the different activities that we participated in this week. Although we did not actually carry out these extensions, it is really great to have ideas for how to further extend learning on this topic! As we have learned in previous classes, writing in role provides students with opportunities to participate in drama as well as literacy! At the end of the story, Nassali is writing a thank you letter to the university for accepting her. A great extension off of this story would to encourage students to think about what that thank you letter would look like and then ask them to write a thank you letter from Nassali's point-of-view! I could incorporate this strategy into my drama class because it provides students with literacy and writing skill practice, as well as allows them to convey their understandings and feelings of the story!
Clue #26: Pinwheel Poetry
The final strategy we discussed this week was pinwheel poetry. Although we did not participate in this strategy, it was really cool to hear about, and I would love to see how it would actually work in a classroom! In this strategy, students are provided with passages from the story they are reading, each highlighted in a different colour. Students are then placed back to pack in a pinwheel shape and asked to read through their highlighted segments of the story. I think this would be a really good strategy to use because it would help students focus and actively participate in the story. For some students, this strategy may seem intimidating if they are uncomfortable speaking in front of their peers. In this case, I think it would be beneficial to have multiple pinwheels and therefore have more than one student reading each part. With this modification, I feel that this strategy would be more beneficial to all students because it gets everyone involved, rather than just a select few. The students who may be uncomfortable speaking might then feel more brave because they are not the sole voice being focused upon in the classroom. It would be interesting to see how this strategy would work in a classroom, and I would definitely venture to try it out!
Guiding Theory: Constructivism
The presenters this week chose to base their presentation around constructivist theory. In the early to mid 1900's, people such as John Dewey, Maria Montessori and David Kolb began thinking about how individuals learn best. These theorists each felt that individuals learn their best when they can actively construct knowledge and understanding based on their own experiences through real-life, problem-based, experiential learning. These theorists felt that if students were able to meld new knowledge with existing knowledge, they would be able to create original work through discovery and hands-on, active learning opportunities. I believe that this was a good theory to choose for this week's presentation because it really highlights the hands-on nature that drama provides. This theory strongly relates back to week two and our discussions about Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Based upon its hands-on, experiential nature, constructivism really targets visual/spatial, musical and bodily/kinesthetic learners. Constructivism allows students to develop knowledge by using their own experiences to shape new understandings of a variety of texts and information. Students can use their preexisting and new knowledge to create new realities and representation to help them further develop their understandings.
The curriculum focus of this week centered on grade four social studies. The Medieval Times unit can be largely explored through a dramatic lens, and this week's presentation did an effective job of demonstrating how drama can be integrated into various aspects of the social studies curriculum.
Clue #19: Soundscape
Clue #20: Flash Forward/Flash Back
Clue #21: Overheard Conversation
Clue #22: What if..?
I loved how the group this week chose to integrate all of their strategies into a single scene! This method definitely gave our class a taste of how these strategies work together to enhance the dramatic experiences that can be worked into various aspects of the curriculum. As we have seen before in this course, news reporting is a great role playing strategy that not only allow students to participate in hands-on, active learning, but gives them a chance to activate prior knowledge and integrate that knowledge into new knowledge that they are learning. This week, news reporting formed the base of the presentation and every other strategy was built off of and connected back to this strategy. This presentation style allows students to build off of prior knowledge they may have about the topic or the strategy (ie. news reporting may have been used in other classes, which may make them more comfortable adding other strategies into a more familiar one). As the group presenting suggested, the news report strategy can be modified to fit the needs of various types of learners. Whereas older students may use this strategy to describe, analyze and compare/contrast ideas or events, younger students may use this strategy to act out various stories they are familiar with. I believe this is beneficial at any age because, as highlighted in constructivist theory, it gives students the chance to shape new understandings through the creation of new knowledge and experience. For students with exceptionalities, memorizing scripts or having to make complex/long speeches may be difficult, so allowing the student to type their script and read from it or using voice recording software may be beneficial. In this way, students with exceptionalities are still able to participate and gain the experience and practice from news reporting, but their needs are accommodated for in a way that enhances their learning experiences.
The soundscaping strategy is so awesome! I think it is really beneficial for all students to be able to make sound effects, both through their bodies and through digital technologies. Especially for 21st century learners, it is important to integrate activities that target their interests and abilities. Due to the vast amount of technology that is available today, using digital technologies is a brilliant way to attract and keep students' attention on their learning tasks. I love how this week's group integrated soundscaping into their presentation through effects for the news report and various other effects throughout the skit. In my kindergarten placement, I have seen my teachers use more bodily sound effects to capture students' attention. During gym and in our dramatic play center, students are encouraged to make sound effects for various activities. For example, our dramatic play center has been transformed to 'Santa's Place' for Christmas, and rather than give students jingle bells and Christmas music, they are encouraged to sing and make bell sounds in the play center! They absolutely love this opportunity to 'act silly' and contribute their own thoughts and prior experiences about what these sounds should actually sound like, which provides great teachable moments and learning opportunities for all students. The presenters this week suggested using different instruments for non-verbal students, which I believe would be an effective practice. For older students, I believe that giving them a chance to work with various digital technologies would benefit their learning and give them greater experience working with tools that may be new and unfamiliar to them. In my opinion, these tools would serve to keep students more interested in their assignments, which would lead to a deeper understanding of the information they are learning. Overall, soundscaping is definitely a strategy I would use in my future classroom!
I think that the idea of using flash backs and flash forwards is great for helping students recall, activate and integrate knowledge into different contexts. In the flash back strategy, students are creating a scene that is taking place prior to the present scene that is taking place. In the flash forward strategy, students are moving away from the present scene and describing/acting out future scenes. Students can improvise future events or predict outcomes of events that are occurring in the present. In my opinion, these strategies would be more effective for slightly older students, because it may be difficult for younger students to comprehend the idea of changing time. Many students have difficulty distinguishing between past, present and future at younger ages, so it may be difficult to effectively implement this strategy until this concept has been explored in greater detail. Despite this minor setback, this is definitely a strategy that I would use to help students recall information or sequence and link events in various stories. I love how we used the flash forward strategy in class to create a job that Sleeping Beauty might have in the future. This allowed us to be creative, as well as to apply our knowledge of appropriate jobs that would exist in the Medieval Times. We then had to act at the scene would look like if Sleeping Beauty had that job five years in the future. This gave us a chance to predict how society might change with a woman working a man's job (ie. as a knight or a blacksmith). I believe that this strategy can be accommodated for students of all ability levels. If students are unable to quickly design and act out a scene with a flash back or forward component, allowing them to write out their ideas and discuss them with the teacher or their peers may be a better option for some students. Regardless of ability levels, I believe that giving students the chance to predict and imagine how things may have looked in the past or how they may look in the future provides important learning opportunities for all.
I love the idea of the overheard conversation strategy, but I had a bit of a hard time figuring out where it was evidenced in the presentation this week. In the overheard conversation strategy, a conversation occurs which can provide information to some characters and to the audience, but not all characters are aware that this conversation has taken place. I believe that in my classroom, I might use this strategy to teach about sensitive issues such as bullying. Much emotional and verbal bullying occurs behind students' backs, and students are unaware that it is taking place. By having students read a story where characters are talking about one another behind their back, I believe students would be able to develop a deeper understanding of how those conversations occur and what can be done to diminish these issues. In my experience, many young students have trouble comprehending the theory of mind concept. If they hear someone say something about another person, many students automatically assume that the other person (even if they were not present at the time) knows what was discussed during that conversation. I believe that this concept directly relates to constructivism because it shows students that their own experiences or representations of reality may be different than the experiences/realities that their peers may encounter. By giving students the chance to practice and understand information through overheard conversations, teachers can provide students with means of understanding the points-of-view and experiences that others may have. I believe that overheard conversations can be incorporated into any age group. For example, even if students are not acting out overheard conversations in kindergarten, there are many videos (such as Franklin) that demonstrate this strategy, which could be turned into a whole-group discussion surrounding the conversation. Students with physical exceptionalities could easily participate in this strategy, as well because it requires little movement.
The final strategy that this week's presentation included was the 'what if..?' strategy. In this strategy, students are given a variety of scenarios and asked 'what if..' this happened to them or the character they are portraying/representing. In our class, questions such as 'what if Sleeping Beauty became a knight?' and 'what if Sleeping Beauty became a blacksmith?' were questions that were explored. This strategy would be beneficial to use with any age group because, similar to the flash forward and flash back, this strategy provides students with the opportunity to recall familiar knowledge and construct new knowledge based on their prior knowledge and experiences. I believe that in the younger grades, students could work as a class to first discuss the 'what if..?' question to help them develop ideas and describe their ideas orally to their teacher and peers. In older grades, I would most likely use this strategy in small groups and ask students to act out the 'what if..?' to demonstrate how they would respond to that question. I believe that this strategy could effectively be adapted to fit multiple subject areas, as long as questions are phrased in a 'what if..?' statement. For students with special needs, discussing these questions one-on-one may be beneficial depending on their ability level. Providing students with the opportunity to write about their 'what if..?' problem may also provide students with a way to create a deeper understanding of their knowledge and understanding of the materials being discussed. I believe that this strategy allows students to connect their prior knowledge to information that they are learning in an authentic way that provides them with hands-on experiences to develop their understandings of the experiences of others in a variety of contexts.
Multimodal Theory & The Creative Process
Lesson #1: Think outside the box
Lesson #2: Try new things and get involved
Lesson #3: Use the resources that are available to you
Lesson #4: Cross curricular connections are a must
Lesson #5: HAVE FUN!
One thing that I have taken away from this course is to always think outside the box. Drama is not a subject you can teach from a textbook - you have to find fun and innovative ways to connect with your students and to further their learning. Many students are uncomfortable with drama, and finding creative ways to attract the attention of these students and make them feel comfortable is a very important thing to consider for a drama classroom. The strategies we have been taught the past few weeks have helped me break out of my shell, which I believe will me a more effective drama teacher in the future. If the teacher is introverted and does not like to participate in classroom activities, there is no reason for students to want to, either! Thinking outside the box provides the opportunity for teachers to create a more welcoming, exciting and fun learning environment for all students, regardless of their feelings toward drama education.
As we have learned throughout this course, there is no such thing as a mistake in drama. If something does not go exactly as planned, try again! Attempting new strategies and new activities in the classroom may not always work as well as you hoped, but it is important to keep trying these new activities. More importantly, become involved in the activities so you have a better idea of why they did or did not succeed. Students will appreciate the fact that you are becoming involved with the activities, rather than acting as a bystander during the activity. When developing or implementing new activities, ask for student feedback! Students love having an opinion about what they are learning, and giving them choice provides them with the opportunity for more authentic learning experiences. Students will be more likely to participate and the activities you create will be more successful if the students had a hand in choosing and modifying those activities to fit their specific needs and abilities.
There are so many great drama education resources available - use them! These can include your professors, your colleagues and even your students. There are so many books and resources that provide insights into how to effectively teach drama. If you're ever stuck and feel like you don't know what to do for your drama class, Google is your best friend! There are so many resources out there, all you have to do is look! Find books, activities, games, strategies, and keep them all on file in case you ever need You never know when having drama activities and games may be beneficial for a rainy indoor recess or as a treat when there is free time during the day!
Cross-curricular connections are a must! Drama education can be integrated into so many different subject areas, there isn't a point in trying to keep it separate! Act out scenes when you are reading, make human connection webs when talking about science, draw maps and act out different roles when learning about social studies, make shapes with your body for math and sing and dance as much as you can! No child should have to sit still for six hours a day - I don't think many adults can even do that! Get your students up and moving by incorporating drama strategies throughout your regular lessons. Not only will this give your students a break from sitting, but it enhances their learning by allowing them to become active participants in their education. No one remembers the history lesson where they copied overhead notes for 50 minutes or the sides of shapes; students remember when they go outside and reenact the War of 1812 or lay on the grass trying to make triangles with their peers. Active learning will give you the best lessons!
Flash Forward/Flash Back
Zip Zap Zop & Graffiti
Puppet Rhyming Riddles
Fill the Space
Draw and Tell
Whatever I Write
This week's presentation focused on the social cognitive learning theory, which suggests that people act in certain ways and display different behaviours based on environmental or social and cognitive processes. According to social cognitive learning theorists, learning can take place based on different observations and social experiences that one encounters. In drama, social cognitive learning theory is evidenced through a variety of activities that allow children to learn and teach each other through observation and authentic experiences. Children learn to work with their peers as a team, highlighting the social aspect of this theory. As the group today discussed, teachers must understand that children's outlook on drama and other activities are largely influenced by both the positive and negative experiences they have with that activity. This was a good theory to choose for this week's presentation because it highlighted the impact that social surroundings and events have on students during various dramatic activities.
It is very interesting to have seen the tableaux so many times throughot this course, but for it to be used in completely new and innovative ways each time! This week's presenters chose to focus on the fairytale Cinderella for their activities. A tableaux was used to demonstrate students' learning through interacting with other students, highlighting major aspects of the social cognitive learning theory. In this week's example, a tableaux was used to represent a still scene from Cinderella when reading a passage from the book. I love the modifications that this group incorporated into the tableaux strategy. For younger students, having a picture of what you want them to depict is a great idea, whereas older students would be more likely to participate while the teacher is reading them a passage from the text. Students with exceptionalities can also participate in this strategy using their arms and facial expressions, for example, if their movement is limited.
Clue #27: Alter-Ego
Social Cognitive Learning Theory
Alter-ego is an awesome strategy where students work in pairs or groups. One student plays a character (acting out the dialogue) while another acts as the character's inner thoughts or feelings. In the case of Cinderella, our group used the step-mother, the step-sisters, Cinderella and Cinderella's alter-ego. Cinderella stated that her step-mother and step-sisters looked lovely as they were leaving for the ball, and then her alter-ego chimed in and stated how she really felt ('those ugly cows will never get the prince's attention')! This is a great strategy because it gives the students an opportunity to understand how different characters would be feeling within their story, providing the chance to develop their social understanding of a variety of different people. For younger students, this strategy could be modified by changing the term 'alter-ego' to 'inner thoughts' or 'feelings' to give students a better understanding of what their role in the scene would be. For older students, it may be necessary to set appropriate scenarios to stop the scene from becoming negative or unruly. This is definitely a strategy I would use to bring out feelings about sensitive issues, such as bullying.
Clue #28: Eavesdropping
The third strategy highlighted in today's presentation was eavesdropping. Eavesdropping is the strategy that shows when someone is secretly listening in on another conversation. Eavesdropping can cause a lot of drama because it can lead to the characters misinterpreting the reality of the conversation. This strategy was demonstrated today by the mice hearing the word 'ball' when the invitation to the Grand Ball was announced at Cinderella's house. The mice only hear part of the conversation, and interpret it as having a ball to play with, instead of a dance! They tell Cinderella about the 'ball', but have misinterpreted the conversation that they overheard. This would be a great strategy to use when teaching students about listening to other people's conversations and making judgments based off of information you shouldn't have heard to begin with. I would definitely use this strategy to help students understand the harm that eavesdropping can do! For students who may have hearing impairments, this strategy can be modified by allowing the students to peek at a secret note that is not supposed to be seen. Younger students could participate in the telephone game to pass the idea of the 'broken message'
Clue #29: Mirroring
Mirroring is such a fun strategy! Mirroring is when two students stand facing one another and mimic each other's movements. One partner is the 'leader' and the other mimics the leader's movements. The idea is not to trick your partner, but to move slowly and deliberately so your partner can copy your movements. This strategy is a great representation of the social cognitive learning theory because it gives students the opportunity to students focus on cooperation with their mirror partner. With reference to Cinderella, we used this strategy to create mirrored images of Cinderella getting ready for the ball, practicing dancing with the prince and fixing her makeup. For younger students, a great modification to this strategy would be to put them in front of a real mirror and allow them to become familiar and comfortable with what your reflection movements look like. Students with visual impairments could use verbal cues with their partner to demonstrate how they are moving and how they would like their partner to move with them. Older students could focus on moving more than one body part at once or moving opposite sides of the body to represent authentic mirror reflections (for example, when the leader raises his or her right hand, the mimic would move his or her left hand).
Clue #30: Story Blank
Story blank is a great strategy to promote student creativity and enhance student vocabulary through drama presentations. In the story blank strategy, students are given a scene from a book or text, along with a line further along in the text. This strategy is useful for unfamiliar texts, because students are asked to fill in the missing portions of the scene with their interpretations of what may occur in that scene. This strategy is great with the social cognitive learning theory because students are required to communicate and cooperate with their peers. They are interacting with one another in order to develop a scene. For Cinderella, we were asked to fill in our own interpretations of what happened after the fairy godmother waved her wand. Rather than follow the actual story, we were asked to make up a scene. Our group said that Cinderella found herself in a different world where the prince was proposing to her step-sister. For younger students, a good modification would be to make the gap for the scene smaller so students would not have to develop a very long scene. Students could also be invited to draw pictures or orally discuss their scene rather than write it.
Clue #31: Slow Motion
The final strategy that we discussed during the presentation this week was the slow motion strategy, where actors are deliberately slowing down their expressions and gestures to highlight important moments or events in the scene. The group demonstrated slow motion by acting out the scene from Cinderella where the clock strikes midnight and Cinderella runs away, losing her glass slipper. The actors slowed down the motions of the prince chasing after Cinderella, which highlighted his misery at her leaving. For younger students, encouraging them to slow down their body movements may be a difficult task, but it creates opportunities for students to become more in-tune with their body and more relaxed in their roles. This is definitely a great strategy to use, which can be filtered across numerous subject areas to help with students' focus and concentration!
Today's strategies were based around the multimodal theory. This theory was first set out by Kress & Hodges in 1979, later reviewed by Jewitt & Kress in 2003 and then adapted by Kress again in 2011. Multimodal theory is the theory that underlies the creative process. Within the center of the circle, we see the terms design, negotiate, produce and disseminate. These terms represent how we can go about being creative in our thinking. Designs are ideas that occur in people's heads; they allow us to create, build, develop and imagine what we would like to do. To negotiate is to decide, discuss or debate chancing something socially or in your mind. Producing is when you begin to create or invent what you have designed, and dissemination is performing, sharing or publishing that work. These processes are not static but interdisciplinary, you do not have to follow a specific order to be creative, but it may be necessary to jump back and forth between steps. Each of these processes are individually created through our own thoughts and innovations, and are therefore affected by in the important things in our lives; friends, family, values, gender, beliefs, cultural backgrounds and the like. No one person will be creative in the same way, but this process outlines the theory surrounding the creative process.
The creative process is one of the curriculum outcomes that are linked to the multimodal theory. The creative process is the 'how' we teach, whereas multimodal theory represents the 'why'. As the picture from the curriculum document depicts, there are many d stages to the creative process. These include challenging and inspiring, imagining and generating, planning and focusing, exploring and experimenting, producing preliminary work, revising and refining, presenting, performing and sharing and reflecting and evaluating. These stages each allow students to develop their creative skills and integrate new knowledge with prior knowledge. The creative process is flexible and fluid, which allows students to work where they are comfortable and go back and forth between stages, rather than follow a specific pattern. As we discussed in class, there are many advantages and disadvantages to the multimodal theory and the creative process. These can be found in the following picture.
In reference to the multimodal theory and the creative process, the strategies that we looked at this week focused on children's literature. Something I found interesting this week is that we have to be very careful in choosing literature to read to our students. Some of the children's literature that is available is unacceptable and inappropriate to read to your students, and it is very important to be aware of this literature! At the beginning of class, we discussed how to keep children focused on literature. There are always more exciting ways to convey meaning of a story rather than just reading or looking at pictures. For example, one really creative way to capture students' attention is to do read alouds in song format. Jeffery and the Sloth was a great book for doing this because it allowed for specific rhymes and rhythms to come out during the reading. For Christmas, my associate teacher gave me a book called 'One Love' that is written by Bob Marley's daughter and based off of his song 'One Love'. This book is amazing for singing rather than just reading it normally. It grabs students' attention and is an extremely creative way to focus on literature! er creative way to go through a story is to have little clue poems instead of looking at pictures in the story to make inferences. The tarantula poem today was a great example because it leads students into thinking the answer is a cat, but it keeps them hooked when they run out of ideas!
I loved how this week's class was organized! Rather than just generally discuss a variety of strategies, each strategy was under a different category which centered its focus. The first category we discussed was listening. This category contained strategies that focused on strengthening students' attentive listening skills. The speaking category focused on strategies that exemplified oral communication skills. The reading and writing categories focused more on the narration and creation of different story pieces. Although many of the strategies can be overlapped between numerous categories, it was interesting to break them up and examine the strategies in a different light.
Literacy Skill #1: Listening
Clue #32: Puppet Rhyming Riddles
The first strategy within the listening category was practicing puppeteering, loosely based off of the book 'Jeffery and the Sloth'. We told jokes in order to practice moving the puppet's mouth, practiced movements, voices, where to look and similar skills. Puppeteering is a good strategy that can be used to read books to children. It gives them something other than an adult to focus on and is a very creative strategy! This is also a good way to make interesting facts and stories students may not be as interested in an interactive experience. Students can also use puppets to create and act out their own scenes from various texts. This allows students to use a different approach to listening and reading, allowing them to be creative and innovative in their thinking.
Clue #33: Fill the Space
I really liked the fill the space strategy! In this strategy, students are shown a picture and asked to create a bleaux of an object in that picture. In class today, we were shown a picture from 'Jeffery and the Sloth' and asked to depcit objects in that picture. One at a time, students went into the circle and created a tableaux of an object from the picture. Someone acted as the CN Tower, someone acted as the Eiffel Tower, a baseball player, a soccer player, et cetera. After each person, everyone had to take another look at the picture to see where the object was! This was a great strategy because it gives students the chance to focus more on the story and create a more in-depth understanding of what is happening in the text. Again, this strategy allows students to be creative because they can choose objects that are of value to them to portray in the scene.
Clue# 34: Draw and Tell
I would have loved some more time to discuss the draw and tell strategy! In my understanding, this strategy is used by the students drawing a picture as an introduction to a story or scene. I believe that this strategy pulls in multiple aspects of the curriculum, most notably language and art, and gives students so much freedom of creativity! Students can create artwork based on their views and opinions of a story, allowing their creativity to shine. I would modify this strategy to be used during a story, as well. In this way, students would be required to listen attentively to the story and then create a picture based on what they have heard. I believe that this would still allow students to be creative, but also adds the attentive listening element into the strategy!
Attentive listening skills can be demonstrated through the pop up strategy that we have explored in previous weeks. In this strategy, students must attentively listen to a passage from the text and be prepared to 'pop up' into a scene that represents the passage. It is clear in this strategy that students must be actively engaged in the reading in order to them to be successful in creating a scene for the text. While they must create a scene based on a passage, there is still a lot of room for students to be creative using this strategy, which is why it fits so well with the creative process and the multimodal theory.
Literacy Skill #2: Speaking
As we have seen in the past few weeks, hot seating is a great strategy to develop students' oral communication skills. When someone is placed in the hot seat, they are forced to think on their feet and develop their speaking skills to convey messages to their audience. Today we used the book 'Stinky Skunk Mel' as a mentor text for this strategy, but I believe it can be done with almost any text! This strategy fits well with the multimodal theory because hot seating gives students the chance to be creative with their questions and answers. They are also placed in others' shoes, which allows them to think from a variety of perspectives. As previously discussed in relatioto hot seating, modifications could include giving students prearranged answers or allowing them access to a list of questions beforehand so they have some time to formulate answers if they are uncomfortable thinking on their feet in front of an audience.
Literacy Skill #3: Reading
Clue #35: Reader's Theatre
Reader's Theatre is a great reading task for students, because it helps them to read in a fun, amatic manner! In my experience, many students who dislike reading are very hands-on and would rather stand up and act out a script than sit at their desk reading. This strategy would allow different types of learners to practice reading in a way that attracts their interest. Reading the 'A World of Stories' book in a dramatic manner allows the students to put dialogue into word bubbles, add movements, create actions and so much more, making reading an interactive task. This strategy is in line with the multimodal theory because s student creativity and innovation while allowing students to use their own biases and interpretations to help influence their scene.
Although we just touched on this strategy today, I thought it was really interesting to mention! As I have discussed previously, we have used tableaux's many different contexts throughout the duration of this course. The sequenced tableaux, where a series of tableaux's are used to depict the sequence of events in a story, demonstrates yet another way that tableaux's can be adapted to fit a variety of situations. I would definitely be interested in learning more about this specific form of tableaux because it allows for many different interpretations of different texts!
As we have seen in previous classes, the voiceover narration strategy is extremely prominent in drama. I love this strategy because it allows students to practice their reading and create their own interpretations of various reading passages at the same time. Students who are acting as the narrator are obtaining a lot of practice in reading as well as in oral communication and speaking skills that we have previously discussed.
Literacy Skill #4: Writing
Clue #36: Whatever I Write...
The purpose of this strategy is for students to write down a sentence that describes a task or action that their character will act out. In our class today, we continued with the theme of 'Jeffery and the Sloth' and our sentence required the sloth to do an action. For example, someone wrote 'Sloth has to take a shower', which the sloth puppet then acted out. This would be a good strategy to use in elementary school because it gives students a chance to focus on their writing skills while using the creative process to create a scene. Students have the chance to become more familiar with vocabulary and descriptive words, and then have a chance to put those words into action by depicting what they were writing about. For younger grades, I might have the sentence already written on the board and students can choose a word to fill in. For example, I would write 'Sloth has to _______' on the board, and students could make suggestions for what the sloth could be doing. For older grades, I would ask students to write a scene or script rather than just a single sentence, making the task slightly more complex and age appropriate. Having students fill in the blanks could also be an appropriate modification for students with learning disabilities who may need extra assistance with these sorts of writing tasks.
Clue #37: Character Profiles
Writing character profiles is a really great strategy for students to engage with. In character profiles, students are asked to write from the perspective of specific characters about themselves, similar to creating a biography of the character. The example we were shown in class today depicted the Facebook page of the sloth from 'Jeffery and the Sloth'. This allows students to be creative and develop a life for the character while simultaneously practicing their writing skills.