“ Civics Live” Through Theater California Council for the Social Studies, March 2011 California State University San Marcos Fran Chadwick, Ed..D. March 2011 [email_address]
Goals of the session
Gain knowledge regarding the benefits of using theatre to enhance learning
Learn effective methods for engaging students in theatre to enhance other core content areas such as civic education
Effective Theatre Instruction
“ The arts transform the environment for learning.”
“ This research provides compelling evidence that the arts can and do serve as champions of change in learning.”
Champions of Change – The Impact of the Arts on Learning
Historical Cultural Context
Connections, Relationships and Applications
Elements of Theatre
Character – The role played by an actor as he or she assumes another’s identity- physically, mentally, and emotionally
Dialogue – the words spoken by the actors in a drama
Music – The use of instruments or vocals in a performance
Theme - Central thought, idea, or significance of the action with which a play or story deals.
Plot – The “what happens” in the story.
Begin with the head – go down to the toes, stretch and rotate body parts, individually and together
Practicing for Articulation and Projection
I stepped in something yucky
As I walked by the crick.
I grabbed a stick to scrape it off,
the yuck stuck to my stick.
I tried to pull it off the stick,
The yuck stuck to my hand.
I tried to wash it off – but it
Stuck to the washin’ pan.
I called my dog to pull me loose,
The yuck stuck to his fur.
He rubbed himself against the cat,
The yuck got stuck to her.
My friends and neighbors came to help-
Now all of us are stuck,
Which goes to show what happens
When one person steps in yuck.
Scaffold the learning:
This is a what?
Creating a sense of teamwork
Plot ~ The “what happens” in a story
Beginning : Involves the setting, the characters, and the problem they are facing;
Middle : Shows rising action and climax of the story;
End: Shows how the problem is resolved.
Establish Beginning, Middle and End
“ Tell” the story through movement focusing on the feet
“ Plotted” Action
Establish the Plot of the event or story (beginning, middle and end).
Group students into three or four “Plot groups”.
Give students time to “retell” their part of the story through action and improvisational dialogue.
Present each part of the plot, one group at a time, “in the round”, as beats…one group presents and freezes, story continues with next group .
First Amendment to the Constitution
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of a religion, or prohibiting the establishment thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech; or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Tinker v. Des Moines
Present the case
Establish “plot” scenes
Create scenes in group
Can Congress make laws to control what you say?
Is the need to keep everyone safe more important than your right to say whatever you want, whenever you want, and however you want?
Is it always clear when the government can and cannot limit our rights?
What is the Significance of Tinker v Des Moines?
Review the arguments of both sides in the case as presented to each court.
Study the protections of free speech and the limitations.
Use “Plot Actions” to present other cases involving free speech.
Given an outline, students create their own beginning, middle and end ~ following the study of key issues.
Remember Process over Product!
“ Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one .”
Stella Adler (b. 1902) American actress, founded "Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting"
McCaslin, Nellie, Creative Drama in the Classroom and Beyond. Pearson Education, Inc.
Peterson and O’Connor, Helping Young People Discover the Creative Outlet of Theater. Back Stage Books
Cornett, The Arts as Meaning Makers Integrating Literature and the Arts Throughout the Curriculum.
Spolin, Viola. Theatre Games
Goldberg, Merryl. Arts and Learning. Longman.
The California Framework for Visual and Performing Arts, Pre-Kindergarten through Grade Twelve. Ca
California on My Honor: Civics Institute for Teachers 2011