Do you need an exercise for your students and parents to participate together? How about tableau in a unique way?
Your dramamomma has you covered! Here’s a new lesson plan for your drama classroom using tableau as the springboard.
If you are like me, you are always looking for ways to encourage your parents to be involved whenever they visit class. This exercise is a sure fire winner. I have used it at the beginning of the school year and also when parents visit to see a class play.
It’s a sneaky to get your parents to perform with their child. In many ways, it helps everyone. The students get to “play” with their parent and have their full attention, the parents are given permission to “play” as well. Together their have a shared experience, too.
Generally, parents really enjoy this little ice breaker. It certainly engages everyone.
The exercise takes about fifteen minutes in length. You could also lengthen the exercise by asking two student/parent groups to work together and perform a larger memory they might have–say, seeing a baseball games (two are the players and two are the baseball fans in the bleachers, etc.)
So, the top 20 things “must haves” for your drama classroom–There are so many things to think about when you are a beginning teacher. I remember my first year as an English teacher (which was a minor of mine in college.) Since I never student taught in English, I knew very little of what I needed for my classroom. Teachers weren’t as team oriented as they are now and I was on my own to figure out everything.
Now new teachers have a mentor at their school who shows them the ropes of teaching in their school. The first three years of a teacher’s career are the most pivotal. If you “stick” in the job, you’ll probably continue teaching for many years.
But you see, I’m stubborn.
Even though I was completely on my own I wouldn’t give up. Truthfully, it really did take until the third year for me to find my groove. It was a tough experience for me, but I gained so much knowledge from those years. I learned about teaching, but I also learned about myself. (Oh, and my first husband walked out on me two days before my first day of school that first year. Did I mention that?)
So, what does this all have to do with the “must haves “of a drama classroom?
Lots! I’m here to help you. I’m going to make your life easier right.now.
Just Download my list of
“The Top 20 Must Haves for a Drama Classroom” and you’ll be set to go.
I have thousands of students to teach, inspire and motivate each year. Well, it feels that way sometimes. Since I have taught theater for over thirty years, there are many subjects within the subject of theater that I can teach. This year’s challenge: Creative Movement.
Now before you think you must have a lifetime of ballet lessons and toured with the Alvin Ailey Dancers, I want you to think again. If you have taken several dance classes, many acting classes and yes, movement classes you are probably equipped to teach youngsters about creative movement. Remember, when you are a teacher, generally you know more than the students about the particular subject, especially if they are elementary grade level.
Why Teach a Creative Movement Class?
Last year, the idea for this class came to me when I observed my Intro. to M. Theater students struggling with dance steps. I thought, “Jeez, they can’t even keep straight their left foot from their right. Poor kids. Maybe I need to teach about movement first before we jump into dance steps. No jazz squares for them.”
So, when my principal asked me what other classes I would like to teach (because our students take classes once a week, in an enrichment program for home school students and we create new classes every few years) I threw out creative movement as a possible subject. Trust me, I hadn’t really thought it through AT ALL! I never expected my principal to jump on the idea, but she did and here I am to share about my experiences.
Last summer I began my research. First, there are not many useful creative movement lesson plans on the internet. Usually, I look at what someone else has used and go from there, tweaking it for my needs. But when I couldn’t find much to use as a stepping off point, I got smart and looked on Amazon and found several books that looked like they would be helpful. Boy, was I lucky and right!
The two books I have used religiously this year are Creative Dance for All Ages by Anne Green Gilbert and Lesson Plans for Creative Dance by Sally Carline. Laugh all you want, but I love the straight forward and no nonsense titles of these books which is perhaps the reason I noticed them first. I used Anne Gilbert’s book for the first semester and Sally Carline’s for the second semester.
If you are looking into teaching creative movement with your students, I highly recommend these two gold mines. I had taken some dance classes in college (my mother wouldn’t let me take them when I was a child because she thought they were silly), acting classes and a wonderful movement class while studying for my Masters. NONE of these compared to these two books. No kidding here. These are tremendous.
Creative Dance for All Ages is divided up by theory and method. She explains the importance of creative dance, the elements of dance, the various expected outcomes, various materials you’ll need to teach the class effectively (a CD player, scarves, ribbon wands, a drum or wood block, etc.) I purchased Body Sox, too because I think they are terrific help especially for shy students (see blog #7 for moreinfo about them). Gilbert shares about planning the length of the class depending on the age of the child or adult, for that matter. Within each chapter, she advises the reader on lots and lots of exercises to do with the students. Gosh, I could go on and on about this book. You just really need to purchase one. It’s ISBN number is: 0-889314-532-4. I think it cost about $23.00 and is worth its weight in gold.
Lesson Plans for Creative Dance is equally great. This book is divided up into grade levels and includes diagramsof dance steps, music suggestions to aid in the lesson plan, little stories to share with the students so that they can better visualize the movement requirements and a host of other cool items. My students and I have enjoyed the enormous array of music suggestions. Because of this book, I have a lot of music downloaded on my Ipad now and it’s comforting to know that it is right at my fingertips at any moment. Many times, the students have asked the title of the music piece as they are creating. Most of my classes are mixed grade levels, so I have learned to vary the lessons week to week hoping to satisfy everyone’s intellect.
Next week, we’ll have an open house for the parents to see what all we have learned. We’ll start out by demonstrating various elements of dance (pathways, self and general space, speed, weight, effort, etc), then we’ll share three dances based on threes stories with music and maybe even create a new piece spontaneously.
I have seen such growth in my Creative Movement students this year. They began the class quite inhibited, awkward and quickly tiring from these exercises. Now they embrace every lesson, naturally integrate the movement and include various elements from other lessons. Success! Whew….
What experience have you enjoyed with creative movement? Do you have anything to share?
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Bumblingbea.com