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When the DVD has finished, I will hand round a script of what they have just watched (Appendix.2). We will read the scene taking turns, rather than giving specific parts to individual children. This allows children to feel involved and reduces pressure on those who are less confident to read. When we have read the script, I will explain that in the next lesson we will be using the text to act out the scene in small groups.
Lesson two will begin by dividing the children into groups of 4. My Learning Objective for this lesson will be to perform a scene from a given script using emotion and feeling. The children will be given the responsibility to decide who takes on each role and how the scene will be set. When the children have rehearsed their scene they will share their work with the other groups. Through watching individual interpretations of the scene I will be able to assess the level of expression used both facially and in movement and offer constructive praise and potential areas for development.
At this point I will seat the children in a circle and discuss that the film ‘Titanic’ is just one version of the events aboard the ship. I will talk to the children about my Great, Great Uncle who was a steward on board the Titanic and did not survive. I will then read the children a Survivor’s Story and explain that although a lot of people did drown when the ship sank, many escaped on lifeboats. Giving the children a balanced view of the facts will allow them to make informed decisions later in the lesson. The children will then be encouraged to write short scripts for a final scene of the story. They need to choose a genre for their script based on their learning.
The ending could take one of the following forms; tragedy, fantasy, romance, or it may have a happy ending. In groups they are to write a script that they will perform to the class in the next lesson. Through planning for a final performance, children are set a specific deadline which may concentrate their minds and keep their attention. They will have access to the props in the classroom and will be able to bring in things from home if required. Giving the children the freedom to create their own scene will allow them to think independently and apply what they have learned from the topic. Promoting creativity is a powerful way of engaging pupils with their learning. (The Report on Excellence and Enjoyment, 2003) It is essential that I monitor the groups throughout the script writing process and offer guidance where necessary. Some children may need encouragement to offer ideas and reluctant writers may need the help of a scribe.
By Lesson three all groups will be finishing their scripts and rehearsing their scene. My learning objective for this lesson will be for the children to analyse the characters portrayed by their peers in a professional manner and offer feedback on the performances given. When the children are ready they will perform their scene to the rest of the class. This will be the finale to our topic of the Titanic and will incorporate additional props such as life jackets, fake blood and background music. When each group has performed the children will be encouraged to discuss how effective the scenes were and which parts were; sad, funny, emotional or thought provoking. Peter (2003:23) states,
Drama provokes emotional responses in children that are real, and the chance also to learn about their feelings, responses and the consequences of their reactions to situations that are realistic. This part of the lesson gives me the opportunity to evaluate to what extent my learning objectives have been achieved and how well the children have grasped the topic. It is important that learning objectives are achievable and can be adapted to suit every child. In this continuation of three lessons my learning objectives have covered areas of character, scriptwriting and peer assessment. Each child will have met these objectives in different ways, but the very nature of drama allows for this flexibility. A good teacher will recognise that there will be differences in ability levels within the class and set work accordingly.
All feedback should be positive and productive and be of use to the class as a whole. I will assess how the children give and receive feedback and ensure all comments are constructive. McCrae (2003:32) agrees, It is essential that the teacher does not compare one group with another, but highlights positives of each piece independently; praise in order to encourage self expression and self evaluation.