Wesley Heights, Year One
Neuhart – Jen Weisphal
Learning Objective/Exit Outcomes:
- Students will be able to present information about Colonial America, including the importance of Benjamin Franklin and the history and lifestyle of indentured servants.
- Students will use improv skills to accurately explain the knowledge they have of Colonial America.
- Students will listen and respond appropriately, forming complete thoughts and sentences.
SS3H3 Explain the factors that shaped British Colonial America.
- Identify key reasons why the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern colonies were founded (religious freedom and profit).
- Describe colonial life in America from the perspectives of various people: large landowners, farmers, artisans, women, children, indentured servants, slaves, and American Indians.
TA3.CR.2 Develop scripts through theatrical techniques.
- Use imagination to create, revise, improve, and/or add ideas to a scripted or improvised work.
TA3.RE.1 Engage actively and appropriately as an audience member.
- Participate as audience.
- Demonstrate appropriate theatre etiquette.
TA3.CN.1 Explore how theatre connects to life experience, careers, and other content.
- Connect theatre experiences to life experiences and other content areas.
Social Studies and Theatre Arts
Playing space in front of classroom
The PAIR Specialist asked students to share what they new about Improv. The goal answer to the question is that improv is a form of theatre arts where the content is completely made up on the spot. The improv game, Conducted Story, is a game where a group of students creates a story beginning as any good story does with “Once Upon A Time.” The ‘conductor’ of the story is the teacher. The teacher controls how long a student will add onto the story by pointing to them and when the teacher pulls her hand back, the student must stop telling their story, even if it is in the middle of a sentence!
Pointing to another student, the story continues on where the last student left off. Student 1: “Once upon a time there was a lion who was walking down” Student 2: “the street to the circus. Then he ran into a girl lion and he” Student 3:, etc, etc. The PAIR Specialist emphasized that this story would be unique and exceptionally creative because it was not being created by a single storyteller, but by many, which means that the story would be something even greater because of the collaboration. The PAIR Specialist also emphasized the importance of listening to make sure that the story stays connected and makes sense from beginning to end.
The PAIR Specialist chose five students to create a story that had never been told before and would never be told again. This story had no boundaries and was a completely improved creation.
The teacher then chose five more students to play Conducted Story, but this time added a layer of information to the story being told. This layer was to create a story using the facts students remembered about Benjamin Franklin and his role in the development of British Colonial America.
A third round was played with the focus being on the lifestyle lead by indentured servants during this time period in American history. When students had trouble remembering things, the teacher gave leading questions to help them continue with the story.
- It is important when using Conducted Story to continue to encourage creative ideas around the core subject matter being used within the story. Keeping creativity within the story allows for a fully arts integrated lesson.
- For example, the story about indentured servants can be more creatively rooted by having the students come up with character names and tell the story as though they are the indentured servants, rather than reciting information down the line that they have learned in class.