Jones – Jen Weisphal
Learning Objective/Exit Outcomes:
- Students will be able to summarize a story.
- Students will be able to identify the key details of a story.
- Students will be able to identify the main idea of a story.
- Students will use theatre to express a story they all know.
- Students will collaborate with their peers to create a live theatre experience in their classroom.
- Students will engage in appropriate etiquette as audience members.
ELA & Theatre
ELAGSE3RL2 Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
ELAGSE3RL3 Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
ELAGSE3W3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
- Establish a situation and introduce a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
- Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations.
- Use temporal words and phrases to signal event order.
- Provide a sense of closure.
TA3.CR.1 Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
- Create characters with specific traits (e.g. physical, vocal, emotional) that respond to imaginary circumstances.
TA3.PR.1 Act by communicating and sustaining roles in formal and informal environments.
- Use vocal elements (e.g. inflection, pitch, volume, articulation) to communicate a character’s thoughts, emotions, and actions.
- Use body and movement to communicate a character’s thoughts and emotions.
- Collaborate and perform with an ensemble to present theatre to an audience.
- Create and perform characters based on imagination.
TA3.RE.1 Engage actively and appropriately as an audience member.
- Participate as an audience.
- Demonstrate appropriate theatre etiquette.
Open space at the front of the classroom
PAIR Specialist led the class in executing the PAIR strategy, Half-Life/Double-Life. The teacher chose four students to be the first volunteers to play this strategy. The PAIR Specialist asked the students if they knew the story of The Three Little Pigs. The PAIR Specialist then told the four volunteer students they had two minutes to figure out how to tell the story in only thirty seconds. While the volunteer students were working, the PAIR Specialist talked to the rest of the class about proper theatre etiquette how to react and respond when the volunteer students performed their story.
Once two minutes were up, the students showed their thirty second version of The Three Little Pigs. The PAIR Specialist then asked the audience members what the key details of the story were based on the thirty second performance given by the volunteer students. The PAIR Specialist always followed an answer with the additional question “and what makes you say that” to make sure students can verbally explain why they believe their answer is correct, in detail.
Next, the same volunteer students were asked to tell the story of The Three Little Pigs in half the time, fifteen seconds. The students were given one minute to discuss how they could shorten their performance. After the fifteen second performance, the audience was asked if they could tell what the main idea of the story was, and for whatever answer was given, the student giving the answer was challenged to explain why they thought that. Then, for fun, the volunteer students were challenged to tell the story of The Three Little Pigs in only seven seconds! This challenges students to think quickly and collaborate to summarize a full story.
Next, another group of four volunteer students were asked to come up to play the second half of this strategy, to double the life of a story. The PAIR Specialist asked these students to show a birthday party in seven seconds. After the seven second performance, the PAIR Specialist asked the audience what they saw that identified the story as a birthday party. Cheers and blowing out candles on a cake were the identifiers.
Last, the PAIR Specialist then asked the students to tell the story of a birthday party in fifteen seconds. Explaining to the entire class that, now, the goal is to add more key details to this story. This time, the volunteer students acted out coming to the party, presenting the cake, cheering, and blowing out candles. The PAIR Specialist again challenged the volunteer students to add even more details to make this birthday party last thirty seconds. In order to help the performers with this new challenge, the PAIR Specialist took ideas from the audience, such as presenting and opening presents, eating the cake, and having a dance party within the party. The volunteer students then performed their thirty second version. The idea of double life is to help students learn how to add appropriate key details to a main idea when writing a story.
This strategy definitely needs coaching and guidance from the teacher, especially the first couple times. Once students get comfortable with all of the elements, they will naturally become more creative and less nervous about participating.