• Laurie Swigart

ORGANIZING DRAMA CURRICULUM

Week 1 - Getting to know you games (I need a million to get their names down, I am terrible with names.), basic vocab, stage picture tableau (great photo op. for the walls)


Week 2 - How and why we evaluate, how to do an introduction, mini improv. scene and evaluation, basic vocab


Week 3 - stage areas and movement on stage, body positions, more basic vocab, blocking mini-scene and evaluation


Week 4 - Scene studies, how to do blocking, how to rehearse, warm-ups


Week 5 - Scene studies, how to do blocking, warm-ups, script scoring


Week 6 - The actor's voice, rehearsing scenes, warm-ups


Week 7 - performing scenes


Week 8 - play study - (This year it's Little Foxes because ACT will be performing it, and I will take a group of students to see it)


Week 9 - Continuing Little Foxes, Quarter Test

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With each history unit - I then incorporate an acting or tech unit.

Greek history unit - stages and/or masks or makeup

Asian unit costumes or pantomime

Film unit - silent films - pantomime

British - a lot of different things -

This is a short list, but doing tech or acting units with each history unit makes them more interesting and easier to remember.

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I always started my sixth grade year with a unit called "How to be a Good Audience Member." I felt like it was necessary since most of these kids

have only experienced the movies, and so many of the behaviors are different. I kept it light and fun, and even made the review a crossword puzzle

that the kids got a kick out of, but I guarantee I always had well-behaved audiences!

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In regards to arranging the curriculum for theatre history, I divide my year/quarter or whatever into key units so that they can focus on a particular

principal or time period. For instance, studying Neo-Classicism and reading Racine's Phaedra is a unit. They study that period in theatre history,

read the play, are quizzed on the vocab and history info, and then they perform scenes from it. It takes about 3-4 weeks per unit like this and then the history is directly related to a specific play, so they tend to connect to it and embody the styles more. Also, they get to work on all kinds of styles, like Epic Theatre, Elizabethan, Tennessee Williams Southern Gothic, etc. They seem to do well with it and a lot of students really appreciate learning about different styles, particularly if their interest is more in direction or production design. And then the actors are always expanding their acting chops by trying to tackle new things.


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