- Push all tables, desks, and chairs to the edges of the room.
- Clean the floor.
- Have students remove their shoes and store them under their desks.
- Meet in a large circle.
Step 1: Warm-up activities
Instruct students to find their warm-up spot and go through warm-up activities.
- Echo activity (add new challenges)
- Mirror activity (add new challenges)
Step 2: Stage directions
Ask the students to sit in the audience with their groups along the edge of the room.
The teacher should stand on the stage and point out and name the parts of the stage. Convey the importance of knowing the stage parts in order to understand directions given by the director:
- Center stage
- Stage right
- Stage left
The teacher gives a bit of historical background information and explains that “Down stage” and “Up stage” are historic designations from when the stages were raked (on an angle).
Step 3: Creating the stage
Using blue painters’ tape, the teacher creates the sides of the stage on the classroom floor. The sides of the stage area are marked to show the right and left wings of the stage where the actors wait to come onto the stage. The teacher assigns each group specific places to sit – “in the wings” while they wait to come onto stage. Groups take their assigned places in the wings.
Step 4: Defining the roles
While the students are sitting in the wings with their groups, the teacher sits in the center of what was the audience area and describes everyone’s roles.
- The students are the actors.
- The actors are going to show everything in the story and do all the sound effects and talking.
- The teacher has two jobs: One is the director. The second is being the narrator or the storyteller. The students will listen to the voice of the teacher and know when to come onto the stage and perform all of the action and noise.
Teaching Tip: After lesson three, the teacher will have enough information to write an action script based on the material generated by the students. The script should include a map of the stage and wings, the narrator’s lines, and each group’s job.
*See notes on creating a performance in the following lesson.
Step 5: Cool Down
Students return to their warm-up spots. When the teacher calls the student’s name they can get their shoes, return to their spot, and put them on. When all the students have their shoes on, the students put the room back together.