Teaching Philosophy

I bring an arts perspective to education because I believe education should be fun and educational, concurrently and not at the expense of the other. I try to infuse dance, drama, literature, music, and visual art into all I do within the classroom. My favourite lesson plan (below) is from my pre internship, grade 9 drama class.

Class: Grade 9                                   
Date: March 11, 2021
Topic: Character and Motivation          
Subject: Drama

Lesson Plan75 minutes
Content: Class is divided into two groups and each group is given a situation (mountain climbing expedition and a dinner party). Each group member is then given a character type and the group spends time developing a scene which encompasses all of these characters. Each group performs their scene for the others in class.
Outcomes and Indicators:
CP9.4 Demonstrate how roles may be developed and how dramatic characters communicate meaning to an audience. Assume and develop different kinds of roles in drama work; (swapping character types) Analyze how the various roles assumed interact with others and help to further the drama work; (in development section: how does their character interact with other characters) Demonstrate how roles may be developed (e.g., through interaction with others, through improvisation and research); (first in development) Investigate ways that dramatic characters communicate meaning to others; (closure) Demonstrate focus and concentration in role; (closure) Collaborate with other students to explore inquiry questions to develop roles and characters (What if your character came to school in the morning and heard that …?). (end of set, beginning of development)
Assessment: Formative: move between groups listening for group collaboration, ideas, input, creativity, inquiry questions.
Prerequisite Learning: Definition of focus (the center of interest or activity) and concentration (the action or power of focusing one’s attention or mental effort).
Lesson Preparation Equipment/Materials None Advanced Preparation Prepared situations/ character types, pre written/ typed
Set: (5-8 min) Hand out prepared character types to students (one each) and then ask the students: What if your character came to school in the morning and heard that summer holidays have been canceled, school will run through the entire year?

Development: (45 min) Divide students into two groups of five, different group of five from the last lesson. Have groups discuss their own questions/ scenarios (Who, What, Where, When, Why, How) that their characters could encounter in order to develop role and character. (10 minutes)   Now assign a situation. Have each group spend some time developing a scene which encompasses all of the characters. Each student is to make their particular characteristics evident through the playing of the scene, remind them that communication is important. Encourage students to think about how their character interacts with the other characters; how does this further drama work? (approximately 25 minutes)  

Closure: (20-25 min) Have each group perform their scene for the rest of the class. Swap the character types from each group into the situation of the other group and repeat the exercise using a different character but the same situation. Round 2 does not need to be performed.   Leave students the challenge: Continue thinking how characters communicate meaning to an audience.
Classroom Management Strategies
Allow time for responses, may need to prompt students, reminding them they are thinking of how their character would respond. If time really lags, I can go first.  
Encourage students to focus on developing their character using set question and their own scenarios/ questions. Students may need help/ prompts for questions.      
Scene is to be 5 minutes long, use lots of movement, may use drama boxes, and you can use anything you may have in your backpack that you think will contribute to your character’s development.        
Discuss the approaches made. How did the characters communicate with others? Did the characters demonstrate focus? Concentration while in role? Why/ why not? Discuss the responses to the altered scenario. Was it different playing a character who is afraid of heights at a dinner party? Was it more difficult to portray the character’s essential characteristics?


Fill out a sheet on what character traits of their character are similar to them/ unlike them.
Anybody willing to share?
Is there a student willing to be interviewed in character by the class?

Add one external characteristic to their character to create a more vivid character such as voice, posture, walk, stance, movement, look, anything that can be seen.

Adaptive Dimension:

Do not swap the character types from each group into the situation of the other group.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I was blessed with an incredible cooperating teacher that was extremely talented, passionate, and encouraging. She allowed me to take risks in her classroom with these vulnerable grade 9 students. This lesson provided time for exploration, learning, reflection, group work, and independent thinking. All the things I value!

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