Theater and Writing Lesson



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ARTS IMPACT—ARTS-INFUSED INSTITUTE LESSON PLAN (YR2-AEMDD)

LESSON TITLE: Developing the Beginning, Middle and End of a Story

Theater and Writing Lesson


Artist-Mentor - Dave Quicksall Grade Level: Third Grade

Examples:



Enduring Understanding

Dramatizing the introduction, beginning, middle and end of a story connects successive events in sequence of time, change of place, and characters’ progress in the story.


Target: Reviews introduction to the beginning scene for a story.

Criteria: Sets the time, setting, character attributes and emotions.
Target: Creates and develops the beginning scene for a story.

Criteria: Includes the main character’s objective, setting/place and an emotion.
Target: Creates and develops the middle scene for a story.

Criteria: Presents an obstacle the main character confronts.
Target: Creates and develops the ending scene for a story.

Criteria: Shows the main character overcoming the obstacle.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
Introduction to Arts-Infused Concepts through Classroom Activities:
Arts-Infused Concepts: Beginning; Middle; End; Character; Objective

Note: This lesson can be broken up into three stages: beginning, middle and end.

1. Guides the students as they start to develop the story they began in the “Set Up” lesson. Puts students into their theatre/writing groups—they will work together throughout this lesson. Guides groups to decide which prompt/introduction they want to further develop into a story. Guides groups to review by acting out the Introductory Scene they developed/performed previously. Prompts: This is a theater lesson and a writing lesson at the same time. You are going to develop the stories you began write by acting first. Reconnect with your group and decide which prompt/introduction you want to write into a full story. Review the tableau and dialogue you acted out. You can refer to the paragraphs you have written to refresh your memory.

Student: Rejoins group and decides which prompt they will write into a full story, then reviews the scene they developed by acting it out.
2. Guides the students to create a beginning scene for their story focusing on the main characters objective; Models the process; Guides student presentations and reflection. Uses the model writing prompt and introduction paragraph from last lesson: Let’s add some details. What is the setting (time and place)? Who are the characters? What are they doing? Is there just one character? What do the characters do to start the story off? What feelings do the characters have? Places emphasis on furthering the development of the main character by establishing his/her objective. Models with volunteer how to show objective dramatically. Guides groups to rehearse, perform and reflect. Prompts: Your stories already have main characters and settings that you established in the Introductory Paragraphs you wrote. Now, you must create the first scene that begins your story. Focus on what the main character is doing—what are his/her actions? It is very important to let your audience know why the character is doing what he/she is doing; what does he/she want? This is called the character’s objective. This beginning scene must establish the main character’s objective; determine what it is and how the character would feel and then act to start to reach their objective. Remember, the beginning of a story must grab the audience’s attention and keep them interested. Continue to think about the setting and how it affects your characters. Your characters can speak—what dialogue can you create to develop the story and establish an objective? Let’s practice together with the prompt we’ve been using for modeling—we’ll create an opening tableau with shoulder tap dialogue making the main character’s objective clear for the audience. (models with student volunteers) Now, you create a tableau with dialogue and present to the class. Remember all you do because you can use it to write into your story.


Student: Develops and practices a beginning scene for the story by focusing on the main character’s objective. Presents the scene to the class.

Embedded Assessment: Criteria-based teacher check list
3. Models writing a beginning paragraph; Guides students to individually write, telling the story of the scene they created and performed. Prompts: You are going to individually write a paragraph telling the story of the scene that you and your group just acted out. This is the beginning paragraph of your story and it follows the introduction. I will model how to write a beginning paragraph first, then you will write. As you write...Continue to use the same voice (first or third person). Let your reader know the main character’s objective, how the character felt, and the actions of the character to reach their objective. Include the details of what you acted out: what actions, feelings, and descriptive words can you use as you write? As you write, think of ways that you can make your reader curious as to what will happen next.

Student: Writes a narrative paragraph that incorporates all the details acted in the scene. The paragraph must contain the main character’s objective and the subsequent actions/feelings that arise from pursuing that objective.

Embedded Assessment: Criteria-based teacher checklist


Most likely you will do the beginning, middle, and end in three class sessions. Do the “middle” session without your mentor, between sessions. Do the “ending” session during your final mentor visit.

4. Guides the students to create a middle scene for their story focusing on the main character’s obstacle and actions to overcome the obstacle. If students are in need, models how to create a middle scene with tableau and shoulder. Otherwise, guides and coaches as students create middle scene. Students may want to add movement or create more than one tableau. Prompts: Now that you have established a setting, a main character, and an objective to your story, you must create a middle scene. The middle scene introduces an obstacle to your main character; an obstacle is something that gets in the way of what a character wants. An obstacle can be something physical like a wall, a storm, a river, etc. An obstacle can be another character like an ogre, an animal, an enemy, a brother. . . .anyone who wants something different than the character wants. An obstacle can also be something within the character himself; maybe the character is afraid or doubtful of success. With your group, create a middle scene with tableau and dialogue. Figure out a dramatic obstacle that your main character must confront and present the scene to the class.

Student: Develops and practices a middle scene for the story by focusing on an obstacle to the main character’s objective. Presents the scene to the class.

Embedded Assessment: Criteria-based teacher checklist

5. Leads the students as they write a middle paragraph telling the story of the scene that they created and performed. If students are in need, models writing a middle paragraph. Prompts: You are going to individually write a paragraph telling the story of the scene that you and your group just acted out. This is the middle paragraph of your story and it follows the beginning paragraph. Use the same story voice (first or third person). Let your reader know the main character’s obstacle. Remember the details of what you acted out: what actions, feelings, and descriptive words can you use as you write? Think of this section of the story as a cliffhanger! You need your reader to be asking the question, “Oh, my goodness, how will the character ever overcome that obstacle? What will happen next?” Be sure to use descriptive words that give a ‘picture’ of the obstacle, whether the obstacle is a ‘raging, swirling’ river, a ‘jealous, big’ brother, or a ‘nagging doubt you could succeed since you have always been frightened before’.


Student: Writes a narrative paragraph that incorporates all the details from the scene that s/he acted in. The paragraph must contain the obstacle to the main character’s objective and the subsequent actions/feelings that arise from confronting that obstacle.

Embedded Assessment: Written paragraph, criteria-based teacher checklist
6. Guides the students to create an ending scene for their story focusing on the concluding actions of the story as the main character overcomes the obstacle and obtain his/her objective. If students are in need, models how to create a middle scene with tableau and shoulder. Otherwise, guides and coaches as students create middle scene. Students may want to add movement or create more than one tableau. Prompts: Now, you must create the ending scene for your story. The last scene is about how your main character overcomes the obstacle and gets what s/he wants. In other words, the character reaches his/her objective by defeating what was in the way, whether that something was a physical obstruction, another character, or something within. Work on your ending scene and figure out how your main character overcomes the obstacle. Bring your story to a close by thinking back to where your character started. Did s/he change in some way? How is the character different at the end of the story? Does s/he return to where s/he started, or move on to another adventure? With you’re group, create an ending scene with tableau and dialogue. Figure out a dramatic ending to your story and present the scene to the class.

Student: Develops and practices a concluding scene for the story by focusing on the main character’s overcoming the obstacle. Presents the scene to the class.


Embedded Assessment: Criteria-based teacher checklist

7. Leads the students as they write an ending paragraph telling the story of the scene that they created and performed. If students are in need, models writing an ending paragraph. Prompts: You are going to individually write a paragraph telling the story of the scene that you and your group just acted out. This is the ending paragraph of your story and it follows the middle paragraph. Remember the voice the story is being told in (first person or third person) and continue to use the same voice. Let your reader know what the main character did to overcome the obstacle. Remember the details of what you acted out: what actions, feelings, and descriptive words can you use as you write? Think of this section of the story as the conclusion to a very dramatic adventure—feelings are very important. Bring your reader back to the main character. How has the character grown or changed? How can you help the viewer to know or wonder what is next for the character? Are we back where we started, or is some new adventure on the horizon?



Student: Writes a narrative paragraph that incorporates all the details from the scene that s/he acted. The paragraph must contain how the main character overcame the obstacle and achieved his/her objective. There must also be a “summing up” of how the main character is doing by the end of the story.

Embedded Assessment: Criteria-based teacher checklist

8. Leads the students as they put their four paragraphs together in sequence. Gives the students a chance to reread over their entire story and make any edits and/or rewrites they wish to make. Prompts: Now, I want you to put all your paragraphs in order and look over your entire story. Are there any details you left out or wish to add? Make sure your main character’s actions and feelings are clear. Can the reader ‘picture’ the man character? Is the setting clear? Can the reader ‘picture’ the setting? Is there an objective in the beginning paragraph? An obstacle in the middle? Does your character overcome the obstacle in the end? Write in any new details or descriptive words that you wish that make your story even more expressive. Trade papers with a story critic (trusted classmate) and ask them if they can ‘picture’ your main character? ‘Picture’ the setting? Name the obstacle and how the main character overcame the obstacle?


Student: Rereads entire story; makes any edits/rewrites paragraphs.

Embedded Assessment: Criteria-based peer review


After THEATER lesson and as INDEPENDENT PRACTICE:

1. Follow the same process with a different prompt. Each group chose one of the two prompts they had been working with—they can now act and write a story using the other prompt.





Independent Practice: Set the scene, main character, and the objective! Tell how much time, WHY and HOW the main character moved between scenes/settings. Overcome an obstacle!



Vocabulary

Materials and Community Resource

WA Essential Learnings & Frameworks

Arts:

objective

obstacle

scene


shoulder tap

tableau


Arts Infused:

action


beginning

dialogue


middle

ending


main character

setting



Performances:

Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, Tacoma, WA:


Mad Science: CSI Investigation, Show Way on Tour, Spirit Horse, Blues Journey, The Phantom Tollbooth, Red Riding Hood and Other Stories
Performance Materials:


AEL 1.1 concepts: character traits; transitions

AEL 1.1.2 principles of organization: identifies sounds used to communicate setting and character

AEL 1.2 skills and techniques: demonstrates a range of movements to create character; uses appropriate feelings to create character; works with a partner to solve a dramatic problem

AEL 2.1 applies creative process: applies previously learned arts concepts, vocabulary, skills, and techniques through a creative process

AEL 2.2 Applies a performance process in the arts: interprets by developing a personal approach to the work; rehearses, adjusts, and refines through evaluation and problem solving; presents work for others; reflects and evaluates
Writing GLE 1.1.1 applies at least one strategy for generating ideas and planning writing: talks to generate ideas and rehearse writing; plans intentionally with some detail using visual tools (graphic organizers).

Writing GLE 1.2.1 produces a draft of multiple paragraphs over time; uses a prewriting plan to draft text; works on one draft on a single topic over several days

Writing GLE 1.3.1 revises text by adding, deleting, substituting, and moving words and phrases: rereads own writing; rereads work several times and has a different focus for each reading; makes decisions about writing based on feedback; collects additional data and revises


Writing GLE 3.1.1 Analyzes ideas, selects topic, adds detail, and elaborates: maintains focus on specific topic; provides details and/or support; uses personal experience and observation to support ideas; develops characters, setting, and events in narratives

Writing GLE 3.1.2 Organizes writing: organizes ideas into logical chunks of information

Writing GLE 3.2.1 Writes with voice: uses word choice to show emotion and interest; demonstrates commitment to topic (e.g., sustains writing, elaborates)

Writing GLE 3.2.2 Uses language appropriate for a specific audience and purpose: selects specific words and specialized vocabulary selects interesting and effective words.

Writing GLE 3.3.7 applies paragraph conventions: uses paragraph conventions
Writing State Frameworks

Grade 3: provides details and/or support (e.g. examples descriptions, reasons)

Grade 3: develops characters, setting, and events in narratives


ARTS IMPACT—ARTS-INFUSED INSTITUTE LESSON PLAN (YR2-AEMDD)

LESSON TITLE: Developing the Beginning, Middle and End of a Story


ASSESSMENT WORKSHEET


Disciplines

THEATER AND WRITING

THEATER AND WRITING


THEATER AND WRITING

THEATER AND WRITING

Total

6


Concept

INTRODUCTION

BEGINNING

MIDDLE

ENDING

Student

Sets the time and setting

Sets the character attributes and emotions

Includes the main character’s objective

Includes setting/

place and an emotion



Presents an obstacle the main character confronts

Shows the main character overcoming the obstacle

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Criteria-based Reflection Questions: (Note examples of student reflections.)

Self-Reflection: How did you show the passage of time, the change of place in your transitions?
Peer to Peer: Did you ever feel lost when you read a classmate’s story? If so, there may be a missing component in one of their transitions. See if you can ask the right question to help them fill in the missing information.
Thoughts about Learning:

Which prompts best communicated concepts? Which lesson dynamics helped or hindered learning?
Lesson Logistics:

Which classroom management techniques supported learning?

Teacher: Date:



ARTS IMPACT—ARTS-INFUSED LEARNING FAMILY LETTER
THEATER AND WRITING LESSON – Developing the Beginning, Middle and End of a Story

Dear Family:


Today your child participated in a theater and writing lesson. We talked about how acting out scenes from a story can improve our writing skills. We focused on developing and connecting the introduction to the beginning, middle and end of a story. The stories include theatre and writing concepts like objective, obstacle, and setting details like time and place.


  • We acted out beginning, middle and ending scenes based on a writing prompt.




  • We wrote paragraphs based each of the parts of the story.



  • We added descriptive details to support the main character’s journey.


You could create your own live story theater. Write a story with a beginning, middle and end. Then act out each scene. You could add more details to the story after acting each section out.


Enduring Understanding
Dramatizing the introduction, beginning, middle and end of a story connects successive events in sequence of time, change of place, and characters’ progress in the story.



Third Grade—Theater and Writing—Developing the Beginning, Middle and End of a Story






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