Civil War Personalities 4-5

CIVIL WAR CHARACTERS

CIVIL WAR CHARACTERS

Learning Description

In this lesson, students use photos that relate to the American Civil War as a springboard to write a first person monologue embodying the person who is pictured. This monologue explores the character’s views on the subject of the second photo that deals with the historical context. Next, students will bring the photo to life in an improvisation. By allowing your students to explore what they have read and heard about the American Civil War through the eyes of another person, they learn empathy and better embody the concept. This exercise is a wonderful tool to increase presentation skills, empathy and ensemble in your classroom.

 

Learning Targets

GRADE BAND: 4-5
CONTENT FOCUS: THEATRE & SOCIAL STUDIES
LESSON DOWNLOADS:

Download PDF of this Lesson

"I Can" Statements

“I Can…”

  • I can write a monologue using photography as inspiration.

  • I can improvise a scene with a partner using photography as inspiration.

  • I can use theatre techniques to help me better understand a historical event.

Essential Questions

  • What impact does a photograph have on our perception of a society and/or historical event?

  • How can theatre techniques help me better understand the American Civil War?

 

Georgia Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 4: 

SS4H5 Explain the causes, major events, and consequences of the Civil War. 

  1. Identify Uncle Tom’s Cabin and John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry and explain how each of these events was related to the Civil War. b. Discuss how the issues of states’ rights and slavery increased tensions between the North and South. c. Identify major battles, campaigns, and events: Fort Sumter, Gettysburg, the Atlanta Campaign, Sherman’s March to the Sea, and Appomattox Court House. d. Describe the roles of Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and William T. Sherman. e. Describe the effects of war on the North and South.

Arts Standards

Grade 4: 

TA4.CR.1 Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.

TA4.PR.1 Act by communicating and sustaining roles in formal and informal environments.

 

 

South Carolina Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 4:

Standard 4: Demonstrate an understanding of economic, political, and social divisions during the United States Civil War, including the role of South Carolina between 1850–1870.

Arts Standards

Anchor Standard 1: I can create scenes and write scripts using story elements and structure.

 

Anchor Standard 3: I can act in improvised scenes and written scripts.

Anchor Standard 8: I can relate theatre to other content areas, arts disciplines, and careers. 

 

Key Vocabulary

Content Vocabulary

  • The American Civil War - Fought from 1861 to 1865; a pivotal event in American history that resulted from deep-rooted tensions between the Northern and Southern states over issues such as slavery, states' rights, and economic differences

  • Union - The federal government of the United States and the states that remained loyal to it during the Civil War

  • Confederacy - Also known as the Confederate States of America (CSA), was a self-proclaimed independent nation formed by Southern states that seceded from the United States

  • John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry - On the night of October 16, 1859, Brown and his followers, numbering around 21 men, seized the federal armory and arsenal at Harpers Ferry taking several hostages

  • Slavery - The system of forced labor and exploitation of African and African-descended people in the United States from the colonial period until the abolition of slavery after the Civil War

  • Emancipation Proclamation - Declaration by President Abraham Lincoln that all enslaved people in Confederate-held territory to be free

  • State’s rights - The balance of power between state governments and the federal government; Southern states asserted their right to secede from the Union

  • The Anaconda Plan - A military strategy proposed by Union General Winfield Scott at the beginning of the American Civil War

  • Fort Sumter - The Battle of Fort Sumter, which took place on April 12-13, 1861, marked the beginning of the American Civil War

  • Gettysburg - The Battle of Gettysburg is often considered the turning point of the Civil War and one of the most significant battles in American history

  • The Atlanta Campaign - A series of military operations conducted by the Union Army of the Cumberland against the Confederate Army of Tennessee

  • Sherman’s March to the Sea - A Union military campaign aimed at destroying infrastructure and resources in Georgia to weaken the Confederacy

  • Appomattox Court House - The site of General Robert E. Lee's surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865, effectively ending the American Civil War
  • Expository Writing - Writing with the purpose to demonstrate or explain

Arts Vocabulary

  • Ensemble - All the parts of a thing taken together, so that each part is considered only in relation to the whole

  • Theater - Dramatic literature or its performance; drama

 

  • Improvisation - A creation that is spoken or written without prior preparation

  • Monologue - A speech by a single character in a play, film, or other dramatic work; often used to give the audience deeper insight into the character's motivations and feelings

 

  • Scene - A division of a play or act that presents continuous action in one place or setting

Dialogue - The conversation or interaction between characters in a written work

 

Materials

  • Printed photos of events and people related to the American Civil War
  • Index cards and pencils
  • Music and sound source

 

Instructional Design

Opening/Activating Strategy

Classroom Tip: This activity works best in an open space with room for students to move. 

 

  • Begin by playing music from the American Civil War era quietly as you pass out the images (photographs).
    • Each student should have one sheet of paper with two images, an index card, and pencil.  
    • The first picture is of two people engaged in an activity. The name of the country or event should be written at the bottom of the photo. One of the people should be circled so you can pair up the students to act out the scene later. 
    • The second picture is of a prominent figure who played a key role in a specific event related to the American Civil War, such as the Battle of Gettysburg. 
      • The photo should be titled with the reference to the event.
    • Have students write their name in the top right hand corner of their index card.
    • Ask the students to closely observe the person that is circled in the top photo. 
    • Ask questions for them to more deeply embody their character.  
      • They should list the following on the left hand side of the card:  Character’s name, character's age, home country, how does the character feel about what is happening or who is pictured in the second photo and how is it affecting them and their people. 
      • What is the character’s greatest fear?  
      • What is the character’s greatest dream? 
      • Encourage students to use descriptive phrases and relevant details and facts from the unit of study as they complete their cards. 
    • Provide time for students to pair-share or share responses with the class.

 

Work Session

  • Tell students that they will be writing a monologue in the first person introducing themselves as the person in their photograph. 
    • Tell students that a monologue is a speech by a single character in a play, film, or other dramatic work. Monologues are often used to give the audience deeper insight into the character's motivations and feelings. 
    • Tell students to turn the card over and write a monologue in the first person introducing themselves and including all of the elements on the front side of the card. 
      • Tell students to make sure to summarize the paragraph with their character’s greatest dream for themselves and their country.  
      • Turn up the volume of the music while students are writing. Give them a set amount of time to write. This could also be a longer exercise or assignment that they bring in the following class period.  
    • When everyone is finished writing, introduce the next section. 
    • Tell students, “Today we are going to learn about the American Civil War (or a specific event related to the American Civil War) through the eyes of the people who lived through it. Each of you have been brought here to help us explore this time. Welcome!”
    • Tell students, “Using a voice different from your own, the voice of the character in the picture, on a count of three, softly but out loud, tell me what you had for breakfast this morning.  Now sit like your character sits, different from yourself. Imagine your character is wearing an article of clothing that you don’t have on. On a count of three adjust that article of clothing.”  
    • Next, ask a student to walk to the front of the class as that character would walk.  
    • Once they get to the front of the classroom, ask them to pick one person to tell their story to. Ask the student to look at this person as they are telling their story.  Have them read their character’s monologue aloud. 
  • If you desire or time permits, you can open the floor up for questions so the other students can interview the character. Let the class know that they can openly discuss the issues at hand and help the character answer questions that they might know the answers to. 

 

  • Now, tell students to find the classmate who has the other character depicted in the photograph on their page. Pass out two index cards to each pair.
    • Have students read their monologues to each other practicing embodying the character they have created. 
    • Students should then discuss the historical context from the photographs and establish each of their character’s points of view. 
    • On each card, students should write a sentence in the first person with the first thing their character wants to say about the event depicted.
    • When you say “action,” students bring the photo to life using improvisation.
    • Beginning with the first line they previously generated on their index card, students should improvise a scene between the two characters discussing the event. 
    • Say “freeze!” and have students return to their seats.

 

NOTE: Instead of improvising scenes, students can write a script for their scene and present it to the class.

 

Closing Reflection

  • On the back of their index cards students should reflect on the process and how both embodying their character and listening to another character’s point of view helped them gain a deeper understanding of the historical event.
  • Allow students time to share with the whole class.

 

 

Assessments

Formative

Teachers will assess students by observing students’ responses to class discussion around photographs in the opening strategy, consulting with students during the writing process, and observing students’ work with their partners creating improvisational scenes.

 

Summative

  • Students can write a monologue in the first person using photography as inspiration that addresses all parts of the prompt.
  • Students can use historical context and relevant facts to create a realistic first person account of an event related to World War II.
  • Students can work collaboratively to improvise a scene with a partner to investigate a historical context or event.

 

Differentiation

Acceleration: 

  • Challenge students by telling them in the middle of the improvised scene, to swap characters with their partner and continue the scene from the new perspective. This tests their adaptability and understanding of character dynamics.
  • Pair two partner teams together to create a new scene with all four characters.

 

Remediation: 

  • Pair English Language Learning students with native English speakers.
  • When writing the questions about the pictures, provide the students with a graphic organizer on which to write answers and to assist with organization of thoughts and ideas.
  • Have students choose fewer items from the list about the character in the picture. 
  • Conference with students who struggle with writing.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

*This integrated lesson provides differentiated ideas and activities for educators that are aligned to a sampling of standards. Standards referenced at the time of publishing may differ based on each state’s adoption of new standards.

 Ideas contributed by:  Susie Spear Purcell. Updated by Katy Betts.

Revised and copyright:  June 2024 @ ArtsNOW

 

Cultural Characters – Paul Revere 4-5

CULTURAL CHARACTERS - PAUL REVERE

CULTURAL CHARACTERS - PAUL REVERE

Learning Description

This lesson invites students to explore the life of Paul Revere through the lens of an illustration of the Midnight Ride. Using the image as a springboard, students write and enact a poem illustrating the event. This exercise is a wonderful tool to increase presentation skills, empathy and ensemble in your classroom.

 

Learning Targets

GRADE BAND: 4-5
CONTENT FOCUS: THEATRE & SOCIAL STUDIES
LESSON DOWNLOADS:

Download PDF of this Lesson

"I Can" Statements

“I Can…”

  • I can explain the events and Acts that led to the American Revolution using descriptive phrases in first person.
  • I can use theatrical skills to take on the perspective of Paul Revere.

Essential Questions

  • How can theatrical skills help us understand historical events?
  • What role did Paul Revere and the Midnight Ride play in the American Revolution?

 

Georgia Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 4:

SS4H1 Explain the causes, events, and results of the American Revolution. 

  1. Trace the events that shaped the revolutionary movement in America: French and Indian War, 1765 Stamp Act, the slogan “no taxation without representation,” the activities of the Sons of Liberty, the activities of the Daughters of Liberty, Boston Massacre, and the Boston Tea Party. 
  2. Describe the influence of key individuals and groups during the American Revolution: King George III, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Benedict Arnold, Patrick Henry, John Adams, Paul Revere, and Black regiments. 
  3. Describe the major events of the American Revolution and explain the factors leading to American victory and British defeat; include the Battles of Lexington and Concord, Saratoga, and Yorktown.

Arts Standards

Grade 4:

TA4.CR.1 Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.

TA4.PR.1 Act by communicating and sustaining roles in formal and informal environments.

 

South Carolina Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 4:

Standard 2: Demonstrate an understanding of the identity of a new nation, including the state of South Carolina between 1730-1800.

  1. Explain the causes of the American Revolution as they impacted Georgia; include the French and Indian War, Proclamation of 1763, and the Stamp Act.

 

Arts Standards

Anchor Standard 1: I can create scenes and write scripts using story elements and structure.

Anchor Standard 3: I can act in improvised scenes and written scripts.

Anchor Standard 8: I can relate theatre to other content areas, arts disciplines, and careers.

 

Key Vocabulary

Content Vocabulary

  • The American Revolution - The war fought by the American colonies to end British rule; it was between the 13 colonies and Great Britain

 

  • Battles of Lexington and Concord - The beginning of the American Revolution 

 

  • “Regulars”, or "lobsters" - What the colonists called the British soldiers
  • Patriot - Colonist who was opposed to British rule

 

  • Minutemen - Volunteer Colonial soldiers who served against the British in the American Revolution; they were said to be ready at a minute's notice 

 

  • The Stamp Act of 1765 - Colonists were taxed on playing cards, newspapers, books, pamphlets and legal documents like wills 

 

  • The Sugar Act of 1764 - Colonists were taxed on sugar, wine, coffee, dyes and cloth 

 

  • The Boston Massacre - A protest in 1770 against British rule in which five American Patriots were killed 

 

  • The Boston Tea Party - Men disguised as Mohawks threw tea into the harbor to protest the tax on tea in 1773

  • The French & Indian War - The English fought against France for the land in North America; England won but needed to pay off the debts of the war

Arts Vocabulary

  • Ensemble - All the parts of a thing taken together, so that each part is considered only in relation to the whole
  • Theater - Dramatic literature or its performance; drama

 

  • Improvisation - A creation that is spoken or written without prior preparation

  • Scene - A division of a play or act that presents continuous action in one place or setting

 

Materials

  • Illustrations/artwork of Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride 
  • Illustrations/artwork depicting the Acts and events that led to the American Revolution and major battles of the American Revolution
  • Paper and pencil

 

Instructional Design

Opening/Activating Strategy

*Classroom Tips: This activity works best in an open space with room for students to move.

 

  • Project an illustration or artwork portraying the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (example from the Smithsonian Magazine).
  • Ask students to work collaboratively to engage in the See, Think, Wonder Artful Thinking Routine. 
    • First, students will identify what they see in the image. Emphasize that they should make objective observations about the image. 
    • Next, ask students to identify what they think about the image. Emphasize that students should be creating inferences using visual evidence from the image. 
    • Finally, ask students what they wonder about the image. 
  • Facilitate a class-wide discussion around students’ observations, inferences, and questions.
  • Provide context for the image stating that it is depicting the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.

 

 

Work Session

  • Discuss Paul Revere, the Midnight Ride, and his place in American history and the road to Revolution. 
  • Review the Stamp Act, Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, Sugar Act and French and Indian War. Show illustrations and paintings related to these events and topics.
  • Pass out Paul Revere photo pages.  
    • Each page will have an illustration/artwork depicting the Midnight Ride as well as a photo of one of the above mentioned events or acts (Stamp Act, Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, Sugar Act, French and Indian War).  
    • Explain to students that the first/top picture is of Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride. The second/bottom is of one of the events or acts that were just reviewed.  
      • Each of these events or Acts were important in the leading up to the Midnight Ride and revolution.  
      • Ask students to write down the following: 
        • The name of the event or act under the second/bottom picture 
        • How this event or act made the American colonists feel towards the British
      • Ask the students to study the first/top image and think about: 
        • Where is this place? 
        • What season is it? 
        • What time of day is it? 
        • What sounds and smells would you hear if you were in this picture? (even things you can’t see)
      • Ask students to imagine themselves as Paul Revere riding in the Midnight Ride.  
      • Instruct the students to place the picture in front of them and take the position that Paul Revere is in on the horse. 
      • Then, ask students to close their eyes and take a deep breath of the clean air in this place. Listen to the sounds in the environment. Take another deep breath and smell the aroma. 
      • Now, instruct students to open their eyes.  
      • One at a time, each student should make a sound that they hear in their environment.  
  • Pass out paper and pencils. On the left hand side, ask students to list:  Where – where are you?  When – what time of day and season is it?  Who – who else is in the picture?  What – what are you doing?  How – how do you feel about the event or act pictured at the bottom?  
  • Next, instruct students to write down three descriptive phrases about their image. 
    • Tell students that instead of writing, “the wind”, they should describe the wind. An example would be ”the blowing wind” or “the fierce cry of an eagle”. 
    • Encourage/require students to use adjectives, descriptive and figurative language
  • Students should now write six to eight short lines describing this environment and how this place makes them feel. 
    • Students should include the date of the ride, the three descriptive phrases, a fact about the event or act in the bottom picture and a title for their poem. Students may also include details such as what thoughts are going through their mind. The lines should be written in first person, e.g., “I am standing”, “It makes me feel”.
  • Ask a student to volunteer to come to the front of class and share their work.
    • Have the student choose someone to bring to the front of the class to read their work to. 
  • Tell students that they are now going to bring the picture to life.  
    • Have the student cast their classmates as the three elements from their paragraph. They should announce the element and then choose the person (e.g., the blowing wind). Once a person is chosen, have them come to the front of the class and then show them the picture. Then cast the next element and student, etc. The author will direct the elements, indicating where they will be in the live picture and what sounds they will be making. 
    • On calling action, have the author walk up or “ride” as Paul Revere into their environment and take their place in the live tableau then read their work. As they read the lines, the students who have been cast should make their sounds. 
    • Finally, the student should show the photo around the room or the teacher should project it on the board.

 

Closing Reflection

  • On the back of their papers, students should reflect on the process and how using theatre techniques helped them gain a deeper understanding of the historical event.
  • Allow students time to share with the whole class.

 

Assessments

Formative

Teachers will assess students’ learning by observing students’ responses to class discussion and observing students’ engagement with the photographs through their writing.

 

Summative

CHECKLIST: 

  • Students can explain the event or act depicted in their image using descriptive phrases in first person.
  • Students can use acting techniques to take on the perspective of Paul Revere.

 

Differentiation

Acceleration: 

  • Students can write a monologue from the perspective of Paul Revere as he is on the Midnight Ride.
  • Students can write a scene that includes dialogue between Paul Revere and someone he encountered on his ride. 

 

Remediation: 

  • Allow students to work with a partner throughout the process.
  • Provide a graphic organizer or sentence starters to help students structure their writing.

*This integrated lesson provides differentiated ideas and activities for educators that are aligned to a sampling of standards. Standards referenced at the time of publishing may differ based on each state’s adoption of new standards.

 Ideas contributed by: Susie Spear Purcell

Revised and copyright: June 2024 @ ArtsNOW

 

Cultural Characters 3-5

Description

This lesson invites students to derive inspiration from photographs (portraits and people, historical events and images depicting strife or struggle, etc.) based around a given time period. These images serve as impetus to write monologues and create improvisational skits engaging students in a brand new way!

Cultural Characters – The Great Depression 4-5

CULTURAL CHARACTERS

THE GREAT DEPRESSION

CULTURAL CHARACTERS - THE GREAT DEPRESSION

Learning Description

In this lesson, students use photos that relate to the Great Depression as a springboard to write a first person monologue embodying the person who is pictured. This monologue explores the character’s views on the subject of the second photo that deals with the historical context. Next, students will bring the photo to life in an improvisation. By allowing your students to explore what they have read and learned about the Great Depression through the eyes of another person, they learn empathy and better embody the concept. This exercise is a wonderful tool to increase presentation skills, empathy and ensemble in your classroom.

 

Learning Targets

GRADE BAND: 4-5
CONTENT FOCUS: THEATRE & SOCIAL STUDIES
LESSON DOWNLOADS:

Download PDF of this Lesson

"I Can" Statements

“I Can…”

  • I can write a monologue using photography as inspiration.

  • I can improvise a scene with a partner using photography as inspiration.

  • I can use theatre techniques to help me better understand a historical event.

Essential Questions

  • What impact does a photograph have on our perception of a society and/or historical event?

  • How can theatre techniques help me better understand the Great Depression?

 

Georgia Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 5:

SS5H3 Explain how the Great Depression and New Deal affected the lives of millions of Americans. a. Discuss the Stock Market Crash of 1929, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, the Dust Bowl, and soup kitchens. b. Analyze the main features of the New Deal; include the significance of the Civilian Conservation Corps, Works Progress Administration, and the Tennessee Valley Authority

Arts Standards

Grade 5: 

TA5.CR.1 Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.

TA5.PR.1 Act by communicating and sustaining roles in formal and informal environments.

 

South Carolina Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 5:

Standard 2: Demonstrate an understanding of how international events and conditions during the early 20th Century (i.e., 1910–1940) affected the United States and South Carolina.

5.2.E Evaluate multiple perspectives from the period, including the economic, political, and social impacts of World War I, the 1920s, the Great Depression, and the New Deal using primary and secondary sources.

Arts Standards

Anchor Standard 1: I can create scenes and write scripts using story elements and structure.

 

Anchor Standard 3: I can act in improvised scenes and written scripts.

Anchor Standard 8: I can relate theatre to other content areas, arts disciplines, and careers.

 

Key Vocabulary

Content Vocabulary

  • The Great Depression - A severe global economic downturn that lasted from 1929 to about 1939; it was the longest and most widespread depression of the 20th century, and its effects were felt worldwide

 

  • Stock Market Crash of 1929 - Often cited as the starting point of the Great Depression, the U.S. stock market crash in October 1929 led to a dramatic loss of wealth and a steep decline in consumer spending and investment.

  • Expository Writing - Writing with the purpose to demonstrate or explain

Arts Vocabulary

  • Ensemble - All the parts of a thing taken together, so that each part is considered only in relation to the whole

  • Theater - Dramatic literature or its performance; drama

 

  • Improvisation - A creation that is spoken or written without prior preparation

 

  • Monologue - A speech by a single character in a play, film, or other dramatic work; often used to give the audience deeper insight into the character's motivations and feelings

 

  • Scene - A division of a play or act that presents continuous action in one place or setting

  • Dialogue - The conversation or interaction between characters in a written work

 

Materials

  • Printed photos of events and people related to the Great Depression
  • Index cards and pencils
  • Music and sound source

 

Instructional Design

Opening/Activating Strategy

Classroom Tips: This activity works best in an open space with room for students to move. 

 

  • Begin by playing music from the Great Depression era quietly as you pass out the images (photographs).
    • Each student should have one sheet of paper with two images, an index card, and pencil.  
    • The first picture is of two people engaged in an activity. The name of the country or event should be written at the bottom of the photo. One of the people should be circled so you can pair up the students to act out the scene later. 
    • The second picture is of a prominent figure who played a key role in a specific event related to the Great Depression, such as the Stock Market Crash. 
      • The photo should be titled with the reference to the event.
    • Have students write their name in the top right hand corner of their index card.
    • Ask the students to closely observe the person that is circled in the top photo. 
    • Ask questions for them to more deeply embody their character.  
      • They should list the following on the left hand side of the card:  
        • Character’s name, character's age, home country, how does the character feel about what is happening or who is pictured in the second photo and how is it affecting them and their people.
        • What is the character’s greatest fear?  
        • What is the character’s greatest dream? 
        • Encourage students to use descriptive phrases and relevant details and facts from the unit of study as they fill out their cards. 
      • Provide time for students to pair-share or share responses with the class.

 

Work Session

  • Tell students that they will be writing a monologue in the first person introducing themselves as the person in their photograph. 
    • Tell students that a monologue is a speech by a single character in a play, film, or other dramatic work. Monologues are often used to give the audience deeper insight into the character's motivations and feelings. 
    • Tell students to turn the card over and write a monologue in the first person introducing themselves and including all of the elements on the front side of the card. 
      • Tell students to make sure to summarize the paragraph with their character’s greatest dream for themselves and their country.  
      • Turn up the volume of the music while students are writing. Give them a set amount of time to write. This could also be a longer exercise or assignment that they bring in the following class period.  
    • When everyone is finished writing, introduce the next section. 
    • Tell students, “Today we are going to learn about the Great Depression (or a specific event related to the Great Depression) through the eyes of the people who lived through it. Each of you have been brought here to help us explore this time. Welcome!”
    • Tell students, “Using a voice different from your own, the voice of the character in the picture, on a count of three, softly but out loud, tell me what you had for breakfast this morning.  Now sit like your character sits, different from yourself. Imagine your character is wearing an article of clothing that you don’t have on. On a count of three adjust that article of clothing.”  
    • Next, ask a student to walk to the front of the class as that character would walk.  
    • Once they get to the front of the classroom, ask them to pick one person to tell their story to. Ask the student to look at this person as they are telling their story.  Have them read their character’s monologue aloud. 
      • If you desire or time permits, you can open the floor up for questions so the other students can interview the character. Let the class know that they can openly discuss the issues at hand and help the character answer questions that they might know the answers to. 

 

  • Now, tell students to find the classmate who has the other character depicted in the photograph on their page. Pass out two index cards to each pair.
    • Have students read their monologues to each other practicing embodying the character they have created. 
    • Students should then discuss the historical context from the photographs and establish each of their character’s points of view. 
    • On each card, students should write a sentence in the first person with the first thing their character wants to say about the event depicted.
    • When you say “action,” students bring the photo to life using improvisation.
    • Beginning with the first line they previously generated on their index card, students should improvise a scene between the two characters discussing the event. 
    • Say “freeze!” and have students return to their seats.

NOTE: Instead of improvising scenes, students can write a script for their scene and present it to the class.

 

Closing Reflection

  • On the back of their index cards students should reflect on the process and how both embodying their character and listening to another character’s point of view helped them gain a deeper understanding of the historical event.
  • Allow students time to share with the whole class.

 

 

Assessments

Formative

Teachers will assess students by observing students’ responses to class discussion around photographs in the opening strategy, consulting with students during the writing process, and observing students’ work with their partners creating improvisational scenes

 

Summative

  • Students can write a monologue in the first person using photography as inspiration that addresses all parts of the prompt.
  • Students can use historical context and relevant facts to create a realistic first person account of an event related to the Great Depression.
  • Students can work collaboratively to improvise a scene with a partner to investigate a historical context or event.

 

Differentiation

Acceleration: 

  • Challenge students by telling them in the middle of the improvised scene, to swap characters with their partner and continue the scene from the new perspective. This tests their adaptability and understanding of character dynamics.
  • Pair two partner teams together to create a new scene with all four characters.

 

Remediation: 

  • Pair English Language Learning students with native English speakers.
  • When writing the questions about the pictures, provide the students with a graphic organizer on which to write answers and to assist with organization of thoughts and ideas.
  • Have students choose fewer items from the list about the character in the picture. 
  • Conference with students who struggle with writing. 

*This integrated lesson provides differentiated ideas and activities for educators that are aligned to a sampling of standards. Standards referenced at the time of publishing may differ based on each state’s adoption of new standards.

 Ideas contributed by:  Susie Spear Purcell. Updated by Katy Betts.

Revised and copyright:  June 2024 @ ArtsNOW