Well, here we go! One lesson down and only 6 more to go! Today was another great day at my Pre-Internship. I was nervous about teaching my lesson on developing dramatic characters, but I had to keep reminding myself that I was prepared and I knew what I was doing. Since I chose to teach an Arts Education lesson, I had to wait until the end of the day to teach it because that was when the Arts Education time slot was. So once it finally got to my lesson, I was relieved. Today my Co-op teacher was very good about getting an open space ready for what I had planned for my lesson. She asked the French teacher if we could end French class a few minutes early so that the students could fold up the tables and move all the tables and chairs off to the side of the classroom to create an open space.
Once the open space was created, I clearly and confidently asked the students to engage in a few questions as they sat on the floor. I asked how many people had been involved in acting or drama before and also where one could be involved in acting or be a character. The students seemed engaged and so we then talked a little bit about how to develop a dramatic character. I told them that we would be focusing on using our actions, tone of voice, language, and relationships between different characters. So to warm up our voices and bodies, we played a game called “Whoosh!” It started off really simple, like passing the energy (“Whoosh”) around the circle of students. Then I added other rules to change direction, zap across the circle, imitate someone else’s laugh, and act out different characters like Beyonce and Jackie Chan. I think the students really liked this game because it was simple enough and easy to understand – even for the EAL students.
Once we moved on to the “Who am I?” game, I found that most of the students were sill engaged. I knew that not everyone would want to participate in this activity, but I told them they could still learn by observing and guessing who the characters were. So basically, two students came up at a time, picked out characters from a bag or came up with their own character and then acted out a scene to demonstrate how those characters would act. The audience then had to guess who the characters were by putting up their hands before making a guess. In between groups, I asked questions to make sure they knew what helped the audience know what character they were trying to act out. I also asked if it was easier to guess certain characters and why. They responded well by saying it helped when they used actions, a different tone of voice, expressions, sound effects, and even iconic “sayings” that they characters were known for.
Overall, I was proud of my first lesson and how it ended up ‘playing’ out. Yes, that was a pun intended. Haha! I think that I had the class’ attention with my enthusiasm and love for drama, I projected my voice well, I spoke clearly for the EAL students to understand, and I had fun demonstrating Gollum for them. I had a lot of fun leading them in all of the activities in my lesson, but I enjoyed their dramatic characters in the “Who am I?” game the most. Some of the students acted out pairs like the Hulk and Spider-man, Donald Trump and Bob Marley, Michael Jackson and a snake, Sponge Bob and Shrek, and Hilary Clinton and Cinderella. My favorite pair was when two students acted out Donald Trump and Bob Marley. One student said, “I want to build a wall!”, while the other student walked into the scene smoking a joint saying, “Don’t worry mon, every little thing’s, gonna to be alright”. Hahaha! We all laughed so hard! It was a good day and I am glad I got the chance to teach Drama as my first lesson.