Skip Navigation

Utah Core  •  Curriculum Search  •  All Fine Arts - Theater Lesson Plans  •  USOE Fine Arts - Theater Home Page

 

Fine Arts - Theater Curriculum
Theater - 5th Grade
Course Preface Course Preface
Printable Version Printable Version (pdf)
 

 

Core Standards of the Course

Standard 1
Playmaking The student will plan and improvise plays based on personal experience and heritage, imagination, literature, and history for informal and formal theatre.

Objective 1
Collaborate to select interrelated characters, environments, and situations that create tension and suspense for informal and formal theatre.

  1. Plan, in small groups, interrelated characters, environments, and situations that create tension based on Utah state history and dramatize. (See Social Studies Core.)
    Strategy Example:
    Departure question: Can students better understand the Farmington Flood if they explore this history through drama? Divide students into mantle of the expert groups. Each group selects an area of historical research surrounding the Farmington Flood; e.g., experts on the railroad, the clergy, the town, the island, the merchants, the mill, the farmers. Each student will select a character name based on the name of a real pioneer. Each group plans daily tensions to role-play, including both within and between group tensions; e.g., merchants argue about pricing within group, while the mill complains that output is suffering because the clergy keeps taking workers to build a town hall and church. Each group is also asked to plan one crisis that will need the help of other groups to resolve; e.g., a derailed train, a fire in a merchant's store, a ferry run adrift on the way to the island, an insect crisis on the farms. Finally, after all this struggle, the Farmington Flood hits. The citizens help one another move to high ground. The town is leveled. What will this group of citizens do now? What did the real citizens do in back then? Do we still have similar struggles today? Could we still have a flood? Are towns better prepared for floods and other natural disasters today? If so, why? Have students write a personal diary entry from the character's viewpoint. Have them read the diary entry aloud to the class as if it were a diary that had been handed down to them over many generations.
  2. Plan, in pairs, interrelated characters, environments, and situations that create suspense.
    Strategy Example:
    Working in pairs, have all students memorize the same nonsense dialogue. Then, have them plan their own interrelated characters, environments, and situations that create suspense using the nonsense dialogue; e.g., a prison guard finds a prisoner trying to escape, two sisters meet after a big fight, a grave digger opens a casket to find someone still alive, two thieves run into each other in a darkened house they are both trying to rob, a potato and a peeler get thrown in the same drawer. Here is one example of a nonsense dialogue scene students might use:
    Character One: "Hello."
    Character Two: "Hello."
    Character One: "What are you doing here?"
    Character Two: "What are you doing here?"
    Character One: "What's that?"
    Character Two: "It came for you."
    Character One: "Oh, great."
    Character Two: "Want to talk about it?"
    Character One: "OK, I guess."
    Character Two: "OK."

Objective 2
Plan and record dialogue and physical attributes that reveal specific attitudes or motives in characters for informal and formal theatre.

  1. Identify and imitate dialogue and physical attributes in a character that reveal a specific attitude and/or motive.
    Strategy Example:
    Watch an animated feature film. Select one character to study. Listen to what that character says, how the voice sounds, and how the character's body moves. Identify and imitate a specific attitude and/or motive revealed by dialogue and physical attributes; e.g., the hyenas or the lion that is the evil brother to the king in The Lion King.
  2. Create dialogue and physical attributes in a character that reveal a specific attitude and/or motive.
    Strategy Example:
    Have students play the Time Warp game. Each student will select one famous person to impersonate from any time in history, past or present. Taking turns, five famous characters at a time are "time warped" into a specific location with a specific problem to solve; e.g., Ben Franklin, Joan of Arc, Michael Jackson, Richard Nixon, and Madonna are suddenly challenged to free themselves from a stuck elevator. The teacher gives each group a new location and a new problem to solve. Students are challenged to reveal attitude and/or motive through dialogue and physical attributes.

Objective 3
Describe and explain plot structure in terms of conflict.

  1. Plan and improvise a scene from a book or play in which the major conflict comes from within the character. (See Language Arts Core.)
    Strategy Example: In Bridge to Terabithia, Jess faces several conflicts that come from within him; e.g., being friends with Leslie even though she beat him in the big race, struggling with his fear of storms and water, dealing with his own feelings about what happened to Leslie, bequeathing Terabithia to his little sister. Have students plan and improvise major conflict scenes from this book. Was the internal conflict made clear in the scene? How does the conflict affect plot? Which conflict is the major conflict in this story?
  2. Create and improvise an original scene in which the major conflict comes from the environment. (See Health Education Core.)
    Strategy Example: In fours, have each group select a conflict from a list of natural disasters; e.g., tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, floods, earthquakes, forest fires. Have students create and improvise crisis scenes based on surviving in times of natural disasters. How is a disaster plot different from a plot based on internal conflict or person-to-person conflict? In what survival, disaster, and emergency skills should we all be trained just in case?

Standard 2
Acting A student will cooperate, imagine and assume roles, explore personal preferences and meanings, and interact in classroom dramatizations.

Objective 1
Develop body awareness and spatial perception through movement and pantomime. (See Dance Core.)

  1. Synchronize movement.
    Strategy Example:
    Play the Mirror Game. The first actor faces a second actor and begins to move in slow motion. The second actor mirrors the first actor with synchronized movement; e.g., first with the teacher leading, then in pairs. Have them try it at different distances such as 2 feet, 6 feet, 12 feet, 20 feet. Try having students randomly switch to a new partner on drum beats. It is fine if more than one actor focuses on another on the switch. Discuss the kaleidoscope-like random shapes and appearance that keep happening as new partnerships explore mirroring. Repeat and try it with music and different kinds of movement.
  2. Use levels of space to create movement for fantasy characters.
    Strategy Example:
    Have students find a place on the floor not touching anyone else. Each child must "freeze" in a standing, lying, or squatting position. Ask them to explore movement at each level working off a five count. Discuss what fantasy characters might use these kinds of movements. In groups of five, create a community for each set of fantasy characters. How do they live and function? Share scenes with the class.
  3. Pantomime transformation of objects.
    Strategy Example:
    Standing in a circle, have students begin exploring what the Hula-Hoop might become. The teacher demonstrates by transforming the Hula-Hoop into some other object that engages the entire body; e.g., pretend it is a huge steering wheel on a giant vehicle, a super large magnifying glass, a magic doorway that changes a person into some other creature, a belt for a very large individual, an electronic prison cell, a flying machine. Work individually then in pairs.
  4. Pantomime to construct different meanings by changing the way a movement is executed.
    Strategy Example:
    Have the students pretend to write a letter at their desks. They must know who is writing the letter, to whom it is going, and why it is being written. List some possible adverbs that might aid the character's movement to construct new meanings about the who, whom, and why; e.g., frantically, sneakily, thoughtfully, passionately, regretfully. Repeat and refine the letter writing pantomime again using new adverbs to inform the action.

Objective 2
Develop expressive use of the voice.

  1. Construct and communicate different meanings by changing the intensity, pitch, and rhythm of the voice. (See Music Core.)
    Strategy Example:
    Challenge the students to see how many ways they can say "Come here." Challenge them to say it using a variety of intentions leading to many meanings of inflection such as disgust, urgency, pleading, enticement, anger, joy, questioning. Have the class discuss the clarity of meanings communicated.
  2. Construct and communicate different meanings by changing the way one breathes while speaking. (See Music Core.)
    Strategy Example:
    Challenge the students to perform the famous line, "To be or not to be, that is the question." Have them repeat it several times, each time using a different breathing rhythm (normal, fast, slow, rapid, nearly asleep, heavy, etc.). Have the class discuss the clarity of meanings communicated.

Objective 3
Develop emotional recall to strengthen mood in a scene.

  1. Use emotional recall to strengthen contrasting moods.
    Strategy Example:
    In threes or fours, have students choose a situation in which characters are obviously in a happy mood; e.g., astronauts who have made a successful landing on Mars, explorers who have just found buried treasure, hikers who have successfully climbed a mountain. Ask each scene group what could go wrong in their situation to cause a strong mood change in the scene. Each group acts out their scene for the others depicting the events that cause the mood change. Discuss how emotional recall can strengthen these contrasting moods; e.g., hikers who have successfully climbed a mountain suddenly are confronted with a blizzard. They might pretend to recall the emotional memories of friends who lost their lives in similar climbing situations.
  2. Use emotional recall to express a character's feelings in a given situation.
    Strategy Example:
    Have students draw two cards, one from an action pile; e.g., actions like read a letter, clean the house or yard, enter an empty cabin at night, prepare to bungee jump. Then choose one from an emotion pile; e.g., sadness, happiness, fear, anger. Discuss the thoughts and emotional memories students chose to use in connecting the emotion to the action.

Objective 4
Develop an ability to give and take focus in classroom dramatizations.

  1. Demonstrate giving and taking individual focus in-role.
    Strategy Example:
    Have students, in pairs, improvise a scene where the two of them are walking alone on a beach and come across a very frightened seagull caught in a barbed wire fence. Have them demonstrate giving and taking focus while they attempt to free the seagull from the barbed wire.
  2. Demonstrate giving and taking group focus in-role. (See Social Studies Core.)
    Strategy Example:
    Have students, in small groups, improvise a scene where each group represents a wagon train of pioneers heading west. Have each group demonstrate giving and taking focus by creating a crisis that requires the help of others to resolve it; e.g., broken wagon wheel, renegade attacks on wagons lagging behind, wagon overturning in a river.

Standard 3
Understanding Art Forms The student will compare, connect, and incorporate art forms by describing and analyzing methods of presentation and audience response for theatre and dramatic media, including film, television, electronic media, and other art forms.

Objective 1
Understand how the performer-audience relationship differs between art forms. (See Music Core.)

  1. Observe and explain differences in performer-audience relationships between art forms.
    Strategy Example:
    Have students attend at least two live performing arts events representing different art forms; e.g., plays, musicals, operas, dance concerts, pop music concerts, symphony orchestras. Compare performer-audience relationships between these art forms. Discuss observations with the entire class.
  2. Observe and identify different rules of audience etiquette between art forms.
    Strategy Example:
    Have students attend at least two live performing arts events representing different art forms; e.g., plays, musicals, operas, dance concerts, pop music concerts, symphony orchestras. Have students closely observe performing arts etiquette. Have them create separate lists of behaviors assigned to specific art forms. Discuss the similarities and differences between art forms concerning rules of etiquette.

Objective 2
Understand the use of visual, aural, oral, and kinetic elements across performing art forms. (See Visual Art, Music, and Dance Cores.)

  1. Identify visual, aural, oral, and kinetic elements and explain how they are used in two or more different performing art forms.
    Strategy Example:
    Have students attend at least two different performing arts events. Have students identify visual, aural, oral, and kinetic elements and explain how the use of these elements differs between art forms.
  2. Identify visual, aural, oral, and kinetic elements and explain how they are used differently in film and television compared to live performing art forms.
    Strategy Example:
    Have students watch film or television versions of plays or musicals. Have students identify visual, aural, oral, and kinetic elements and explain how they are used in these mediums. Compare the use of these elements in both live and nonlive mediums. What are the similarities and differences?

Objective 3
Select and integrate dance and music elements into dramatic presentations.

  1. Subordinate music elements into a dramatic presentation. (See Music Core.).
    Strategy Example:
    Have students subordinate music into a dramatic presentation. Have them use music to support the dramatic presentation in several ways; e.g., as mood music at certain moments, as part of a scene where an actor actually plays a music tape, as emotional memory for a character, as metaphor for a storm scene.
  2. Subordinate dance elements into a dramatic presentation. (See Dance Core.)
    Strategy Example:
    Have students subordinate dance into a dramatic presentation. Have them use dance to support the dramatic presentation in several ways; e.g., as a way to stylize fantasy scenes, as part of a scene where an actor actually dances, as dream flashbacks, as choreography in musical theatre, as metaphor for dramatic content such as fight scenes.

Standard 4
Analyzing and Constructing Meanings The student will explain personal preferences and construct meanings by responding to improvised and scripted scenes and to theatre, film, television, and electronic media productions.

Objective 1
Analyze and explain how the opposing wants and needs of the protagonist and the antagonist in a dramatic presentation are similar to and different from one's own wants and needs when in conflict with others in real life. (See Language Arts Core.)

  1. Identify the major conflict between the protagonist and the antagonist in a dramatic presentation and discuss any connections to one's own life.
    Strategy Example:
    Have students read a play and identify how the major conflict between the protagonist and the antagonist reflects individual wants and needs. Compare this conflict of wants and needs to conflicts of similar nature experienced in real life. How many share a similar conflict with someone else? In what ways is it similar? Have students discuss how individual wants and needs might lead to major conflicts with others in real life.
  2. Identify and describe in detail the conflict resolution in a dramatic presentation.
    Strategy Example:
    Have students read a play and identify how the major conflict was resolved. List and describe the logical progression of thinking and events that explain the way the conflict was resolved. Ask students to discuss any connections to their own lives. Can students trace a linear path between conflicts and resolutions in real life?

Objective 2
Analyze and critique dramatic presentations in terms of both the planning and the playing process using appropriate terminology and constructive suggestions with the intent to refine the work.

  1. Suggest ideas for improving the planning and playing process in an informal theatre piece from the viewpoint of a critic. (See Language Arts Core.)
    Strategy Example:
    Have half of the class observe the other half plan and present an informal theatre piece. Have the observers, in pairs, discuss and write down ideas for improving the piece using appropriate terminology and constructive language. Compare these suggestions with the suggestions of the performers.
  2. Suggest ideas for improving the planning and playing process in an informal theatre piece from the viewpoint of the actor. (See Language Arts Core.)
    Strategy Example:
    After the performance, have the performers of the piece, in pairs, discuss and write down ideas for improving the planning and playing process using appropriate terminology and constructive language. Compare these suggestions with the suggestions of the observers.

Objective 3
Analyze and articulate emotional responses to and personal preferences about constructed meanings for informal and formal theatre experiences from the viewpoints of both actor and audience.

  1. Identify and explain the constructed meaning of a play from the viewpoint of the audience and in what ways meaning is reflective of individual emotional responses and personal preferences to the play.
    Strategy Example:
    Have students attend live theatre and write, individually, a one-paragraph statement indicating the constructed meaning revealed to them by the production. Have all students read their opinions to the rest of the class. Discuss differences in terms of individual emotional responses and personal preferences.
  2. Identify and explain the constructed meaning of a play from the viewpoint of the actor and in what ways meaning is reflective of individual emotional responses and personal preferences to the play.
    Strategy Example:
    Have students present a dramatic presentation. Have each individual write a one-paragraph statement indicating the constructed meaning revealed to them in rehearsing the dramatic presentation. Invite all students to read their opinions to the rest of the class. Discuss differences in terms of individual emotional responses and personal preferences.

© Utah Education Network in partnership with the Utah State Office of Education and Higher Ed Utah.
UEN does not endorse and is not responsible for content on external websites linked to from this page.
KUEN CPB Compliance