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Fine ArtsDrama

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Drama is a medium for individual and group expression that fosters the pursuit of shared goals. Students learn to reflect and collaborate through creative interactions using the body and voice as expressive tools in the development of resiliency, empathy, and confidence. As students cultivate and refine dramatic skills and techniques, they develop both verbal and non-verbal communication through which they can create, present, appreciate, respond, and connect to the world around them. Dramatic processes allow students to develop perspectives through the exploration of characters, moods, and situations within historical, cultural, and contemporary contexts.
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Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3
Organizing Idea
Foundational Elements: Drama literacy is developed through knowledge and application of dramatic processes.
Guiding Question
What is dramatic play?
Guiding Question
How are play and the body related in drama?
Guiding Question
How can an understanding of the body influence expression?
Learning Outcome
Students examine dramatic play as a foundation for drama.
Learning Outcome
Students relate play and the body as a means to understand dramatic process.
Learning Outcome
Students analyze how the body can portray character in a variety of dramatic contexts.
Dramatic play can be planned and may have a beginning and an ending.

Play may have unpredictable outcomes, including what will happen or when it will stop.

Auditory cues can be given by another performer or teacher to direct dramatic play.

Play can be spontaneous or self-directed.

Improvisation is a form of spontaneous play and can draw upon imagination.

Puppetry and choral speech are dramatic forms that can be used to structure play.

Play includes rules that need to be agreed upon by all participants.
Play has structure.
Skills & Procedures
Participate in improvised and planned play.

Experiment with how stories can be used to structure dramatic play.

Use a variety of dramatic forms to express oneself through dramatic play.

Discuss rules of play in a learning environment.

Respond to auditory or visual cues in dramatic play.

Dramatic play can be based upon fictional or non-fictional characters, events, and situations.

Dramatic forms can give structure to dramatic play, including choral speech, puppetry, and tableau.

Tableau is a dramatic form that utilizes the body to create still images.

Play can foster symbolic thinking by using tools and materials in different ways to represent an object or idea.
Dramatic play can represent new and imagined worlds.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with a variety of characters and events upon which to base dramatic play.

Experiment with various dramatic forms as a way to structure play.

Use dramatic play as a way to explore a character or situation.

Explore and discuss how everyday objects can be used symbolically within drama activities.
The body can represent the material world through drama, including animals, objects, and the environment.

Individuals express meaning with the body in various ways.

Mime is a dramatic form that uses specific movements to communicate non-verbally.

Physical theatre is a dramatic form that uses body movements to tell a story.
The body is dynamic and can be used to express meaning.
Skills & Procedures
Explore how different body movements can communicate meaning.

Demonstrate how various dramatic forms can support expression.

Discuss how various dramatic forms can be used to tell a story.
Imagination can be explored through improvisation.

Dramatic play can include make-believe and pretend play.

Inspiration for play can come from a variety of sources, including
  • stories
  • imagination
  • music
  • television and film
  • real-life situations
Play can be enhanced by using tools and materials (stimuli) within the surrounding environment, including music, props, and costumes.

Play can include expressive use of body movements and voice, including
  • gestures
  • body levels and shapes
  • speed, direction, and weight of movement
  • facial expressions
  • vocal sounds, including high, low, loud, and soft
Play supports the exploration of personal interests.

Play can reflect what an individual wants to experience.
Skills & Procedures
Explore different ways the body and voice can be used within dramatic play.

Share imaginative ideas with one another.

Respond to various stimuli within play.

Incorporate various tools and materials to support play.

Describe preferences related to dramatic play.
Play can contribute to an individual’s well-being through the development of confidence, resiliency, and motivation.

Dramatic play allows participants to experience other perspectives when exploring roles, characters, and situations.

Play can support demonstration of knowledge in other areas of learning through creative expression, including
  • creative movement
  • singing
  • storytelling
  • make-believe
Dramatic play can include rules that foster collaboration and trust.

Dramatic play requires listening to understand one another.
Play is a means by which individuals can learn about themselves, others, and the world.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how play can develop awareness of others’ feelings or perspectives.

Explore how play can be used to demonstrate knowledge in other areas of learning.

Consider and respond to others’ ideas in dramatic play.

Create criteria that outline rules of play.
Body actions can convey character through facial expressions, gestures, and body movements.

The voice is part of the body and can be used to develop a character.

Role play can support the exploration of a character.

Character development can be supported by other characters.

Choral speech as a dramatic form can support group expression, including
  • speaking clearly
  • speaking with ease
  • learning to articulate
  • enjoyment of literature
  • exploring the flexibility of the voice
Warm-up activities for the body and voice can contribute to dramatic expression.
Character can be developed through the body.

A performer’s personal characteristics can be used as a starting point for character development.
Skills & Procedures
Consider how personal characteristics can contribute to character development.

Explore how changing body actions can communicate character, including feelings.

Evaluate the effectiveness of body actions in the representation of character.

Experiment with voice to convey a character.

Participate in drama activities that prepare the body and voice for expression.

Extend speaking skills to include appropriate volume, energy, and expressivity.
Characters can be expressed through play.

Play can be about identifying and solving problems.

Learning through play can include
  • cooperating with others
  • generating and expressing ideas
  • learning from mistakes
  • sharing materials
Play fosters the development of speaking skills, including speaking clearly, expressively, and with energy.
Play is a means by which individuals can learn about themselves.
Skills & Procedures
Explore how to express a character within dramatic play.

Discuss play experiences with one another.

Practise moving with care and safety in dramatic play.

Practise speaking clearly, expressively, and with energy.
The body communicates when still or moving.

Where and how the body moves contributes to expression.

Character can be represented through the body.

Speaking skills can be used to develop character and include speaking with appropriate volume and ease.

Imitation can be a method for exploring how the body can reproduce movement and vocal sounds in the development of a character.

The body is emotionally sensitive and is supported when drama experiences foster collaboration and trust.
The body is mobile, expressive, and sensitive.
Skills & Procedures
Explore how stillness and movement can contribute to dramatic play.

Determine how body movements can change what the body is expressing.

Experiment with various ways the body can communicate meaning when moving individually or as a group.

Participate in activities that explore expressivity of the body and voice.

Incorporate body movements and voice to explore character development.

Extend speaking skills to include variations in volume and speaking with ease.
The way in which a body moves and expresses is unique to each person.

Physical safety includes an understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the body and voice.

The expressive capabilities of the body can be developed through warm-up activities and relaxation techniques.
The body, as a dramatic tool, needs exercise to be healthy and flexible.

Maintaining a healthy body includes a knowledge of personal and physical safety.
Skills & Procedures
Participate in drama activities and warm-ups that prepare the body and voice for expression.

Demonstrate how to safely use the body and voice.

Identify personal strengths and areas for growth in drama.
Organizing Idea
Creating and Presenting: Ideas can be represented dramatically through artworks that draw upon foundational knowledge.
Guiding Question
How can ideas be expressed through drama?
Guiding Question
How can a message be represented through drama?
Guiding Question
How can a message in drama reflect what we value and understand?
Learning Outcome
Students construct ideas for dramatic play using artistic choices.
Learning Outcome
Students experiment with how messages can be expressed through the body using dramatic play.
Learning Outcome
Students interpret how the communication of a message can be influenced by artistic choice in drama.
Improvisation is a way to generate ideas without planning.

Dramatic forms, including puppetry, can involve improvisation.

Artistic choices can help develop an idea in drama.

An idea in drama can come from
  • stories
  • environment
  • music and sounds
  • other people or performers
  • film and television
  • artworks and images
  • characters
An idea in drama can be generated and expressed through play.

An actor is an individual who can create, appreciate, and perform ideas in drama.
Skills & Procedures
Generate ideas through improvisation.

Incorporate a beginning and an ending to a dramatic idea.

Experiment with artistic choices when representing ideas in drama.
A performer makes artistic choices about how to communicate a message verbally and non-verbally.

The meaning of a message can change as it is passed along from one performer to another.

Non-verbal communication of a message can include the use of
  • dramatic forms
  • body position
  • gestures and movement
  • body language
  • facial expressions
  • use of space, including proximity
Non-verbal communication can require an awareness of moving the body safely through personal and shared spaces.
Verbal and non-verbal communication of a message can be shared in a variety of ways in drama.

Feelings and experiences of a character or situation can be communicated verbally and non-verbally.
Skills & Procedures
Express a message in drama using verbal and non-verbal communication.

Play a variety of drama activities that explore opportunities for non-verbal and verbal expression.

Create ways to communicate non-verbally when moving through self space and shared space.

Make artistic choices to shape the development of a message in drama.

Represent a character, feeling, or situation verbally and non-verbally.

Experiment with dramatic forms to express a message individually and with others.
Messages in drama can be created by imagination.

A message can be structured using dramatic forms.

A character’s message can be communicated through artistic choices related to the voice and the body.

Costumes and props can contribute to the creation of a message when used with intention.

Speaking clearly and with ease contributes to effectively sharing a message.
Artists intentionally choose specific ways to effectively share a message.

A single message can be expressed in numerous ways by applying artistic choices.
Skills & Procedures
Make informed artistic choices to share a message through drama.

Explain the reason for making specific artistic choices.

Experiment with various ways to use the voice to perform a message in and out of character.

Experiment with costumes and props as a way to enhance communication of a message.

Identify when costumes or props are helping or hindering dramatic expression.

Demonstrate how a single message can be expressed in many different ways.
Ideas in drama can reflect feelings, interests, and preferences.

Collaboration can foster a safe learning environment in drama through listening to one another’s ideas, problem solving, and making decisions.

Choral speech requires collaboration to speak expressively in unison.

Problems or challenges related to dramatic expression can be solved by asking for help.

Participating as an audience member or as a performer includes expectations or rules (artistic protocols and etiquette).
An idea in drama can come from brainstorming and collaboration.
Skills & Procedures
Collaborate with others when generating and representing ideas.

Participate as an audience member and as a performer in a variety of drama experiences.

Identify ways to solve problems or challenges in dramatic play.

Recognize how to follow expectations or rules when participating as an audience member and as a performer.
A message in drama can be generated, sent, received, and interpreted.

Improvisation can be used to generate and send a message in drama.

Structure in dramatic play can help an audience know when the dramatic expression begins and ends.

Empathy and perspectives can be gained through creating, viewing, and performing.

Expectations for participating in drama, known as artistic protocols and etiquette, can change depending on the context in which the dramatic work is experienced.
The sharing of a message involves a relationship between the performer and the audience.

Audience members can have different feelings about dramatic works.
Skills & Procedures
Participate as an audience member and as a performer in a variety of drama experiences.

Demonstrate an understanding of artistic protocols and etiquette within various dramatic experiences.

Use improvisation to communicate a message.

Express a message that has a clear beginning and ending in dramatic play.

Share interpretations or feelings about dramatic works with one another.
Messages can be created for an intended audience and may have topics or themes that can be sensitive to some viewers.

Messages can evoke different responses from an audience based on their beliefs, preferences, and feelings.

A message in drama can represent a variety of themes or subjects, including ideas, culture, and events.

A message in drama can be developed and clarified with the help of creative processes, including
  • generating ideas
  • problem solving
  • reflection
  • giving and receiving feedback
  • refinement
  • rehearsal
A performer’s message can be refined for future performances when feedback is considered.

Messages expressed through drama are clear when rehearsed and performed with energy, appropriate volume, and expressivity.

The circle is a symbol that can communicate messages in drama, including unity.

Circle formations are found in drama and storytelling across various cultures of the world.
A message is at the centre of communication in drama.

An audience receives and interprets messages communicated through dramatic expression.

Messages can represent what an artist means to communicate through dramatizations.
Skills & Procedures
Participate as an audience member and as a performer in drama.

Discuss how a message in drama can evoke a response from an audience.

Create a dramatization that communicates a message that is based on a theme or subject.

Consider feedback from an audience to refine a message.

Rehearse dramatizations before performing for an audience.
Drama activities and warm-ups can provide opportunities to practise using the body, movements, and voice in dramatic expressions.

Rehearsal in drama is a way to practise a skill or expression of a dramatic idea.

An idea in drama can be presented informally, as in a drama class, or formally, including in a concert.

Practice can require repetition of a skill or presentation in order to learn it well.
Developing an idea though drama may take practice.
Skills & Procedures
Participate in a variety of drama activities and warm-ups.

Practise accepting ideas from one another within dramatic play.

Rehearse dramatic ideas before performing for an audience.
Creative processes can include
  • practice
  • generating an idea
  • receiving feedback
  • reflection
Problems or challenges related to creating a message in drama can be solved by asking for feedback and by rehearsing.

Practice and rehearsal can help clarify roles and refine skills and techniques in drama.
Development of a message in drama can involve creative processes.
Skills & Procedures
Apply creative processes to develop a message within dramatic play.

Rehearse dramatic expressions before performing for an audience.
Organizing Idea
Appreciation: Recognizing beauty, goodness, and truth in drama can be developed by understanding the complexity and richness of great dramatic works, the artists who create and perform them, and the historical and cultural contexts from which they originate.
Guiding Question
What function did drama serve in ancient China, ancient Egypt, and prehistoric times?
Guiding Question
How might cultures from the past and present contribute to an appreciation of drama?
Guiding Question
How can an understanding of culture contribute to learning about drama in ancient Rome and New France?
Learning Outcome
Students investigate the function of drama in ancient times and present day.
Learning Outcome
Students investigate culture in relation to drama from ancient Greece and present day.

Students examine culture through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit drama and storytelling.
Learning Outcome
Students relate how cultures of the past and present contribute to dramatic expression.
From ancient times to present, drama can communicate ways of life, including
  • spiritual and religious beliefs
  • culture
  • celebrations
  • entertainment
Drama is present in many forms, including plays, movies, and playing with friends.
Drama can have a specific function in a community.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how the dramatic expressions of others can communicate aspects of culture.

Explore a variety of performances from local communities.
Experiences with drama can include learning about drama from the past and the people who created and performed plays.

Theatre was created in ancient Greece as a way to stage a dramatic performance.

Theatre in ancient Greece evolved from religious rituals.

The culture of Greek theatre was known for
  • outdoor performances
  • the use of masks of exaggerated expressions
  • two types of plays called comedy and tragedy
  • a chorus of actors who spoke and sung in unison
Dramatic plays included topics that were important to the people of ancient Greece and part of community life.
Culture is what people do and a way of thinking.

Drama from various times and places can be representative of a culture.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how culture may be communicated through drama.

Participate in dramatizations based on comedies and tragedies.
From historical times to today, cultures may have valued drama for cultural expression, entertainment, and education.

Using vocabulary related to drama can contribute to discussions about drama.

Artistic protocols and etiquette may change based on the community, culture, presentation, and location of a performance.

The topics or themes expressed through drama may have a particular significance to the culture, time, and place in which they are expressed.

Dramatic forms that originated from various cultures in the past continue to be used and valued today.
Drama was valued differently across cultures throughout history.

An artistic community is a venue for artistic expression within various cultures.
Skills & Procedures
Express how drama is valued in one’s life and culture.

Examine how drama can be used to express topics or themes that are important to individuals or cultures.

Demonstrate how to follow artistic protocols and etiquette in various drama experiences.
Imitation was a common form of dramatic expression in prehistoric communities (mimesis).

Dramatic expression was found in ancient cave paintings and engravings that show humans imitating animals by wearing animal heads and skins as a form of costume.

In ancient Egypt, masks were often worn while performing rituals and ceremonies about the life of the pharaoh and other myths.

Drama performances in ancient China featured movement, dance, and martial arts.

Stories told through drama performances were based on Chinese traditions and beliefs.

Drama in ancient China included the use of puppet shows and shadow plays.
Ancient societies used drama for a variety of functions.

Knowledge about people who lived a long time ago can be learned through drama.
Skills & Procedures
Represent animals in dramatic play.

Use movement and dance as a way to tell stories.

Explore puppet shows and shadow plays as a form of drama.
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities have specific protocols related to how, when, or with whom stories are shared.

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit storytelling includes oral traditions that can be passed on between and among individuals and communities with proper protocol.

Storytelling can reflect
  • cultural beliefs
  • history
  • relationship
  • ways of life
  • intergenerational knowledge

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit storytelling is holistic in nature and can have individual and collective benefits, including
  • social well-being
  • physical health
  • spiritual connection
  • emotional and mental well-being
  • intellectual development
Culture can be revealed through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit storytelling.

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit storytelling can establish a sense of community and well-being among participants.
Skills & Procedures
Examine how culture is communicated through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit storytelling.

Experience First Nations, Métis, or Inuit storytelling.

Discuss how storytelling can contribute to personal well-being.
Theatre and drama in ancient Rome was valued for its ability to entertain.

Stories about gods and goddesses (mythology) in ancient Rome were commonly expressed through drama.

Nearly all Roman plays, including the costumes used, were imitations or similar representations of Greek comedies and tragedies.

Theatre in the round was a type of staging used in Greek and Roman theatre that provided enhanced sound and sightlines for an audience, as seen in the Colosseum.

Roman theatre was well known for using stock characters and comedy, which led to the later development of clowning.

A stock character represents a certain type of person or stereotype, such as a brave hero or a clumsy waiter.

In ancient Rome, tragedies became less popular as people enjoyed and preferred the entertainment value of a comedy.

Roman pantomime is a dramatic story told without words and characterized by the use of gestures, beautiful costumes, and masks.

Mime emerged during Roman theatre as a way to interact with the chorus using dance and gestures.
Drama in ancient Rome reflected cultural beliefs and history.

The cultures of ancient Rome had an influence on modern-day drama and theatre.
Skills & Procedures
Create dramatizations based on comedy and tragedy.

Explore pantomime and mime as dramatic forms.

Use stories as an inspiration for dramatic expression.
Storytelling and ceremony were significant aspects of First Nations culture for hundreds of years before the arrival of the Europeans.

First Nations storytelling in New France reflected traditions and beliefs that continue to be honoured and celebrated today by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.

Protocols related to how or with whom stories are shared were part of First Nations culture in New France and continue to hold significant importance today.

The Theatre of Neptune, by Marc Lescarbot in 1606, is considered one of Canada’s first formal European plays that incorporated music, including trumpets, cannons, and choral singing.

The performance of The Theatre of Neptune took place on barges and canoes in Port Royal, and depicted French exploration and expeditions to Acadia.

Theatre in New France was primarily performed by community members to provide entertainment and to celebrate the establishment of the French community.
Drama in New France reflected a combination of culture and traditions that served different purposes for the people who lived there.
Skills & Procedures
Experience storytelling from various cultures.