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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 2
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Grade 4
Organizing Idea
Foundational Elements: Drama literacy is developed through knowledge and application of dramatic processes.
Guiding Question
How are play and the body related in drama?
Guiding Question
How can an understanding of the body influence expression?
Guiding Question
How does the voice and the body contribute to an understanding of dramatic expression?
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.
Learning Outcome
Students relate the voice and the body as a means to portray roles, characters, and situations.
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.
Empathy is the ability to share the feelings of another individual.

Role-playing skills support the ability to use the body to
  • take on the attitude of another individual
  • assume the physical attributes of another individual
  • empathize the situation of another individual
Imagination and prior knowledge can guide role play.

Group drama is a dramatic form used to collaboratively build a dramatization through the acceptance of ideas.

The body and mind connect thinking and feeling to make meaning.

What a person is thinking and how they are feeling can influence how they portray a character.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how empathy and perspectives can guide character development.

Experiment with role play in the development of a character.

Make decisions as a group.

Experiment with various dramatic forms to support individual and group expression.
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.
A character is developed through the body and in relation to the dramatic role and situation.

A situation in drama has structure that includes time and place.

Blocking involves body movement and positioning that contributes to the staging of presentations in drama.

Body expression has a relationship to
  • other characters
  • space
  • situations
  • props
  • voice
The body can be analyzed through movement, space, and relationships.

Expression can be enhanced when the body and voice are combined.
Skills & Procedures
Sustain body actions in the representation of character.

Analyze different ways of moving alone and with others.

Experiment with how characters react in different situations.

Explore how blocking can contribute to presentations in drama.

Explore how combining the body and voice can contribute to character development.
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.
Speaking skills can help develop vocal expression through exploration of tone, volume, and timing.

Radio play is an auditory dramatic form that features music, dialogue, and sound effects to highlight characters and story.

Readers’ theatre skills help develop the ability to communicate from a prepared script.

Words and meaning can change based on
  • tone
  • volume
  • timing
  • pace
  • rhythm
Soundscapes express environments, moods, and scenarios through the use of tone, breath, volume, and vocal sound effects.

The voice has many qualities that make it identifiable (timbre) and can include shouting, whispering, singing, and speaking.
The voice is expressive.

The voice can communicate intent in the way that it is used on its own or when paired with body movements.
Skills & Procedures
Explore how changes in vocal quality can influence words and meaning.

Use dramatic forms to support expressive use of the voice.

Demonstrate how the voice contributes to a variety of dramatic situations.
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.
The diaphragm is a muscle that supports vocal health and production and projection of the voice.

Voice production relies on body positioning.

The body and the voice function optimally when warmed up and exercised.

Safe projection of the voice includes appropriate breath support, volume, and control.

The voice is the combination of breath and the vibration of vocal cords.

Voice can be communicated through sign language and gesture.
The voice is dependent on the body.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how speech can be affected by how the body and voice are used.

Use techniques for the safe production and projection of the voice through a variety of drama activities.

Evaluate projection of the voice when speaking in a variety of spaces.

Participate in warm-up activities that prepare the body and voice for expression.
Organizing Idea
Creating and Presenting: Ideas can be represented dramatically through artworks that draw upon foundational knowledge.
Guiding Question
How can a message be represented through drama?
Guiding Question
How can a message in drama reflect what we value and understand?
Guiding Question
How can a narrative contribute to dramatic expression?
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.
Learning Outcome
Students employ narrative as a structure for organizing, creating, and presenting dramatizations.
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.
A narrative in drama may or may not represent a sequence of events in the order in which they happened.

A narrative in drama can be structured in a variety of ways, including
  • a theme
  • a vignette – a short episode
  • a scene
  • an act
  • an entire play
Dramatic forms can give structure to a narrative.

Inspiration for a narrative may come from
  • stories
  • documentaries
  • different forms of media
  • conversations
  • imagination
  • people or characters
A narrative in drama can be illustrated as a partial or whole representation.

A narrative in drama can be factual or fictitious.
Skills & Procedures
Choose an inspiration for a narrative.

Explore various ways to structure a narrative.
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.
Points of view or perspectives can reflect feelings, experiences, and culture.

Empathy can influence how a narrative is communicated.

Communication of a narrative can feature a character’s intention, status, or feelings through role play.

Status communicates the relationships between two characters.
A narrative can communicate points of view or perspectives of an individual or group.

The way in which dramatic processes are applied can communicate perspectives, ideas, and feelings.
Skills & Procedures
Express a narrative from a point of view of another character or characters.

Perform a narrative from a personal point of view.
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.
A performer can make experimental or informed artistic choices to shape a narrative, including the choice of
  • costumes
  • props
  • sets
  • lights
  • voice
  • movement
Vocal expression can change the meaning of words expressed in a narrative.

A narrative can be communicated non-verbally through the use of movements, as seen in mime or tableau.

Blocking can help clarify positioning and movement of actors when performing a narrative.

Dramatic forms, including readers’ theatre and choral speech, are prepared scripts that can be used to tell a narrative.

Vocal production and body movement may need to be adjusted when performing for an audience.

A director can shape a narrative by giving verbal cues that guide the performer or ensemble.

Creative processes, including rehearsal, can help a performer refine expression of a narrative in drama.

Working with an ensemble can develop skills that can be transferred to other areas of learning.
A narrative in drama can be shaped by the performer(s), the director, and the audience.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with various ways to use the voice to represent a character within a narrative.

Collaborate with others when creating and representing a narrative in drama.

Perform narratives from a script.

Represent a narrative non-verbally.

Respond to verbal cues given by a director when rehearsing a narrative.

Apply creative processes when creating a narrative.

Participate as a performer and as an audience member in drama.
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
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?
Guiding Question
What is the role of culture in shaping drama from medieval Europe, medieval Islam, and Alberta?
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.
Learning Outcome
Students relate how culture is reflected in drama and storytelling across time and place.
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.
Culture can be enhanced when members of a drama community participate, communicate, engage, and share responsibilities.

The culture of an artistic community can support the caring and respectful inclusion of all participants.
When communities unite through the arts, culture can be learned.

The culture of an artistic community is about shared ways of being together and reaching common goals.
Skills & Procedures
Participate in drama as members of an artistic community.

Demonstrate how artistic roles and responsibilities contribute to a sense of community.
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.
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit knowledge shared through storytelling can
  • share teachings and histories
  • communicate values and beliefs
  • show gratitude and reverence
  • demonstrate reciprocity
  • reflect spirituality
  • contribute to healing
  • guide and direct choices and actions
Communities in Alberta may share their cultural traditions through a variety of formal or informal dramatic practices, such as readings, recitations, and storytelling.

Cowboy poetry is a form of performance that grew out of the culture of cowboys telling stories.
Drama and storytelling in Alberta can reflect the culture of those who came before us and those who live here now.
Skills & Procedures
Investigate storytelling in a variety of Alberta cultures or contexts.

Discuss knowledge that First Nations, Métis, and Inuit can share through storytelling.

Explore cowboy poetry as a form of 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.
Performers throughout the Middle Ages often used their art to transfer and preserve their skills and traditions.

Performers may have been part of a membership called a guild and travelled and performed throughout various communities.

Drama in the Middle Ages used various dramatic forms, including
  • mime
  • acrobatics
  • juggling
  • singing (minstrels)
  • storytelling
  • shadow puppetry
  • narrative drama
Some performances in medieval Europe happened inside churches, while others were held outside, in towns and villages, for everyone to see.

Performances in medieval Europe included various kinds of drama, such as
  • stories based on the Bible
  • interludes, which are short comical plays
  • farces based on unlikely situations
Theatrical performances in medieval Islamic cultures included poetry recitations and storytelling that occurred outside.

Rumi (1207–1273) was an important Muslim poet who influenced many cultures and whose poetry is still recited today.

Culture was revealed through dramatic performances during the Middle Ages.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with dramatic forms used in the Middle Ages.

Explore poetry as a form of dramatic expression.