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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 5
Grade 6
Organizing Idea
Foundational Elements: Drama literacy is developed through knowledge and application of dramatic processes.
Guiding Question
What effect does the combination of voice and staging have on the development of a dramatization?
Guiding Question
How can voice and staging convey authenticity?
Learning Outcome
Students investigate voice and staging as a means of expression in drama.
Learning Outcome
Students associate voice with staging in the development of characters, roles, and situations.
Tone of voice includes
  • volume
  • emphasis
  • accent
  • intonation
Production of the voice includes
  • vocal pitch
  • energy
  • tone
  • volume
  • projection
  • articulation
  • phrasing
  • pace
The voice and the body can reflect stereotypes and characters in drama.

Stereotypes in drama are collections of personality traits or generalizations of what a character sounds like or looks like.

An authentic character is an accurate and genuine representation of a person.

Articulators are vocal organs in the body that influence sound and can include the
  • lips
  • teeth
  • tongue
  • hard pallet
  • soft pallet
The articulators contribute to producing clear sounds and words and can be developed through vocal exercises, including tongue twisters.
The voice is an expressive instrument that is capable of producing and reproducing sound.

The voice has a natural and distinguishable tone that can represent the uniqueness of an individual.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with how the voice can create a variety of sounds.

Differentiate between stereotypes and authentic character.

Explore the use of articulators in adjusting vocal sounds.
A voice can be blended with other voices to create a distinguishable tone.

Individual and collective use of voice requires adjustments in
  • volume
  • emphasis
  • accent
  • intonation
  • breathing
Production of voice as an ensemble requires listening to each other for
  • vocal pitch
  • energy
  • tone
  • volume
  • projection
  • articulation
  • pace
  • phrasing
Balancing voices within an ensemble requires collaboration and compromise.
Voice is a powerful communication tool that can convey the uniqueness of an individual or ensemble.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how drama experiences contribute to knowing when and how to use the voice appropriately.

Use the voice in unison to communicate intention.

Evaluate the balance of voices within an ensemble.

Extend vocal production to reflect character.
The voice is what is heard, felt, and imagined by an audience.

The voice can be used to represent
  • thoughts
  • feelings
  • experiences
  • imagination
  • personal attributes
The voice can represent the perspective of the character.

The amount of breath used in vocal production will vary according to the performance space.

Stage whispers require an excess release of breath to project the voice effectively.
The voice conveys a performer’s intention in the way that it is used.

The voice is released from the body with an appropriate amount of breath for the space, idea, and feeling.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with how the voice can shape the development of a character or situation.

Explore how vocal release is dependent on body and breath.
Voice can begin with thought and breath and lead to verbal or non-verbal expression.

Vocal expression can contribute to establishing the mood or setting of a dramatization.

The mood in a drama refers to the overall emotional quality of a dramatic work.

The setting in a drama can be a visual or auditory representation of the place in which the dramatic situation occurs.

Intentional production and projection of the voice can communicate feelings, tension, and ease.

The use of voice can evoke an emotional response from others, focus attention, or drive dramatic action.

The voice can be used to make a character or situation more believable.
The voice can communicate a performer’s intention to the audience and other performers.

The voice expresses personality, style, and character.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with how the voice can establish mood or setting in a dramatization.

Examine how the voice can support the believability of a character or situation.

Examine how the voice can be used to develop authentic characters and stereotypes.

Evaluate the use of voice in the development of a character, setting, and mood.
Physical warm-ups for drama can include
  • stretching
  • extensions
  • breath exercises
  • cardiovascular exercise
Vocal warm-ups for drama can include exercises for
  • breath control
  • pitch variation
  • projection
  • articulation
Tension in the body and breath affects how the voice expresses thought and feeling.
The voice functions optimally when warmed up, exercised, and relaxed.
Skills & Procedures
Participate in various ways to warm up the body and voice.

Discuss how proper body and vocal warm-ups can contribute to dramatic expression.

Explore how tension in the body and breath can influence vocal quality.
Voice work can include physical and vocal warm-ups.

By releasing inefficient vocal and physical habits, opportunities for the voice emerge.

Vocal hygiene includes efficient projection of voice and voice production.

Vocal control requires awareness of body, breath, and release.
Voice work is physical and requires an awareness of body.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how inefficient vocal and physical habits can impede expression.

Recognize the connection between body and voice in verbal expression.

Participate in vocal and physical warm-ups.
Staging includes the movement of actors and objects in a performance space.

Staging considerations include optimal audibility and visibility for an audience.

Blocking is a performer’s movement and positioning on stage that can influence expression.

Body positions on stage can include full front, profile, and full back.

Not all dramatic forms can be staged in the same way.

A dramatization may include the audience as a participant in the performance.

Audiences may engage in a performance in a variety of ways, including
  • singing
  • using props
  • verbally answering questions from the performer(s)
  • suggesting ideas
Any space can be transformed into a performance space.

Staging supports expression in dramatic performances.

Staging reflects the relationship between the audience and performer(s) within a performance space.
Skills & Procedures
Identify various ways an audience can participate in a drama.

Implement changes to a particular area to create a performance space.

Explore how blocking can contribute to presentations in drama.

Explore the effects that body positions can have on dramatic expression.
When staging decisions have a purpose, an audience’s experience can be enhanced.

Staging includes technical elements, dramatic forms, and audience placement.

The world of the performance can be created with technical elements, including
  • blocking
  • performers
  • sound
  • sets
  • props
  • costumes
  • lights
Dramatic tension can be created through the combination of blocking and technical elements.

There are nine areas of the stage:
  • upstage right
  • upstage centre
  • upstage left
  • centre right
  • centre
  • centre left
  • downstage right
  • downstage centre
  • downstage left
The names of the nine stage areas originated from the structure of a raked stage, where the stage tilts toward the audience.

Downstage refers to the area closest to the audience.

Body positions, including full front, profile, and full back, can be used in conjunction with the nine stage areas.

Blocking is a performer’s movement and positioning throughout the nine stage areas.

A director can guide the movement of the performer(s) on stage.

Staging is the overall design of a performance.

Staging creates the world of the performance so that the audience can look in.

Staging includes the planning and movement of performer(s) on stage.
Skills & Procedures
Incorporate technical elements in a dramatization.

Respond to verbal cues that direct movement throughout the nine stage areas.

Combine body positions and stage areas in the exploration of dramatic action.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of blocking and staging choices.

Examine various forms of staging presented in live or recorded performances.
Staging can enhance a dramatization through the use of
  • movement or stillness
  • light or dark
  • sound or silence
Technical elements can be added to a performance to clarify ideas for an audience, and can include
  • costumes
  • props
  • sounds
  • sets
  • lighting
Technical elements can influence an audience’s experience of a dramatization.
Staging includes technical elements that can enhance a dramatization.
Skills & Procedures
Explore the effects that technical elements have in a dramatization.

Discuss the effectiveness of technical elements used in a dramatization.
Organizing Idea
Creating and Presenting: Ideas can be represented dramatically through artworks that draw upon foundational knowledge.
Guiding Question
How can a narrative in drama contribute to understanding diverse stories and experiences?
Guiding Question
How can artistic intention strengthen communication of ideas in drama?
Learning Outcome
Students represent narratives based on a variety of inspirations and through the application of artistic choices.
Learning Outcome
Students express intention as an integral part of artistic expression in drama.
The structure of a narrative can include a beginning, a problem, and a resolution.

Dramatic tension in a narrative can build suspense and can give the audience something to anticipate.

Parts of a narrative may be excluded, leaving the audience to assume what happened before and after the narrative was presented.

Staging considerations can influence representation of a narrative.

Technical elements applied to staging can enhance how a narrative is represented.

Narrative can be represented individually or collectively.

Dramatic forms can be used to structure how a narrative is told.

Narrative can be planned or improvised.
A narrative can be structured to describe the past, the present, or the future.
Skills & Procedures
Create a plan for structuring a narrative.

Experiment with improvisation as a way to structure a narrative.

Explore how the use of technical elements can enhance the structure of a narrative.
Structure and organization in a dramatic work can include
  • story structure, with a beginning, problem, and resolution
  • technical elements
  • dramatic forms
  • creating a plan for a dramatization
  • blocking
  • staging choices
  • awareness of the audience
  • points of view, such as first-person, the audience, or a chosen character
  • rehearsal and performance processes, such as the use of on- and off-stage areas
Directions for structure and organization can include cues, assigned roles, and use of stage areas.

Dramatizations may be interpreted in a way that differs from what the performer intended.
Intention becomes evident to the performer and audience when drama has structure and organization.
Skills & Procedures
Demonstrate how intention can be communicated through the structure and organization of a dramatization.

Devise a plan that outlines the requirements needed to rehearse and perform a dramatic work.

Demonstrate how to follow directions when working in a dramatization.

Rehearse performances before presenting to an audience.

Collaborate to solve staging or movement challenges in a variety of performance spaces.

Participate as an audience member and as a performer in drama.
A narrative can be based on
  • stories, legends, myths, and poetry
  • fictional or non-fictional events
  • characters
  • individuals or communities
  • historical or cultural events
There are universal themes that can occur in narratives, including
  • redemption
  • survival
  • quest
A narrative is represented in diverse ways across cultures.

Narrative can be expressed in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit stories and can be witnessed through the spirit or life of the storyteller.

Narrative in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit storytelling can originate from the land and include the
  • wind
  • water
  • soil
  • animals
  • plants
A narrative can communicate knowledge and understandings about the world.

The exploration of a culture’s narrative through drama can help the viewer to build cultural understanding.
Skills & Procedures
Choose a topic to communicate through a narrative.

Perform invented or scripted dramas based on a narrative.

Explore narratives in First Nations, Métis, or Inuit storytelling.
Dramatic expression can be created intentionally using the body and voice to communicate status, point of view, and perspective.

A character’s intention, point of view, and status can be expressed through body and voice.

A character’s perspective, experience, and feelings can be intentionally portrayed in dramatic works.

A variety of stimuli can be used to focus intention, including
  • images
  • music
  • poetry
  • stories
  • props
  • artworks
Intention refers to what a performer means to express.

Intention can be linked to the purposeful creation, expression, or appreciation of drama.
Skills & Procedures
Adjust body, breath, and voice to communicate intention.

Demonstrate how voice and body can be combined to represent a character, role, or situation.

Practise sustaining a character’s status, intention, or feelings.

Evaluate how adjustments made to the voice and body are appropriate for the ideas expressed.

Respond to a variety of stimuli in the creation and exploration of dramatic expression.
Artistic choices can revise and re imagine how a narrative is expressed and can include the use of
  • voice
  • body
  • dramatic forms
  • technical elements
  • staging
A character’s status or feelings can be communicated and enhanced through narrative.

Status is the level of importance or power that a character holds in relation to other characters.

Status can change depending on how the body and voice is used.

Feedback from an audience can influence future performances.

Audience participation can enhance how a narrative is communicated in drama.
A narrative can take an audience on a journey by entertaining and persuading.

A narrative may be perceived by an audience in a way that differs from what the performer intended.
Skills & Procedures
Make artistic choices in the creation of a narrative.

Express a character’s status through role play.

Describe how feedback about the narrative was incorporated.

Experiment with the possibilities of the voice and the body in communication of a narrative.

Demonstrate how to follow staging cues when clarifying positions and movement of performers in a narrative.

Participate as an audience member and as a performer in drama.
A performer’s artistic intention can be enhanced or refined by viewing, practising, and participating in drama activities.

Communicating intention can involve creative processes, including
  • decision making in the creation of a dramatization
  • problem solving
  • creative risk taking
  • consideration and implementation of feedback
  • reflection
Creative risk taking can include
  • working individually or in groups
  • trying unfamiliar or new techniques
  • working outside of one’s comfort zone
A performer`s intention may emphasize process over product.
Skills & Procedures
Participate in drama activities that explore and challenge creative expression.

Take creative risks during the process of developing a character, role, or situation.

Problem solve to enhance or refine the intention of a dramatization.

Evaluate the effectiveness of communicating intention in drama.

Describe how feedback was incorporated to clarify or enhance artistic intention.
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 was societal change reflected in drama during colonial Canada, the Renaissance, and the Protestant Reformation?
Guiding Question
How did societal change influence drama in the Enlightenment, French Revolution, and throughout the history of the United States of America?
Learning Outcome
Students investigate how changes in past societies have influenced the creation and sharing of drama.
Learning Outcome
Students relate change to historical events and the evolution of dramatic practices.
European and French playwrights inspired the subject matter of theatre in colonial Canada.

Literary styles such as heroic epic were reflected in the drama and theatre of colonial Canada.

An epic is a long, narrative poem that reflects the heroic actions of a person or group of people in a certain time and place.

Heroic epics originated in ancient Greece and continue to be used in drama today.

Heroic epic was used to retell the story of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

Professional actors began to arrive in colonial Canada from Europe and the Thirteen Colonies during the great migration (1815–1850).

As more people immigrated to Canada from various parts of the world, they brought with them the dramatic traditions and cultures of their homelands.

Non-professional (amateur) drama evolved into a professional theatrical art form in colonial Canada.

Non-professional theatre in colonial Canada influenced modern Francophone professional theatre companies, including
  • Cirque du Soleil (Quebec)
  • Théâtre à Pic (Alberta)
  • Théâtre-Acadie (Acadia)
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit storytelling and languages were banned by Canadian government policies in colonial Canada.

Stories told through drama in Canadian communities could be linked to a person’s place of origin.
Drama has changed over time as communities and cultures have evolved.

Drama in colonial Canada was reflective of the changes that occurred in Europe at the same time.
Skills & Procedures
Explore the narrative of a heroic epic as an inspiration for creating dramatizations.

Observe dramatic works from modern-day professional theatre companies.

Investigate traditions or stories from Canadian communities as an inspiration for creating dramatizations.
Appreciation of drama as an art form can change with experience and inform future decisions about participation in drama.

Appreciation can shape individual artistry, curiosity, and engagement in drama.

Responses to and appreciation for drama can reflect personal preferences and perspectives.

Drama vocabulary can be used when responding to and sharing opinions about dramatic works.
Appreciation of drama can change through active reflection and experience with drama.
Skills & Procedures
Observe a variety of dramatic works.

Use drama vocabulary when responding to or sharing opinions about dramatic works.
The Renaissance era was about all people bettering themselves through education, literature, science, and the arts.

Plays about morality during the European Renaissance evolved out of mystery plays from the Middle Ages.

Mystery plays were complex retellings of biblical stories or religious festivals.

Palladian theatres were designed by the architect Palladio, and were the first indoor theatres to exist during the Renaissance.

The construction of Palladian theatres allowed for more elaborate scenes and sets to be used and influenced modern-day theatres.

Before the construction of the Palladian theatre, dramatizations were performed on simple outdoor stages with only curtains for a backdrop.

The Teatro Olimpico is a Palladian theatre that still exists in Vincenza, Italy, today.

Commedia dell’arte was developed as a form of clowning in Italy during the Renaissance and used stock characters to develop improvisational and scripted scenes.

Commedia dell’arte influenced the development of modern-day musical theatre, opera, and improvisational comedy.

In 1517, the Protestant Reformation influenced traditional Renaissance views on arts and theatre, which included plays that gave actors more work with less emphasis on religion.

The term Elizabethan emerged from the English Renaissance to reflect the style of performance that was popular during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603).

Elizabethan theatre performances were less informed by classical Roman influence and more informed by what was popular with British audiences.

Elizabethan theatre took place primarily outdoors in theatres, including
  • the courtyards of inns
  • The Rose Theatre
  • The Curtain
  • The Globe Theatre
The thrust stage was developed during the Elizabethan period to bring the action closer to the common people, while the upper class sat in elevated boxes, as seen in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

During the Renaissance in England, theatres became public venues where all social classes could come together and enjoy performances.

Famous playwrights who emerged and influenced drama during the Renaissance include
  • Shakespeare (1564–1616), an English playwright, poet, and actor considered one of the greatest writers of the English language
  • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (1622–1673), a French playwright, actor, and poet known by the stage name Moliere and considered one of the greatest writers of the French language
In 1642, many theatres and playhouses were shut down or burned down because some religious groups believed that drama was an inappropriate art form.
Drama went through a significant change during the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how theatre evolved throughout the Renaissance in Europe and England.

Explore a variety of theatrical works that were performed during the Renaissance.

Research a famous playwright or dramatic work.
Greek and Roman playwrights influenced the Enlightenment, including the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Aristophanes, and Euripides.

Theatre connected the people of France to their culture and values during the French Revolution.

Plays during the French Revolution communicated the ideas of freedom, equality, and brotherhood.

The proscenium arch was used during the Enlightenment to create a “picture frame” for the audience to look through to create a sense of realism, as seen in The Royal Opera of Versailles.

The way in which drama is understood and appreciated has changed throughout history.
Skills & Procedures
Explore the ideas of the French Revolution through dramatizations.

Discuss how theatre and drama can connect individuals to culture.
Before the colonization of the United States of America, the Indigenous people had rich and historical traditions of storytelling, which continue to be celebrated today.

Plays were banned in many areas of the United States during the revolutionary war in order to cut emotional ties to Britain.

In western societies, women were allowed to act on stage for the first time during the 18th century.

Vaudeville was a popular American form of theatre that was valued for its light and comedic style.

Vaudeville shows from the 1890s to the 1930s included short scenes, magic, contortionists, singers, and dancers.

At the turn of the 20th century, American theatre focused on giving characters realistic qualities instead of stereotypical ones.
Drama and storytelling traditions existed prior to the colonization of the United States of America, and evolved as more people arrived.
Skills & Procedures
Examine Vaudeville as an inspiration for creating dramatizations.