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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 6
Organizing Idea
Foundational Elements: Drama literacy is developed through knowledge and application of dramatic processes.
Guiding Question
How can voice and staging convey authenticity?
Learning Outcome
Students associate voice with staging in the development of characters, roles, and situations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Organizing Idea
Creating and Presenting: Ideas can be represented dramatically through artworks that draw upon foundational knowledge.
Guiding Question
How can artistic intention strengthen communication of ideas in drama?
Learning Outcome
Students express intention as an integral part of artistic expression in drama.
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.
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.
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 did societal change influence drama in the Enlightenment, French Revolution, and throughout the history of the United States of America?
Learning Outcome
Students relate change to historical events and the evolution of dramatic practices.
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.
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.