Teachers: Carolina Gallegos, drama teacher
Clara Gonzalez, Y6 assistant teacher
Karen Roberts, Y6 English Language teacher
Mentor: Valerie Browne
We began the lesson with a fun active game of “passing around the wish ball”. Students were asked to make a circle and with a clap of their hands pass the turn to a friend, sharing a secret wish that they had. Once again the time constraint was helpful to bypass overthinking about others´ expectations and allow a free play of ideas. Quickly and playfully we drew attention to the underlying messages revealed through their wishes eg, if a boy said new soccer shoes, I would say “Oh, so you want to play sports with your friends…”
Then we asked the students to get in pairs and take turns sculpting one another into possible statues of a young girl/boy and his wish. Sculpting requires the student who is the “clay” to follow the sculptor’s instructions without questioning and the sculptor can see the image, thus meaning, he/she is creating.
Quickly we had a museum gallery, the sculptors stepped aside and we asked them to look at the images thinking they were representations of Romeo and Juliet.
This time instead of “reading” the statues we invited the students performing the statues to read themselves by a technique called thought tracking. This is a convention in which the teacher walks around the statues tapping the students´ head one by one. When someone is tapped by the teacher he/she needs to stay in-role and say what his/her character is thinking or feeling.
Thought tracking provided a safe frame that invited students to express their personal thoughts in a public space. Speaking for a character gave protection to students who were uncomfortable with standing in front of others, while still giving them the opportunity to voice their insights.
After hearing about the wishes and looking at the images each student in the audience thought about one question to ask the characters who also replied in role, thus highlighting character’s motivations. This activity encouraged insights into relationships between attitudes and events, and how events affect attitudes. In addition, it gave students the opportunity to “talk” to the characters which they enjoyed greatly.
We then asked them to perform their still images of the scene they were allotted the previous class and carried out a “Chalk talk” activity. This is a silent activity which requires not only keen observation but deep and critical thinking. Students had to walk around and write down on poster sized pages how they felt when they saw each other’s still images, what feeling and thoughts were conveyed and any questions they would like to ask the characters at that point. They had to express these things bearing in mind the
connotation the colour they wrote with had. We then gave them the chance to impersonate characters while their peers asked them questions. These are some of the responses they gave: