Developing Script Writing through Art (Virtual Tour)
Stage of Literacy Development:
Stage 3: Literacy for Growth
Text Structures & Genres Secondary:
Reading Fluency & Expression
The first Social Studies unit that we have in the sixth grade looks at the First Nations Peoples across the country, their different ways of life. And one of the ways I try to integrate art and drama into our Social Studies unit is to look at texts that have First Nations' tales, because tales was so integral to how they taught their children. And this, Keepers of Earth and Keepers of Time series is an excellent series because it's told from the First Nations' point of view. And I'm able to get stories for the students, they're in mixed ability groups, and they take the stories and they make their own plays out of them. So they're learning the format of how to write a drama. And the students have taken the narrative, and they've written the drama, and then they've designed a mask. So, the mask is one of the characters in the play that they've written. They are enthusiastic about doing masks because they get to put plaster of Paris on their friends' faces, and then they flip and the other person does their friend. And then they paint and design the masks so that it corresponds to one of the characters in the play, and ultimately they learn their lines and perform the play.
The goal of Behind the Mask: Developing Script Writing through Art (Virtual Tour) is to help students understand the text features of narrative and script text forms and to promote speed, accuracy and proper expression in reading.
- Adding actions, gestures, props and costumes can be a fun and motivating way to enhance performances.
- Encourage students to read from the text. Knowing that memorization of the text is not necessary will help students gain confidence in reading aloud, especially for less confident readers.
- Discuss what cooperation looks like and sounds like with your students so they are aware of the expectations when working in a group.
- Integrating drama into your literacy program fosters a motivation for learning and provides an opportunity for all students to participate.
- Keep parents informed about their child's learning by sending home a letter that describes the mask activity. You may wish to include a parental permission section in the letter if using Vaseline. You may wish to do a test strip on each student's forearm (palm side up) a day or two before you do the activity to ensure that no one will have a reaction to the plaster.