Unit Overview

Content Area:                                      Language Arts
Unit Title:                                             Introduction of Drama Using “The Tempest”
Target Course/Grade Level:              Grade 4
Name:                                                     Anne Carson
School:                                                   The Ellison School
Date:                                                      April 29, 2011

Unit Summary
This is a week-long unit introducing drama and how a story is developed in a dramatic work. The students will learn the defining characteristics of a drama to be able to define how a drama is different from other literary works. Students will understand that a play is meant to be seen and the dialogue is used to construct the story.

Primary interdisciplinary connections
Technology, social studies, science, art, physical education.

21st century themes
Learning and Innovation Skills: Students will create stage set using materials on hand in the classroom. Students work in small groups to direct and perform one scene from the play. Student will use innovation to produce final production of scene on video; use problem solving skills to create effective PowerPoint presentation of scene that incorporates video, text, audio and formatting. Students work in groups to collaborate and produce final products: dramatic presentation of scene and PowerPoint presentation.
Information, Media and Technology: Students use technology to write script, capture audio and video and to compile into final PowerPoint presentation.
Life and Career Skills: Students will exercise flexibility and adaptability when producing the scene; they will utilize and develop initiative and self-direction when working in small groups as well as making use of social and cross-cultural skills by work in groups with others.
Productivity and Accountability: The task of managing the project will emphasis the use of productivity and accountability as the groups produce their work.
Leadership and Responsibility: Skills in the areas of leadership and responsibility are required of the students as they produce this scene and the final products of the video and PowerPoint presentation.

Unit Rationale
This unit will introduce learners to drama. Students will develop an interest and curiosity in the genre and remain open to learning more in subsequent years.


Learning Targets

English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Literature » Grade 4
Key Ideas and Details
RL.4.2.  Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
RL.4.3.  Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
Craft and Structure
RL.4.5.  Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
RL.4.7.  Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text.
Range of Reading and Complexity of Text
RL.4.10.  By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grades 4–5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.


Unit Essential Questions
How is the theme of a story presented in a drama?
How do the structural elements of a drama guide the reader's understanding of the story?
How is drama different than other genres?
How is the text of a play connected to the visual presentation of a play?


Unit Enduring Understandings
A play is a story and is meant to be seen as a performance. A reader's understanding is expanded by the structural elements of casts of characters, stage direction, descriptions and dialogue. 

Unit Learning Targets


Evidence of Learning

Summative Assessment
Students will perform short scene from The Tempest for the class.
Students will have completed a PowerPoint presentation of the scene. It will include original graphics, embedded audio of some lines, embedded video of performance.

Equipment needed
Internet connection
Handouts of script


Teacher Resources


Formative Assessments
2nd Day: SmartBoard activity identifying use of tone in dramatic works
2nd Day: Create drawing of two characters from the play, using facial expression to show character traits, design appropriate costume and place in appropriate setting.
4th Day: Create a dramatic interpretation of a scene
4th Day: Create a graphic representation of a stage setting.

Lesson Plans

Lesson 1: What is Drama?

Essential Question: How is a story told as a drama?


Lesson 2: How are Characters developed in a drama?

Essential Question: How can you identify the tone and atmosphere of a work by examining dialogue?


Lesson 3: How is Setting presented in a drama?

Essential Question: How can you identify the setting of a work by examining stage direction and dialogue?


Lesson 4: Can a novel be presented as a dramatic work?

Essential Question: How can you recreate a scene in a novel as a dramatic work?


Lesson 5: Can a dramatic work be presented as a Powerpoint?

Essential Question: How can a dramatic work be presented through PowerPoint?


Teacher Notes
Each lesson is designed to increase student comfort with dialogue and dramatic presentation. Various group activities allow for students to perform in different roles. Groups will include actors and one director.



Shakespeare is Elementary http://www.cps.ednet.ns.ca/pageone.htm
Shakespeare at Web English Teacher http://www.webenglishteacher.com/shakespeare.html

Shakespeare for Kids: His Life and Times, 21 Activities, Colleen Aagesen