Students will review the ideas of shape, gesture, and exaggerated voice in relation to acting as the Greek Chorus by practicing and applying these elements to their final assessment scenes.
TEXTS AND LITERACIES:
Texts: Their bodies, Greek texts for final assessment scenes Literacies: Using shape, gesture, exaggerated voice to extract meaning from the final assessment scenes.
A music-playing device Soothing music for the hook/warm-up 5 slips of paper with a line from of the scenes in Lesson 9 (see Lesson 9 supplements)
Have the students warm up their bodies by lying on the floor with soothing music in the background. Tell them we are going to stretch each part of our bodies on the floor. When I say, you will squeeze each part as hard as you can as I count down from 5, and then you will release the tension and relax. Have the students do this for the following body parts: right foot, left foot, right leg, left leg, butt, stomach, ribs, right hand, left hand, right arm, left arm, neck, face.
STEP 1—Transition: Now that our bodies are warmed up, we can use them to practice the Greek Chorus acting we learned how to do several lessons ago.
STEP 2—Check for Understanding: Ask for student volunteers to remind the class of the major characteristics of Greek Chorus acting. Help the students focus on these three: shape, gesture, and exaggerated voice.
STEP 3—Transition: We need to see all of these elements in your final assessment scene, so we will practice them now.
STEP 4—Instruction/Modeling: Take a Greek Chorus line from one of the group’s final scenes (see lesson 9 supplements for these scenes). 1. Ask for five volunteers to come up to be the Greek Chorus. 2. Give them each a slip of paper with the line on it. 3. Ask them to read the line aloud as a group. 4. Divide the line up into chunks, and ask for a student volunteer to give a suggestion for what the shape or gesture could be for this first chunk. 5. Have the Chorus do this gesture with the line. 6. Repeat this until the class has helped construct the movements for the entire line. 7. Ask the class if they have any suggestions for adding more shape to the chorus, whether through individual gestures or if the Chorus as the whole can make shapes throughout the script (i.e. stand in a circle vs. a line). 8. Ask the class for suggestions on how to improve the exaggerated voice of the chorus. 9. Have the chorus perform the whole line to the class. 10. Have the entire class stand up and perform the line as they have constructed it. 11. Side coaching: Throughout this activity, make sure to encourage the students to go big their gestures. Remind them what the word ‘exaggerated’ means. Encourage them to take risks and be creative. Give them opportunities to think in the abstract rather than literally.
STEP 5—Transition: Remind the students that these are the types of things we will expect to see in their final assessment scenes. Tell the students to get into their final assessment groups.
STEP 6—Guided Practice: Allow the students to practice their scenes for their final assessment with the things in mind that they have just reviewed. Ask them to spend some time practicing the Greek Chorus parts of their scenes and apply what they learned today to their scene to make it even better.
STEP 7—Check for Understanding: At the end of class, allow time for the students to ask any questions they have about the final assessment and to express concerns they may have about the Greek Chorus aspect of their scenes or about any other aspect of the final assessment.
The assessments for this lesson are informal and are manifest through the modeling activity as well as through the teacher’s observations of the guided practice for the final assessment scenes. The teacher should be aware of major gaps in the students’ understanding of what their final scenes should look like or in any individual element of the scenes (crying/dying, Greek Chorus, memorization, etc.)