Students will be able to mimic focus by observing and then physically performing as a person that they observed.
Anticipatory Set/Hook Hand back the students tests from the previous class period. Have them get into groups of 5-6 and one-by-one go around and share how/where they saw an example of focus in their everyday life.
Step 1: Field Trip
Have the students go back to their seats and take out a piece of paper, a binder or book to write on, and a writing utensil. Tell them that they will be following you through the halls down to the library, or gym, or wherever there will be people for them to observe. Tell them to write down as many examples of people focusing as they can as they go on the mini field trip. Ask for any questions before leaving, then have the students follow you.
Step 2: Discussion
After returning to the classroom, have the students sit down at their chairs. Ask the students the following questions: What did you see? Were most people doing just one type of focus? Were there any people that you saw doing ALL types of focus? Explain to the students that in our everyday lives, we don’t often think about how and if we are focusing. We just do it naturally. We have been doing it all of our lives. We know what things deserve our attention and what things don’t. We know what things interest us more than others. Sometimes we are forced to focus (like in a life-threatening situation) and other times we just do it out of habit (like when painting your nails).
In acting, because we are usually portraying another character other than ourselves, it is often difficult to know how and where and when to focus. That is why it is important to practice it.
Step 3: Practice
Have the students take out their lists and choose one of the people they wrote down on the tour to mimic. Have them spread out in the room and begin mimicking them. Tell them to think about each of their body parts and how they can make themselves more exactly like the person they observed. What was that person focusing on? What types of focus were they using? Was it just one or two? Or all? Have the students try either taking one of the types of focus out of their mimicry and show how it might change their character’s focus. Now, if their character wasn’t doing all four, how could they change their mimicry to show all four?
Step 4: Performance
Tell the students that they are going to now perform their mimicry for the whole class. Have each student stand up and perform their mimicry one-by-one and as the class is observing, have them comment on where they see each of the four types of focus in the person they are watching. Continue until all students have participated.