Students will demonstrate knowledge as to how to create a fun an interesting storyline by turning it an outline with a clear beginning, middle, and end.
One big bag filled with “props”. I basically just filled it with any fun or interesting items I could find at home—weights, a map, a stuffed animal, Russian stacking dolls, a can-opener, a bible, high-heels, a scarf, incense, a pepper grinder, etc. I make sure to bring enough for each partnership and a few extra to offer variety. White board and marker.
30-second-story. Ask the students who knows the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Ask if anyone feels like they could tell the complete story in one minute. Choose a volunteer. Time her and stop her at a minute. If she couldn’t do it, ask her if she’d like to try again or let someone else try. If she was able to do it, ask her if she can tell it in 50 seconds. 40 seconds. 30 seconds. And so on. Continue until she’s gone as far as she can. Ask the class what three basic components does a story boil down to. Answer: A beginning, a middle, and an end.
Step One—DISCUSSION: Write on a the white board leaving space after each word to define, “BEGINNING, MIDDLE, and END” Ask the class “What does a beginning entail? What makes a beginning different from the other two? Why is it important? What does a middle entail? How does it move along the action? What about an ending? What makes it an ending?” Continue like this until you have sufficient definitions for the beginning, middle, and end. The beginning is where characters, location, relationship, etc. are established. The middle presents a conflict that needs to be solve. The end is the resolution to the conflict.
Step Two—MODELING: Ask for three volunteers to stand in front of the story. They are to tell a story as a group. Person one tells the beginning or establishment of character, location, and relationships, person two tells the middle, or conflict, and person three tells the resolution. The audience will decide whether or not each person did their task correctly. Two or three groups can model this if time permits.
Step Three—DISCUSSION: Back to the white board, you will introduce the two other important elements of storyline creation. 1. KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)—make sure it is easy to understand and not cluttered with excess movement and gestures; audiences need all the clues they can get to understand what you’re doing. 2. Be Fantastic—both in the “good performance” aspect and the “not reality” aspect; pantomimes do not have to follow regular rules and should be larger than life at all times.
Step Four—DIRECTIONS: Ask students to get into pairs and come to the stage. This partner will be their partner for the final assessment in this class. Pull out bag of props and begin to place props on the floor. Tell the students that when you let them, they are to come and choose a prop as partnership to create a pantomime story surrounding that prop. The scene can be practiced WITH the prop but must be performed WITHOUT it. It should be about one-two minutes long. The story should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Remind them what those entail.
Step Five—INDEPENDENT/PARTNER PRACTICE: Students are to create and practice their stories. They are to then pick another pair and to perform the scenes for one another.
Step Six—PERFORMANCE: For however long time permits, pairs who want to go may volunteer to perform their scenes without the props. Class will discuss the storyline—the beginning, middle, and end evident in the scene.
Step Seven—DIRECTIONS/INDEPENDENT PRACTICE: Tell students that they are now to get with their partner and create a rough draft of the story for their pantomime. Leave them at least ten minutes to create this and write it down. They need to write down the beginning, middle, and end with all information that those entail. Volunteer to help if they feel stuck.
Have students turn in their outlines. You will look them over and return them to the students with your assessment.