Students will demonstrate their ability to interpret a work of art by participating in a group discussion. Students will demonstrate their ability to respond physically to a work of art by participating in a simple devising activity.
TH:Cn10.1.I.a. Investigate how cultural perspectives, community ideas and personal beliefs impact a drama/theatre work.
TH:Re8.1.I.c. Justify personal aesthetics, preferences, and beliefs.
TH:Cr3.1.I.a. Practice a devised drama/theatre work using theatrical staging conventions.
Step 1: Display Dali’s painting and pass out the Analysis sheets. Ask students to take 1-2 minutes individually to look closely at the artwork. What do they notice? After two minutes, invite them to turn to their partner and talk about their observations, as well as to fill out the observation part of the T chart on the Analysis sheet. Explain that observations are what you experience with your senses (see, hear, etc.) They are not interpreting.
After paired discussions, begin a whole class discussion about the painting. First ask for the observations that they made with their partners. Then ask the following questions. If they need help with these questions, make your own observations (ideas of observations are bulleted below the questions).
Step 2: Now we’re going to use our observations to make interpretations about the painting. Rather than just talking about what we see in the painting, we’re going to bring out the meaning of what the painting symbolizes or represents. Take a few minutes with your partner to decide on possible Interpretations one could have based on the observations that were made. Tell them to just write the major themes that they interpret in a few words, instead of paragraphs of explanations. (You may need to remind them what a theme is. Ask if anyone knows. Explain that a theme is an abstract concept like greed, love, etc. and not something tangible or concrete like clown or road trip.)
After a few minutes bring the class together and ask the pairs to share some of their interpretations and themes that they wrote down. Use the questions below to help start and guide conversation if needed.
Throughout the analysis discussion, write the themes (students’ ideas about the meaning of the painting) on the whiteboard. For instance:
Step 3: Ask the students, “From this list of themes, which interests you the most?” As a class, come to a consensus on which of the themes to explore further. Now that we have talked about different perspectives around a work of art, let’s see how differing perspectives contribute to making theatre.
“What experience have you had with [theme] in your life before?” Help all students get on the same page about what the theme means. For example, list synonyms of the theme as a class or talk about common occurrences of that theme in their lives or popular culture.
Invite the students to work in pairs. Explain these directions: Partner A will be given three minutes to tell a story to Partner B about the theme word. We encourage you to tell a story from your own life, but if the only one you can think of is a story you heard, you can tell that one as well. After three minutes, Partner A and Partner B switch roles. Encourage the students to use the whole three minutes without going too long or too short. They should go back and add new details if they finish early.
Ask the students if they have any questions before beginning. Give them a minute to silently think about their story before starting the activity. As students are telling, give them notifications when they have two minutes, one minute, and ten seconds left.
Step 4: Next, coach the students to choose physical gestures, movements, or expressions to retell their partner’s story without words. Students perform individually and silently, in silo spaces around the classroom. The whole class works at the same time, without any audience.
Step 5: Discuss and reflect.
Step 6 (only if we have extra time to fill): Have students perform their physical retellings for each other in small groups of about 6 students. Tell the students that they will learn more about creating physical theatre choices using the viewpoints. Tomorrow’s lesson will introduce the four viewpoints of time.
Step 7: Exit Card
Hand out index cards to the class or have them take out a piece of paper and answer the following questions:
Before they leave class, they must turn this exit card in.
Teacher note: before doing other things or moving on to the lesson plan for the next class, take a moment to write down an evaluation of the student’s physical performance. Answer the following questions
Students will receive 6 participation points if they are actively engaged during the devising activity and participate in the art analysis discussion, either with a partner or the whole class. The analysis sheet and exit card are worth 2 point each. Proficiency will be 8/10 points.
Grading Procedures: Give student feedback on the themes they wrote down, but do not dock any points if the work is poor. This is only an assessment what they already know. If any concerns were written down on the exit cards, make sure to address that at the beginning of the next class.