Clear the desks and tape the floor like a stage writing “Audience” on the board so they know which way is up and down stage. As students walk in, have 6 hats/bowls that are labeled “January & February” “March & April” “May & June” “July & August” “September & October” and “November & December.” Tell them to draw out a piece of paper from their birthday month hat and follow the direction.
January & February: Crawl C, roll DL, and then hop to UR.
March & April: Prance UL, laugh as you strut DC, and then tiptoe C.
May & June: Waltz DL, creep UR, and then sing as you skip UL.
July & August: Crab walk CR, twirl UC and then hum as you run backwards to DL.
September & October: Float UR, “moo” as you sneak to UL and then lunge to DC.
November & December: Slide DR, cry as you fly to UL and then hula DR.
Have them all sit down in their groups in the place that they ended up at. Does anyone know what those commands are called? Stage Directions! In your scenes, you are going to want to write stage directions because you don’t want your characters to just stand there the entire time or have to decide for themselves where to go. Some of that can be left up to the actor/director’s interpretation but there still needs to be stage directions in your scenes. Another thing that they can and need to add into their scenes is emotion.
Have everyone stand up and tell them that you are going to call out different emotions and they are to walk all around the stage with that emotion. Start out with emotions like happy, sad, and angry. Then call out emotions like hyper, ashamed, exhausted, hopeless, humored, and delirious. Encourage them to be creative in the way they walk.
Have the students return to their groups in the place on the stage they ended up. Each group needs to take out a piece of paper and pen. Each group needs to write out a stage direction similar to what they did at the beginning of class but with one addition. This time, their stage direction needs an emotion as well. Give them an example of “Tip-toe upstage left happily” or “Dance center stage depressed.” Each group needs to write down five stage directions that includes an action, stage direction, and emotion. When they are done, have all the students sit where the audience is. Have the January & February group stand up and have one person from the March & April call out the stage directions that their group wrote down. The Jan/Feb group must follow these five directions all across the stage. The Jan/Feb group will then call out their directions for the Mar/Apr group and so on for the rest of the groups.
Have them get back into their birthday groups from the beginning of class. Bring out the five stage directions that they wrote and they must now create a scene that contains all five of those stage directions. Every member of the group must have at least one line. It needs to be written out in the proper format. Make sure they know that they are writing this but all final drafts of their plays should be typed. They may add other stage directions, but the 5 that they wrote earlier MUST be included.
With the time left, have groups who want to, perform their scenes.
CHECKING FOR UNDERSTANDING
Leave time for a small quiz. Hand out the one page script with many mistakes on it in regards to formatting. Tell the students to correct it.