“GRASP”ing Inflection

Lesson 3— “GRASP”ing Inflection


OBJECTIVE: Students will demonstrate their understanding of the GRASP principles by properly interpreting them with inflection and context in a neutral dialogue.


Hook: “Pass it Here:” First, students will stand in a circle. In the circle, they will pass a small object (ex. a ball or small book) around the circle to each other, each doing so in their own way. For example, one student may pass the object as though they are afraid of it whereas another student could be sad to give it away. The activity will go on until each student has passed the object around the circle and then back to the teacher.  


Discussion: Objectives and Tactics—what were the students trying to do, and how did they do it? For example, if a student was afraid of the object, their objective may have been to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Everyone’s objective in the activity was to pass the object, though they accomplished it in different ways (tactics) or with different contexts.


Instruction: GRASPS principles. The GRASPS principles are:

Goal: What is your character’s goal?

Role: What is your role in the situation?

Audience: To whom are you performing?

Situation: What constraints or opportunities do you have; link to audience

Performance: What is expected of you and of those you interact with?


Reflect: All of these principles are visible in the “Pass it Here” activity…where are they? For example, the goal was to pass the object. Your role in the situation was facilitating in passing the object around the circle. You are “performing” to everyone else in the class. Your situation gives the constraint that you are bound to the circle, but you also have the opportunity to create a way to pass the object. Your performance is how you pass the object.


Let’s look at another example (Snape in the classroom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8i2jAMtoGw ). After viewing the clip, discuss—where are the GRASP principles seen? Students will be split into five groups—each group having a GRASP principle. After a few minutes of discussion, the class will come back together and the groups will share what they discussed.  Some possible examples: his goal could have been to teach (or maybe make Harry Potter miserable). His role in the situation is the teacher, and he is “performing” to the students, because in essence teaching is a kind of performance. Part of a teacher’s objective is to teach and engage the students. The next principle is visible through his constraints as the authority figure in the room, but he also has the opportunity to enlighten (or terrify) his students. Still, he is expected to teach the students in an unbiased manner and accommodate the student’s needs.


Guided practice: “Neutral Dialog.” First, have students give examples of how we may say the same thing, but mean something totally different. In this activity, students will be given a dialog with no context of a scene; it is completely subjective. Each student (A and B) will read their dialog with their partner, but will develop a scene and subtext. Although they will be saying the same thing, they will be doing so differently. Within their performances they must apply the GRASPS principles.


After some time to practice has been allotted, students will have the opportunity to volunteer to share their dialog with the class. To further show their application of their understanding, they will write out how they used the GRASP principles after they have performed (assessment).


Reflection: Tell students to take out a sheet of paper. They will write G-R-A-S-P down the paper. Then, with the perspective of their character in their narrative, they will apply the GRAPS principles in accordance with the “Picture This” assignment. This reflection will help develop their narrative through physical identification and putting the principles in the context of their character.  


Neutral Dialog Example

A: Shoot

B: Oh

A: Oh no

B: Can you uh ….

A: No here use this

B: Come on

A: I told you to be careful

B: I was  it just happened

A: There  let me see

B: Oh  where are you going

A: For help                     

B: And leave me here you can’t leave me here

A: You stay here I’m off to get help


B: No no please one more time try it again

A: Stay here I’ll be right back

B: Ah