Character Choice/Pantomime

Educational Objective:

Students will demonstrate the ability to perform characters by creating a short character skit based on fairy tale characters.


Facet of Understanding

#1 – Explanation, # 2 -Interpretation, # 3 Application


Enduring Understanding 1:

Theatre reflects real life stories and experiences


Enduring Understanding 2:

Acting doesn’t need to be outrageous to be real.


Essential Question 1:

How does character stem from reality?


Essential Question 2:

How can we use our bodies to create character?



Materials Needed:

Index cards



Magic Box – Students in a circle, each pull out and pantomime a different object, showing in detail what it is and how they use it. Each student replaces the object into the box and passes it along for the next student to find. Teacher models at the beginning.
Step 1 – Discussion: What did you see? How did you describe the object you pulled out of the box? How did you know what it was? What details were helpful to you as the audience?
Step 2- Brainstorm: Students will write down characters on index cards and exchange them.
Step 3- Improv game: Students will sign up on the board in an order. 2 students will start with their characters and improv a scene. When teacher says “Freeze!” the next student on the list will replace the first student and start a new scene from the postitions the first two students ended in. Once everyone has gone students may continue and call out “Freeze!” themselves. The student who calls out “Freeze!” replaces one of the students up there.
Variation A: Students can play the party game from Whose Line. One person starts in the room, the doorbell answers and all of the other characters enter and join the party.
Variation B: Teacher can call “Freeze!” and call on students to go up into the scene and switch someone out.
Step 4- Discussion: What did you see? What character choices were made? Were some characters stronger than others? Why?
Step 5 – Groupwork: Students will get into groups and create a short skit of a well-known fairy/folk tale. Focus on story, but Character is more important than story at this point.
Step 6 – Sidecoaching as they develop and practice their stories.
Step 7: Students will perform their skits
Step 8- Discuss: What did you see? What were good character choices?
How do we pick good characters? Talk about what we want for character choice. Bring Character to class next time.




Have Character picked out for next time



Final Assessment for Lesson 1:

Students will perform their skits



20 points: Everyone participates, 5; Everyone has a distinct character, 5; Tells the story, 5; Choices convey character.