Tactics and Objectives

Educational Objective:

Students will demonstrate their knowledge of objectives and tactics by mapping out their tactics to obtain their objective in their monologues.


Materials needed:

• 3 3×5 cards for each student in your class
• Tactics hand-out
Facets of Understanding:
• Interpretation
• Application
• Self-Knowledge


Enduring Understandings:

• Strong objectives and varied tactics make dynamic scenes


Essential Questions:

• How do we use varying tactics in our everyday lives to obtain objectives?
• How do various objectives and tactics affect performance?


Hook: (15 minutes)

Ask students to start walking around the space. Once they have accumulated themselves to the space, ask them to keep moving, but to listen to instructions. Tell them that in a moment you will call out a situation (such as: Two friends are in a movie theater. One of you wants to leave, and the other one wants to stay and finish it) and then say “Freeze!” When “Freeze!” is called, tell them to turn to someone and start the scene with the scenario you have just called out. Tell them that someone in the scene has to “win” or, get what they want. Once that has happened, they start moving around the space again. Encourage students to just go when a scenario is called out. They are not allowed to discuss who is who, or what will happen. They must simply become the characters and play it out.



Possible scenarios:

• Two young siblings late at night in their bedroom. One sibling wants to go to sleep, and the other wants to sneak into the kitchen to get cookies
• Standing in line at the coffee shop, the line is not moving, and you’re both late for work. The person behind wants to cut in front because they have a corporate meeting, and they’re supposed to bring the coffee for the CEO. The person in front definitely thinks that isn’t fair
• A student with a needed bathroom break, and a teacher who won’t let them leave.
• A parent and a child in a restaurant – the child wants dessert, and the adult wants the child to eat their vegetables before dessert.
• Two friends in a movie theater. One of you wants to leave, and the other one wants to stay and finish it
• An elderly person at a Michael Buble concert who wants to simply enjoy Buble’s voice, but the teenager next to them won’t stop screaming with joy and singing along.
Once students get the hang of it, you may simply call out the scenarios rather than calling out scenarios as well as objectives. If you have more advanced students, you may be able to simply start out with scenarios. Encourage students to try different things to get what they want, but remind them that someone must win eventually.


Step 1 – Discussion: (10 minutes)

After the activity, reflect as a group what it was like and what their experience was. Ask students to share what it was they wanted in different scenarios, and if they ended up getting that thing or not, and how and why they won or lost. Explain to students that these things are tactics and objectives. If students do not know what tactics and objectives are, explain to them that an objective is what a character wants, and a tactic is how a character gets that thing. Make sure that students understand tactics are expressed in a “to _____” format. If students are still confused, or are having a hard time coming up with more than ten different tactics, print off and hand out this sheet:
This will be a good acting source for your students, especially if they are beginners.


Step 2 – Directions: (5 minutes)

Pass out 2-3 3×5 cards to each student. Ask them to write a tactic on each card. Ask students to keep the tactics appropriate (nothing sexual in nature, offensive, racist, etc.). If students need clarification on what a tactic is, take a moment to discuss this with them. Once students have written one tactic on each card, gather all of the cards that they have written on.


Step 3 – Modeling: (15 minutes)

Ask for two students to come to the front of the classroom. Ask for the rest of the class to suggest a scenario and two objectives for the students. An example might be a scene between two siblings where one sibling has borrowed something from the other without permission. Once a scenario and objectives have been decided, hand each actor five of the tactic cards, and ask them to choose three of the five. Tell the students to start the scene using one of the three tactics. When they feel that tactic isn’t working, they move to the next card. Each actor goes through their three cards while playing out the scene. When both actors have gone through all three cards, the scene is over and somebody should have “won” at that point. ***This can be more fun if the students don’t look at the tactic cards before the scene starts – they will look at them for the first time when they decide they need to switch tactics.


Step 5 – Application: (15 minutes)

Once each student in every group has had the opportunity to perform a made-up scenario with the tactic cards, ask students to get together with a partner. Tell students they need to identify what their character’s objective is in the scene (this should be fairly simple, since they just completed their character analysis). Ask students to write their character’s objective at the top of the script. Then ask students to go through the script quickly and mark out possible tactics that could be used in the monologue. Ask students to write these tactics next to the lines in the script where these tactics could be used. This all should take no more than five minutes. Let students know that you will be doing a door check to make sure this was done, and that yes, it is worth points. Check for the written objective and at least three tactics written in their script. Make sure students understand this is an assignment.


Step 6 – Independent Practice: (10 minutes)

Tell students to then rehearse their monologues with the tactics written in their scripts. If they realize a tactic doesn’t really work, now that they’ve got it on its feet, that’s okay. They tried something, and that’s part of the acting process.


Final Assessment for Lesson 3: (6 Participation Points – informal door check)

As students leave your classroom, check for the written objective and at least three tactics written in their script. Have a roll or a list of students so you can mark them off as they leave