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Prior Knowledge and Experiences

These ongoing learning experiences build upon a presumed (student) working knowledge of basic stage directions, the components of a monologue, and an understanding of the key differences between primary and secondary sources. Thus, there are no learning experiences that introduce this knowledge or these definitions. Teachers may, however, wish to revisit/reinforce these understandings at the beginning of the unit.



Learning Experience # 1

The teacher may have students brainstorm the ways in which people get news (today) as a way to help students begin considering how people in the past (i.e., before television and the internet) heard about “current events.”

Generalization Connection(s):

Observations of historical events can inform non-stereotypical improvisation enhancing the understanding of multiple perspectives for character representations

Teacher Resources:

http://www.newsreelarchive.com/ (Newsreel archives with stories from 1930s-1950s)

http://newdeal.feri.org/power/pwr1-05.htm (4th grade student appropriate scene from “Power” a Federal Theatre Project news play)

Student Resources:

N/A

Assessment:

Students will create a word wall with sources of news from pre-television/internet days and today. Students may also create a Wordle of news and communication words that occur most frequently on individual students’ lists of words for the word wall http://www.wordle.net/ (Create a Wordle image of words you choose)

Differentiation:

(Multiple means for students to access content and multiple modes for student to express understanding.)



Access (Resources and/or Process)

Expression (Products and/or Performance)

Photos and visual images of people getting news (watching television, surfing the net, newspapers, newsreels, etc.)

Students may create mosaics of news images and/or physically connect visual images with the words on the word wall

Extensions for depth and complexity:

Access (Resources and/or Process)

Expression (Products and/or Performance)

http://www.writedesignonline.com/organizers/comparecontrast.html#t-chart (Printable templates for documenting compare/contrast- Venn diagrams, T charts, etc.)

Students may create an organizer comparing and contrasting the strengths and limitations and/or the differences between the news sources of the past and those of the present


Critical Content:

  • N/A

Key Skills:

  • N/A

Critical Language:

Communicate, communications, media, news, current events




Learning Experience # 2

The teacher may bring in (historical) examples/snippets of living newspapers (scripts) and newsreels to introduce the idea of a “news play” so students can examine how drama/theatre can communicate important news events.

Generalization Connection(s):

Interesting, dramatic compositions employ a range of emotions in order to accurately portray a spectrum of perspectives

Teacher Resources:

http://www.newsreelarchive.com/ (Newsreel archives with stories from 1930s-1950s)

http://newdeal.feri.org/power/pwr1-05.htm (4th grade student appropriate scene from “Power” a Federal Theatre Project news play)


Student Resources:

http://newdeal.feri.org/power/pwr1-05.htm (4th grade student appropriate scene from “Power” a Federal Theatre Project news play)

Assessment:

Students will complete a semantic web with “news play” as the center/topic, and document all of the words, concepts, ideas, details, etc. they connect/associate with the topic and how news plays can communicate different perspectives on an event http://www.eduplace.com/graphicorganizer/pdf/cluster_web3.pdf (Basic cluster/word web template)


Differentiation:

(Multiple means for students to access content and multiple modes for student to express understanding.)



Access (Resources and/or Process)

Expression (Products and/or Performance)

http://www.eduplace.com/graphicorganizer/pdf/cluster_web3.pdf (Basic cluster/word web template)

Students may complete a partially filled in word web for news play

Extensions for depth and complexity:

Access (Resources and/or Process)

Expression (Products and/or Performance)

http://www.eduplace.com/graphicorganizer/pdf/cluster_web3.pdf (Basic cluster/word web template)

http://www.newsreelarchive.com/ (Newsreel archives with stories from 1930s-1950s)

http://newdeal.feri.org/power/pwr1-05.htm (4th grade student appropriate scene from “Power” a Federal Theatre Project news play)


Students may use news play scenes and/or newsreels to create a semantic web documenting the emotions they convey (and the means employed to convey them)

Critical Content:

  • How actors represent historical events accurately




Key Skills:

  • Write and/or speak expressively in order to communicate a range of emotions resulting from historical conflicts and situations




Critical Language:

Communicate, emotions, portray, perspective, media, news play




Learning Experience # 3

The teacher may utilize contemporary news stories as the basis for improvisational pieces so students can experiment with performances that reflect/capture different perspectives on an issue/event.

Generalization Connection(s):

Observations of historical events can inform non-stereotypical improvisation enhancing the understanding of multiple perspectives for character representations

Teacher Resources:

http://magazines.scholastic.com/ (Student friendly and age appropriate news site with current events and unique human/student interest stories)

Student Resources:

http://magazines.scholastic.com/ (Student friendly and age appropriate news site with current events and unique human/student interest stories)

Assessment:

Students will begin reflective journals on the experience of the news play, with this iteration focusing on the improvisational work. If necessary, students can utilize prompt for this initial entry (e.g., What did I do, or what could I have done better, to convey the perspective I was asked to present in today’s improvisation? What did other performers do well that helped convey the perspective(s) they were given in the improvisation?)


Differentiation:

(Multiple means for students to access content and multiple modes for student to express understanding.)



Access (Resources and/or Process)

Expression (Products and/or Performance)

https://www.teachervision.com/graphic-organizers/printable/48390.html (Basic double entry journal template)


Students may create a double entry journal, reacting to more explicit/detailed prompts and/or reflecting on quotes from the current event stories

Extensions for depth and complexity:

Access (Resources and/or Process)

Expression (Products and/or Performance)

Students may be given additional prompts to critique their improvisational work

Students may complete prompts such as: What did other performers do well that helped convey the perspective(s) they were given in the improvisation? What words and/or facial expressions worked (or could have worked) to better convey a perspective or emotion?

Critical Content:

  • How actors represent historical events accurately

Key Skills:

  • Use documents to inform artistic choices in ensemble situations to create historically accurate scenes or tableaux

  • Write and/or speak expressively in order to communicate a range of emotions resulting from historical conflicts and situations

Critical Language:

Conflict, tension, communicate, emotions, primary sources, secondary sources, portray, perspective, improvisation, non-stereotypical improvisation




Learning Experience # 4

The teacher may introduce the basis for a news play (the timeline, people, conflict, and outcomes of the Colorado gold rush) that will enable students to comprehend the significance of this event in (Colorado and US) history.

Generalization Connection(s):

Observations of historical events can inform non-stereotypical improvisation enhancing the understanding of multiple perspectives for character representations

Teacher Resources:

http://history.fcgov.com/archive/contexts/colorado.php (Colorado gold rush history- events and conflicts)

http://www.nps.gov/sand/parknews/the-gold-rush-and-the-plains-of-colorado.htm (Colorado gold rush and implications for plains tribes)

http://www.miningartifacts.org/Colorado-Mines.html (Images and timelines of the rush)

http://www.explore-old-west-colorado.com/colorado-gold-rush.html (Gold rush overview)

http://www.miningbureau.com/ (General Colorado mining overview)

http://www.kancoll.org/khq/1956/56_4_lindsey.htm (Journal of a Pikes Peak gold seeker)

http://www.colorado.com/articles/colorado-mine-tours-gold-rush-towns (Information on Colorado gold rush towns)

The Contested Plains: Indians, gold seekers, and the rush to Colorado - Elliott West

http://mrsbuffington.weebly.com/pikes-peak-gold-rush.html (Pikes Peak gold seekers)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_mining_in_Colorado (Good source for Colorado miner figures)


Student Resources:

Downey, M. & Metcalf, F. (1999). Colorado: Crossroads of the west. Boulder: Pruett Publishing Company.

Dutton, D. & Humphries, C. (1999). A Rendezvous with Colorado History. Boise: Sterling Ties Publications.

Perry, P. (2005). A Kids Look at Colorado. Golden, CO: Fulcrum Publishing.

Downey, M. & Bliss, T (2008). Discover Colorado: Its people, places, and times. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.

http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/gold-rushes-of-the-1800s (Student-generated timelines of various gold rushes of the late 1800s)

http://hewit.unco.edu/dohist/teachers/essays/miners.htm (Lives of gold miners)




Assessment:

Students will create timelines of the events and outcomes of the Colorado gold rush (teachers can decide the extent of the time period, including pre and post events: http://www.timetoast.com/ (Free, web-based timeline program that is user friendly)

Differentiation:

(Multiple means for students to access content and multiple modes for student to express understanding.)



Access (Resources and/or Process)

Expression (Products and/or Performance)

http://www.timetoast.com/ (Free, web-based timeline program that is user friendly)
Students may work in pairs or in groups to generate examples for the timeline

Students may complete either a partially filled in timeline or focus on particular events to document (e.g., just the dates)

Extensions for depth and complexity:

Access (Resources and/or Process)

Expression (Products and/or Performance)

http://magazines.scholastic.com/ (Student friendly and age appropriate news site with current events and unique human/student interest stories)

Students may draft an outline of a news play monologue (from one perspective) based on a current event

Critical Content:

Key Skills:

  • Use documents to inform artistic choices in ensemble situations to create historically accurate scenes or tableaux

  • Write and/or speak expressively in order to communicate a range of emotions resulting from historical conflicts and situations

Critical Language:

Conflict, tension, communicate, emotions, primary sources, secondary sources, portray, perspective, scene, dramatic compositions, improvisation, non-stereotypical improvisation, media, news play
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