Unit Plan: Masks teacher: Louisa Woods Keywords



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Unit Plan: Masks

TEACHER: Louisa Woods

Keywords: Body language, Characterisation, Commedia del arte, Costume, Drama conventions, Drama technique, Improvisation, Mask making, Masks, Playbuilding, Status, Voice


YEAR
10


LEVEL
4- 5


DURATION
5 weeks





Achivement Objectives Being Assessed

Learning Outcomes

The Arts: Drama
Developing Practical Knowledge in Drama


- research the use of masks across different cultural groups and periods in history. (UD)
- research the use of masks in theatre in the past and in the present. (UD)
- recognise the function of drama and theatre in reflecting social and cultural aspects of the human experience. (UD)
- identify and describe elements of drama, dramatic forms, performance styles, techniques and conventions in drama. (CI)
- combine movement, voice and body language to create characters, scenes and relationships. (PK, CI)
- explore and use aspects of dramatic forms, performance styles, dramatic techniques, theatrical conventions and technologies to create dramatic meaning. (PK, DI, CI)
- learn about, experience and perform both neutral and character mask performance. (PK, DI, CI).
- work individually and collaboratively to devise and enact drama. (DI, CI, PK).
- create character masks that accurately portray personality and emotion. (PK, CI, DI).
- write in a journal regularly to reflect on lessons, participation, learning and skills. (CI)



The Arts: Drama
Developing Ideas in Drama


The Arts: Drama
Communicating and Interpreting in Drama


The Arts: Drama
Understanding Drama in Context


AIMS

For students to understand the significance, history and use of masks in theatre.
For students to create their own character masks.
For students to develop skills in movement, voice, characterisation, improvisation and playbuilding.
For students to work together and individually to build characters and scenes.
For students to interact in a positive way, giving feedback and helping one another.


FOCUSING QUESTIONS

What cultures and groups have used masks in the past and in still do in the present?
How have masks been used in theatre in the past and in the present?
How can masks help us to develop drama skills?
How can we use masks to create characters and scenes?


TEACHER BACKGROUND READING

· Assessing in the Arts
http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/arts/whatmeasure.asp

· Strategies for Success: Engaging Students in Secondary Schools
http://www.cal.org/resources/digest/0003strategies.html

LEARNING SEQUENCE


Teaching and Learning Experiences

Ongoing Assessment Approaches

Introduction to Masks - Research Task.

Students are given a list of different types of masks from a range of cultures and eras. Students choose one type of mask to research using the internet and library resources. They then present their work to the class, in the form of a poster and oral presentation.



Peer Assessment: Groups are given oral feedback from their peers at the end of their presentation. Students are encouraged to give positive feedback and advice for future tasks.

Self Assessment: Journal responses - students comment on the activity, their contribution etc

Teacher assessment: Grade awarded (Not Achieved/Achieved/Merit/Excellence) depending on depth of content - marking schedule used to determine grade.


Neutral Masks One - Background Information

1) Reading comprehension activity - Students read information about neutral masks and their development. They then answer questions about the article.

2) Neutral Masks intro - Give out masks to students. Explain care and use rules. Students are to write their name on the back of the masks. They will be kept in the classroom.

3) Freeze tag - Using masks, students participate in freeze tag activity.

Reflection - journal response: What was it like performing in masks?


Teacher Assessment - Answers to questions.

Self Assessment: Journal responses - students comment on the activity, their contribution etc



Neutral Masks Two - Importance of Voice

1) Blind Listeners.


Students work in groups of three or four. Each member of the group thinks of an experience from their life that has involved strong emotion. The emotion can be positive or negative or a mixture. If students cannot think of an experience they can make a story up. Each member of the group tells their story while the other members are blindfolded. The storyteller needs to convey the meaning and emotion of the story using their voice only.

2) Feedback - as a class, discuss the effect that being blindfolded had on the story. What did the storyteller have to do? What did the listeners have to do? How would it have been different if the listeners could have seen the storyteller's face?

Write down notes from discussion.

3) Controlled breathing - Explanation and practice.



Teacher assessment - observation, journals

Self Assessment: Journal responses - students comment on the activity, their contribution etc



Importance of Voice continued...

1) Handout - Elements of Voice: Read and discuss each element.

2) Warm up - Short phrase on the OHT. Students repeat the phrase in a 'neutral' voice. The teacher calls out instructions and the students change their voices accordingly eg) loud, soft, high pitched, like an elderly person, like a child etc.

3) Reading a Scene: In pairs, students will have to read a scene aloud to another pair. The scenes that they are given will contain more than two characters and students will have to use their voices to help their listeners recognise each of the characters.

4) Reflection - journal response


Teacher assessment - observation, journals

Self Assessment: Journal responses - students comment on the activity, their contribution etc



Neutral Masks Three: Movement - The Seven Levels of Energy

1) Warm up - 'Director': in groups, students improvise a scene wearing their neutral masks. The scene will start out as a neutral scene about an everyday event. At the end of the scene, the director will yell cut and ask the actors to play it 'happy/sad/angry/jealous/posh' etc. The director will do this several times either at the end of or during the scene with different emotions/attitudes.

2) Feed back - what was more difficult because of the masks? What did the actors have to focus on to get the emotion/attitude across?

3) The Seven Levels of Energy.


Teacher explains background - this will help students to focus on their body and they way that they move. Wearing masks, students move through the seven levels as the teacher reads them out. Once finished, discuss each level and the sorts of characters that could fit at each.
Notes - summary of the different level, use of levels in acting.

4) Reflection - journal response. How did it feel? Which levels were the most difficult/easiest? Why?



Teacher assessment - observation, journals

Self Assessment: Journal responses - students comment on the activity, their contribution etc



Neutral Masks Four: Movement - Emotion through body language

1) Warm up - small groups, each student in the group is given an emotion or attitude to portray. They are to keep their attitude/emotion secret. Wearing masks, students portray their emotion/attitude to the group without using any sound. The group needs to guess the emotion. If the group cannot guess, add voice.

Feedback - how difficult was it to tell the emotions without facial expression? How did voice help?

2) 'The Goodbye' - following the instructions from www.mimeguy.com, students are led through a scenario in which they, wearing masks, say a final farewell to someone very significant. A volunteer from the class will demonstrate initially. They are to express the emotions of the farewell using movement. They will work in small groups. Anyone who would like to demonstrate to the class can do so after small group work is complete.

3) Reflection - what went well, what could have been better? How well did I get the emotion across?


Teacher assessment - observation, journals

Self Assessment: Journal responses - students comment on the activity, their contribution etc



Neutral Masks Five: Movement - Status

1) Brainstorm - what is status? how can a character's status be portrayed on stage? why/how might a character's status change over the course of a drama/scene?

2) Warm up - status game. Five students leave the room and are given a status level randomly (ranging from 1-10). They return, and are given a situation to improvise. The class has to work out who has the highest status. (repeat several times with different students).

3) Small group work - students prepare a scene where the characters have different status levels. During the scene, at least one character's status must change. After practice, students perform their work to the class.



Teacher assessment - observation, journals

Self Assessment: Journal responses - students comment on the activity, their contribution etc



Character Masks: Ancient Greek Theatre

1) Show students the Introduction to Greek Theatre powerpoint. Students complete the information sheet.

2) Diagram of the Greek Theatre - Handout. Label areas according to descriptions in the notes.

3) Students complete the Greek Masks matching exercise.



Teacher Assessment - marking of worksheets.

Character Masks: Ancient Greek Theatre - Chorus exercise

1) Brief notes on the role of the chorus.

2) In groups, students are given an extract from '----'. They are to work together in preparing the extract for performance in front of the class. Remind students about the importance of breath, voice and movement. Allow adequate time for practice. Perform in front of the class.

3) Reflection - what went well? what was difficult? what contribution did I make?



Peer Assessment: Groups are given written feedback from their peers at the end of their presentation. Students are encouraged to give positive feedback and advice for future tasks.

Self Assessment: Journal responses - students comment on the activity, their contribution etc

Teacher Assessment - observation.


Character Masks: Commedia dell'Arte

1) Show students the Commedia powerpoint. Students complete the fill the gaps sheet.

2) Students are broken up into seven groups and are assigned a character type. Students get 10 minutes to come up with a general description of their characters including such things as personality, loyalties, status, origin and plot function. They will also list any modern TV, movie or cartoon characters that they think best fit the description of their characters. Information is presented to the class via OHT. Students take down notes.


Teacher Assessment - written work

Character Masks: Commedia dell'Arte

1) Freeze tag with Stereotypes - Students are given a card with a stereotyped character written on it. Play whole class freeze tag as usual but with students performing as their stereotype. Between each scene, students are to guess what the stereotype is.

2) Commedia characters - Students break up into groups of up to 7. Each student takes a different character from Commedia to portray. As a group, the students begin to improvise a scene using the characters that they have chosen to portray. They need to use their notes about the characters to help them to give accurate portrayals. After some practice time, students will perform their scene to the class.

3) Reflection - Journal response.



Peer Assessment: Groups are given written feedback from their peers at the end of their presentation. Students are encouraged to give positive feedback and advice for future tasks.

Self Assessment: Journal responses - students comment on the activity, their contribution etc

Teacher Assessment - observation.


Character Masks: Creating Our Own

1) In groups, students decide on a basic idea for a scene and the characters that they will need to include in that scene. Students are encouraged to include a range of characters. They will be creating masks to wear in the performance of this scene.

2) Each student chooses a character to create a mask for. Several class periods are used to construct masks from papier mache. Masks need to be suitable for performance while also showing character and emotion.

3) Students improvise their scene, building on it and rehearsing. Teacher gives feedback as students rehearse together. each group will have at least one opportunity to rehearse on the stage in the hall.

4) Students decide what props, costume and set they wil use in the final peformance.


Teacher assessment - observation, journals

Self Assessment: Journal responses - students comment on the activity, their contribution etc



Mask Performance

1) Using the voice and movement skills that they have developed over the course of the unit and the masks that they have made, students perform the scene that they have been rehearsing in front of the class and teacher. The scenes will be performed in the hall.



Teacher assessment - observation, journals

Self Assessment: Journal responses - students comment on the activity, their contribution etc



Content test

1) Students complete the unit test under test conditions during class time. They will be warned about the test early on in the unit so that they can revise.



Teacher assessment - written answers to test.

Summative Assessment

A) Group Performance

Teacher assessment - students assessed as to how well they communicate character, relationships and events through the use of movement, voice and masks. (P.K, D.I)

B) Journal Responses

Self Assessment - students review their responses and make a final comment about their contribution etc. They grade themselves on various areas.


Teacher Assessment - teacher review and marking of completed journal (C.I)

C) Final Test - Content test looking at various aspects of the unit including Greek Theatre, Commedia dell'Arte, drama terms and conventions. (U.D, C.I)



Teacher Assessment - marking of written answers




ASSESSMENT

Arts

Learning Outcomes

- research the use of masks across different cultural groups and periods in history. (UD)
- research the use of masks in theatre in the past and in the present. (UD)
- recognise the function of drama and theatre in reflecting social and cultural aspects of the human experience. (UD)
- identify and describe elements of drama, dramatic forms, performance styles, techniques and conventions in drama. (CI)
- combine movement, voice and body language to create characters, scenes and relationships. (PK, CI)
- explore and use aspects of dramatic forms, performance styles, dramatic techniques, theatrical conventions and technologies to create dramatic meaning. (PK, DI, CI)
- learn about, experience and perform both neutral and character mask performance. (PK, DI, CI).
- work individually and collaboratively to devise and enact drama. (DI, CI, PK).
- create character masks that accurately portray personality and emotion. (PK, CI, DI).
- write in a journal regularly to reflect on lessons, participation, learning and skills. (CI)



Criteria



Students will:
- complete the mask research task and present clear and relevant information to the class.
- read and answer questions about neutral masks, Greek theatre and Commedia dell'Arte.
- watch powerpoints about Greek Theatre and Commedia dell'Arte and fill in accompanying worksheets
- produce a list that describes a commedia character
- discuss the importance of theatre to the societies that each form comes from
- match up theatre terms with their definitions
- participate in activities that focus on the use of voice
- participate in activities that focus on movement
- participate in activities that communicate status
- participate in activities that communicate emotion
- participate in activities that use stereotypes
- work as part of a group to develop ideas for scenes
- work individually to create a character mask
- perform in front of the class as part of a group while wearing their character mask
- refelct on experiences in a written journal





RESOURCES

Electronic

Reviewed Resources

· Drama Conventions
http://www.david-farmer.com/drama_techniques.htm

· Learning in "As-If" Worlds: Cognition in Drama in Education
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0NQM/is_4_43/ai_n8686066

· Learn Improv
http://www.learnimprov.com/

Other Web Resources

· - Theatre Education Database (TEDb) hosted by the Department of Theatre and Media Arts (TMA) at Brigham Young University.
http://tedb.byu.edu/

· http://www.mask-and-more-masks.com

· http://arts.unitec.ac.nz

New Zealand Curriculum Exemplars

· The Arts Exemplars
http://www.tki.org.nz/r/assessment/exemplars/arts/index_e.php

Print

· Creating Drama - Bruce Burton

School/Community

· Hall - stage

· Mariette Dodd (To assess final performance?)

Other

· Neutral masks

· Blindfolds

· Newspaper

· Baloons

· Glue

· Craft materials for decorating masks

NEXT LEARNING STEPS

Mask Research - a small number of girls are disengaged. Need to be placed in groups where they will be necoraged to participate.


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