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Lights, Camera, Action!


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Keywords: Reader's Theatre, Flip, alternative assessment, video editing, drama,
Subject(s): Video, Social Skills, Special Needs, Reading, English/Language Arts, Drama
Grades 3 through 12
School: Pine View Middle School, Covington, LA
Planned By: Jodi Hernandez
Original Author: Jodi Hernandez, Covington
1. Select a short reading passage that is already in reader's theatre form or can be easily rewritten.

2. Distribute copies of script to students and allow them time to thoroughly read entire script.

3. Explain that the week's reading assessment will be in play format, rather than traditional reading test. Allow students about 10 minutes to individually plan for groups, including who they would like to work with and what parts may be assigned. For smaller classes, the entire class may form only one group.

4. Depending on readiness, allow students to form groups and assign roles. Younger children may need more teacher involvement, while more mature students may be capable of completeing this task with teacher supervision only. Roles should include at least 1 videographer per group.

5. After approximately 10 minutes, instruct students (as groups) to write a written plan of the play, including group member names and roles. This can serve as a
"contract" for the week.

6. After reviewing written plans and approving roles, allow the groups several days to practice. (I have found that allowing time for independent and group study increased students' memorization of roles and stage directions.)

7. Use daily formative assessment to guage readiness for performance and evaluate areas of weakness. Approximately every other day, allow groups to perform one scene in front of entire class and require audience members to give specific constructive criticism.

8. When ready, allow groups to perform a "dress rehearsal", where the videographer also practices filming entire play.

9. Finally, have students perform final version. Students will be evaluated on the following:
* Memorization of lines and effort
* Role as audience member
* Videographer: Involvement in practices and final product

Notes:
Videographers should be involved at all stages. When not filming, they should help evaluate group's performance by offering constructive advice and helping actors memorize lines.

As an extension after final performance, class can edit video by adding special effects using Adobe Premiere Elements 8 software.

If necessary, help groups choose roles. Students with special needs may require shorter parts; make decisions based on individual student ability and needs. (Some of my learning disabled students thrived with larger roles while others needed roles with fewer lines).
Comments
Notes:
Videographers should be involved at all stages. When not filming, they should help evaluate group's performance by offering constructive advice and helping actors memorize lines.

As an extension after final performance, class can edit video by adding special effects using Adobe Premiere Elements 8 software.

If necessary, help groups choose roles. Students with special needs may require shorter parts; make decisions based on individual student ability and needs. (Some of my learning disabled students thrived with larger roles while others needed roles with fewer lines).
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Create play focusing on biography of individual who contributed significantly to society, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. or Albert Einstein.
Follow-Up
As an extension after final performance, class can edit video by adding special effects using Adobe Premiere Elements 8 software.
Links: Tripod
Flip Camera
Adobe Premier Elements
Materials: Whiteboards, Flip Video, Authoring and Publishing, Video Tools
Other Items: 1 Flip Camera, $200 each, total of $200.00
1 Classroom Computer
1 Adobe Premier Elements software, $150 each, total of $150.00
1 Flip Tripod, $15 each, total of $15.00