Year 8 Drama

A semester-long subject chosen by many students, undertaken either in first or second semester.

Rationale

This unit is structured to help each student to develop ideas for drama from a variety of sources:  the arts, literature, current affairs and real life characters.  They explore the dramatic potential of a range of stimuli, responding in either naturalistic or non-natualistic forms of expression.  They create roles and characters in response to and in collaboration with others, exploring the contexts of characters and situations.

Students improvise, select and structure elements of drama to make short improvisational plays.  They experiment with a range of forms, styles and conventions in drama such as mime, physical theatre, circus arts and role play to create dramatic images and to convey meaning.

Using a variety of techniques and processes, students develop a range of performance skills to communicate with an audience.  Drama classes seek to help students to develop the ability to use starting points to generate and expressively develop ideas for making and presenting drama.

The units of work allow students to develop the ability to make informed judgments about the values and purpose of drama.  They describe, analyse, interpret and evaluate drama.  Students use appropriate terminology to critically discuss and investigate the works.

Course Objectives

  • Explore the dramatic potential of a range of stimuli.
  • Use observation, experience or research to create drama.
  • Develop characters and situations from starting points, individually and as part of a group.
  • Plan, rehearse and present drama to a variety of audiences.
  • Develop and sustain characters and situations to express ideas.
  • Develop scripts from improvisation.
  • Evaluate and refine own work
  • Compare the structure and expressive qualities of a range of dramas.
  • Develop and express informed opinions about drama.
  • Use appropriate terminology to discuss drama.
  • Compare dramas from selected cultural and historical contexts.

 Content

  • At Year 8 level, the curriculum aims to introduce students to ways in which scenes and plays can be developed from observation, research and personal experience.  They are also encouraged to use the Internet to access this information.  Students are encouraged to continue to develop the skills of refining and shaping improvised drama which incorporates dramatic elements and forms and to use imagination and perception to develop characters.
  • Students also study play scripts to learn ways of organizing their own ideas before writing their own plays.  Learning to sustain characters by use of appropriate voices, gestures, movement and timing are incorporated into the units of work.  Individually and in groups, they experiment with dramatic and theatrical forms to convey meaning.  Students learn that different effects can be achieved by acting the same scene naturalistically and non-naturalistically.  Students also experiment with staging possibilities to communicate their work to a variety of audiences in a range of settings.  Students are given opportunities of building on their creative gifts and talents and to further develop in confidence and self esteem.

Students will:

  • Use resources from a variety of sources to develop and expand ideas.
  • Make decisions about which techniques and processes to use in developing characters.
  • Use a range of skills and techniques to organise drama elements.
  • Structure drama to lead to performance.
  • Use methods involved in script writing techniques.

At Year 8 level, students are encouraged to use appropriate drama terminology to discuss and evaluate their own work and also to express opinions about their own and others drama.  Students identify ways in which drama can inform, entertain and challenge an audience or simply provide an escape into imaginary worlds.  Students learn about ways in which drama and theatre have developed and identify differences in content and presentation.  Taking part in discussions about ways in which theatre and drama challenge and reinforce attitudes helps students to construct personal and social values.

Students will develop ideas about:

  • How the organisation and presentation of drama communicates ideas and feelings.
  • Effectively communicating ideas through drama.
  • The ways in which drama is an essential part of identity and culture.

Assessment

Assessment of this subject takes place mainly through teacher observation through:

  • Keeping a well maintained workbook
  • Teacher observation of cooperative behaviours
  • Observation of contribution during class
  • Use of imagination to create characters
  • Ability to collect and use ideas from a varied source
  • Ability to sustain character
  • Ability to follow through on storyline during improvisation
  • Production of a script
  • Participation in role plays
  • Confidence during performance
  • Ability to work as a member of a group
  • Journaling