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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Grade 9/10 Movement Unit Plan


Sept. 26 Oct.19, 2016
Chinook High School
Joni Unger

Rationale:
This unit focuses on non-verbal communication. Students will explore different ways we
communicate and will look closely at body language. They will also explore how levels can be
used to communicate ideas and how body position or actions can represent words or emotions.
The culminating activity will be for students to tell a story using movement set to music. They
will have to rely on body language and different ways of representing ideas, emotions, and
images through movement. Students will need to interpret the music in order to create a story
that makes sense with their chosen piece. Understanding and being able to interpret body
language will be a useful skill in their own day to day interactions. Setting the story to music will
encourage students to think deeply about what the music is expressing. Students will bring the
three elements of musical theatre (singing, acting, dancing/movement) into one piece and will
see how these elements can work together to convey a message. Interpreting and representing
ideas and emotions is a skill that will serve them in other subjects as well as in their interactions
with others.

Students will be graded on reflections throughout the unit and their culminating assignment.
This unit will take place over 8 classes.
Primary Outcomes:
(Taken from the locally developed musical theatre course outline)
1.3 Demonstrate team/interpersonal skills
3.10 Exhibit an awareness of the body in relation to the performance space and other
characters in the space
3.12 Demonstrate how to physically show the character through gesture, posture and
movement
3.21 Demonstrate expression and interpretation of music
5.1 Understand the importance of self-assessment

Unit Overview
Lesson 1
Activities: Penguin, Human Knot, Prisoners of War, Active Walk, Character Walk, Park Bench,
Action/Reaction
Aim: students will explore different ways in which we use body language and movement to
communicate
Learner Expectations: 1.3, 3.10, 3.12
Lesson 2
Activities: Show me how you get down, Sitting Circle, Walking Circle, Picking a Fight, Silent Movie,
Take 3 tableaux, Beyond Words
Aim: explore ways to tell a story through use of the body
Learner Expectations: 1.3, 3.10
Lesson 3
Activities: Freeze, Turn, Jump, Twizzle, Mirror, Sitting/ Kneeling/Standing/Leaning/Laying Down,
Cross the room like,Portraits, Statues, 5 minute fairy tales
Aim: increase students understanding of effectiveness and importance of levels in telling a story
Learner Expectations: 1.3, 3.10, 3.12
Lesson 4
Activities: Atom, Chris Scenes, In one word, Charades, Dance of the 13 Skeletons, Watch Attraction
Shadow Theatre & Nutcracker, exit slip
Aim: explore different ways of representing emotions, sounds, words or images through movement
Learner Expectations:3.12, 3.21, 5.1
Lesson 5
Activities: Evolution, Starting with Music, Pigs in a Polka, group work choose music/plan story,
Aim: increase students ability to interpret emotions or ideas portrayed in music
Learner Expectations:
Lesson 6
Activities: Hitch Hiker, choreograph story, exit slip/reflection
Aim: students will combine body language, levels, and action to communicate non-verbally
Learner Expectations: 1.3, 3.12, 3.21, 5.1
Lesson 7
Activities: continue choreographing story, rehearsals
Aim: students will combine body language, levels, and action to communicate non-verbally
Learner Expectations: 1.3, 3.12, 3.21
Lesson 8
Activities: Performances, discussion about performances, reflection
Aim: students will tell a story set to music using body language, actions, levels and different kinds
of movement and will have an opportunity to reflect on their performances, give each other
Learner Expectations: 1.3, 3.10, 3.12, 3.21, 5.1

Materials
Lesson 1
papers for prisoners of war
Lesson 4
charades cards
exit slip
Dance of the 13 skeletons poem
Attraction shadow video
Nutcracker clip
projector
Lesson 5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nzo3atXtm54
Pigs in a Polka
projector
list of song choices
Lesson 6
exit slip

Rubric
(students will be graded as a group for the performance and individually for reflections)
4

Clarity of story/
message

The message or
story is clear

The message or
story is mostly
clear

The message or
story is somewhat
clear

The message or
story is not clear

Movement reflects
music

Movements
clearly reflect the
mood and tempo
of the music

Movements
mostly reflect the
mood and tempo
of the music

Movements rarely
reflect the mood
and tempo of the
music

Meaningful
movement

The movements
effectively
represent
emotions, motives,
ideas, etc.

Levels

Levels are used


effectively to
represent
emotions, motives,
ideas, etc.

Most of the
movements
effectively
represent
emotions, motives,
ideas, etc.
Levels are mostly
effective in
representing
emotions, motives,
ideas, etc.

Reflections
(weekly
reflections and
reflection on final
performance)

Student identifies
in detail what went
well, what didnt
go well, how to
improve and what
they learned from
this unit

Movements
somewhat reflect
the mood and
tempo of the
music
Some of the
movements
effectively
represent
emotions, motives,
ideas, etc.
Levels are
somewhat
effective in
representing
emotions, motives,
ideas, etc.
Student reflects
with detail on
some but not all of
the following
points: what went
well, what didnt
go well, how to
improve, what
they learned in this
unit

Student identifies
in detail most of
the following
points: what went
well, what didnt
go well, how to
improve and what
they learned from
this unit

The movements do
not effectively
represent
emotions, motives,
ideas, etc.
Levels are not
used effectively to
represent
emotions, motives,
ideas, etc.
Student is vague in
their reflection,
and touches on
one or less of the
following: what
went well, what
didnt go well,
how to improve,
what they learned
in this unit

Bibliography
B. (2013). Attraction perform their stunning shadow act - Week 1 Auditions | Britain's Got Talent
2013. Retrieved May 12, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4Fv98jttYA
Booth, D. W., & Lundy, C. J. (1985). Improvisation: Learning through drama. Toronto: Harcourt
Brace Jovanovich Canada.
Drama Games. (2010). Retrieved May 12, 2016, from https://drama-inecce.com/2010/11/01/drama-games-2/
Drama Teacher's Network. (n.d.). Retrieved May 12, 2016, from
https://dramateachersnetwork.wordpress.com/tag/non-verbal-communication/
Teacher resource manual, drama: Junior high school. (1989). Edmonton: Curriculum Support,
Alberta Education.
Thurman, A. H., & Piggins, C. A. (1982). Drama activities with older adults: A handbook for
leaders. New York: Haworth Press.
Using Body Language. (n.d.). Retrieved May 12, 2016, from
http://changingminds.org/techniques/body/body_language.htm