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M ovement and Drama for Children

Raegen Docca
M ay 2, 2017
Target Group: Elementary Education Classroom
Target Age Group: 1st -2nd Grade Students
Context: Taught by primary teacher in the classroom at beginning of school year
Resources/ Materials:

Book- A Weekend With Wendell, by Kevin Henkes

Other Kevin Henkes books to display in classroom
White board
Dry erase marker/ eraser
Open space to move
M ouse ears
The course, M ovement and Drama for Children, explores value of creative drama for
primary-aged children in varied settings. Overall it Investigates drama and movements roles as
vehicle for teaching and learning.
Throughout this course I have noticed in our readings that Griss and I have similar viewpoints
regarding children's need for movement. You could say we both believe when children are
restrained it often leads to even more movement. M ore movement in a classroom is too often
associated with misbehavior, but in my opinion it's a natural approach to learning and it's also
wired into children's brains to explore and learn through movement. I believe the lessons I have
constructed are well suited for elementary aged students who are beginning to learn about
friendship, cooperation, and taking turns through the use of movement and drama. I feel as if it
would be important to teach the students these lessons at the beginning of the year, and through
movement. Coming back to school from summer break requires a lot of work form the teacher in
order to maintain the students attention, but if they are drawn into the content through movement
and drama, valuable learning can be done, and the way I would like my classroom to be run
would be established right at the beginning of the year.
Context of the setting/curriculum:
Too often teachers think that they planned a fantastic lesson that involves students
working together and learning together. In these thought out lesson plans, the teacher expects
that students are engaged in the activities while also supporting one another in the teachers
classroom community. It can often be the case though that these activities don't always work out
as planned.
At a young age this could simply be due to the fact the students are unable to work
together properly because they do not know how to cooperate or work efficiently together.
Implementing cooperative games into the classroom allows young students to become problem
solvers, learn to work with one another, and help with their social skills like sharing and being
good friends.
I personally have always liked cooperative classroom games and activities more because
they differ from competitive games, such as baseball and soccer, that tend to focus on who is the
winner and who is the looser. Cooperative activities do not have to have a specific winner,
instead it is about everyone working and playing together for the greater good.
Cooperative classroom activities and lesson plan I think are a great solution to teaching
young students the importance of working together and building a community of friends. All
students will benefit since no one is left out, like the main character of the book I have chosen to
use for my activities.
Text: A Weekend With Wendell, by Kevin Henkes
Synopsis of Text:

Spending the weekend at Sophie's house was perfect fun for Wendell, but not so much fun for
Sophie. Wendell's wild antics and practical joke were enough to make anyone crazy until Sophie
made up a game that finally left Wendell speechless. Throughout the story Sophie does not enjoy
Wendell's energetic and assertive self. It isn't until the very end, Sophie learns to assert herself
and finds out Wendell can be fun to play with after all.
Students will list qualities of a good friend
Students will explore problem-solving techniques
Students will work in partners to try cooperation skills
Students will make predictions
Students will act out their predictions
Students will role play characters
Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework
PreK12 STANDARD 5: Mental Health
5.1 Identify the various feelings that most people experience and describe the physical and
emotional reactions of the body to intense positive and negative feelings
5.3 Define character traits such as honesty, trustworthiness, self-discipline, respectfulness, and
kindness and describe their contribution to identity, self-concept, decision-making, and
interpersonal relationships
5.19 Explain positive techniques for handling difficult decisions
Massachusetts Arts Curriculum Framework
PreK12 STANDARD 1: Acting
1.2 Imagine and clearly describe characters, their relationships, setting, conflict, and plot from a
variety of appropriate literature
1.4 Create characters through physical movement, gesture, sound and/or speech, and facial
expression 1.5 Learn lines, observe, listen, and respond in character to other actors 1.6
Demonstrate the ability to work effectively alone and cooperatively with a partner or in an
1.11 M otivate character behavior by using recall of emotional experience as well as observation
of the external world

Questions to consider/ ask children throughout unit:

Did you ever play with someone like Wendell?
How did you handle the problems that arose?
How does Sophie change Wendells behavior?
What other things could she do to make things more fair between herself and Wendell?
What should Sophie do to prepare for Wendells next visit?
What kinds of things do you think Wendell can learn from Sophie?
Multiple Modes for Teaching and Learning

Visual Spatial: Using pictures from text to showcase tableaux and to act out predictions
Auditory: Watching and listening to, A Weekend With Wendell, Listening to peers during
hot seat
Logical: M aking Predictions about what will come next, comparing and contrasting
Kevin Henkes books, researching author
Bodily Kinesthetic: M aking Frozen Pictures, Acting out predictions, acting out the text
Interpersonal: Working together to create tableaux/ act out their predictions, sharing with
the group their opinions
Intrapersonal: Researching author
Verbal: Communicating about prior knowledge of what a good friend is, communicating
their predictions, speaking with partners/ groups

Activity One:
The Good Friend List

Have students stand in a semi-circle

M ake sure students are standing so they each will have a partner for this activity (groups
of three are allowed if needed)
Ask children to raise their hand and list what qualities make a good friend
o For example, someone who shares toys, someone who doesnt yell, someone who
thinks about other people's feelings, etc.
Teacher will write the list on a white board
Then, with the person standing next to them, have them pick one of the qualities listed on
the white board
Students, while still standing in the semi-circle, will form a Tableaux
Have students look around the semi-circle to see their class mates frozen picture
Then the teacher will point to a pair of students and ask what quality they chose
Explain to students that as a class we will be looking for those qualities in the book you
are about to read, called, A Weekend With Wendell, by Kevin Henkes
Before teacher begins to read the book, the teacher will get into character
o Put on mouse ears, and explain to the children you are now Sophie
o Read Sophie's monologue (can be found at end of lesson, and then read the book
as if you were Sophie
o Continue to be in character until the end of the story is read
Activity Two:
Role Playing Predictions

Once the teacher finished reading up to page twenty two students will be put in pairs
Students will decide who is going to act as Wendell and who will act as Sophie
Students will make predictions about what will happen next and how the story will end
o Remind them, good readers use what they already know to make predictions
Once they have their predictions, allow them to create a way to act out their predictions
Have them present/ act out their predictions to the class
Once every group has gone, read the end of the story to see if their predictions were
correct or how they differed
Activity Three:
Hot Seat

In this activity, one student is selected to come to the front of the class and take the "hot
The student sits in a chair facing their classmates
The student also should have a clear view of the class
The student on the hot seat gets to decide which character from the book read they would
like to pretend to be
Teacher will demonstrate this prior to students having a chance
Then classmates will be allowed to ask the student, who is acting as a chosen character,
questions that pertain to the book and today's topic of discussion
Questions can revolve around friendship, emotions, cooperation, problem solving,
Allow other students a chance to be in the hot seat
They may pretend to be the same character or chose a new character to look at
their perspective
Extended Lessons:

Let's look at all the other Kevin Henkes books we've read. Is there anything about all these
books that is the same? Note - this may need to be more guided to get them to make the
connection. Turn & Talk to partners.
Examples of other Kevin Henkes books:

Lilly's Big Day
Chester's Way
Julius Baby of the World
Sheila Rae the Brave
Wemberly Worried
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse
Research Author-
"Kevin Henkes was born in 1960 in Racine, Wisconsin, and during his childhood, he often visited
the local art museumthe Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts. He also visited the library
on a weekly basis with his family. He pored over books and was intrigued by the authors and
illustrators, but he says, I never imagined that one day I would be one myself. He grew up
loving books and loving to draw and paint..."

Listen/ Techonolgy-
Listen to a recording of, A Weekend With Wendell, off of Youtube.

Perform A Weekend With Wendell

(Link to script listed below)
Analyze and Assess Students Learning

Observations from teacher, teacher's notes about discussions had throughout lesson/
students creative process
Student's verbal responses to "What makes a good friend"
o An alternate to this is having students write on a sticky note the qualities of a
good friend, and then stick them onto the white board and discuss as a class
Students predictions and their explanations
Hot seat questions asked, and responses
Compare and Contrast of Kevin Henkes books
Research on Author
Overall if teacher sees improvement or transformation of how students are cooperating in
class and the community built
Self Reflect on Lesson
What did you learn? How will you improve your lesson next time? If you were to continue
teaching this subject, skill, or concept, what direction would you move in? Why? Does any part
need further teaching? Where would you take the learner next?
Monologue script:
"Hi everyone, my name is Sophie. I am here today because I want to tell you about a time
when I had to figure out how to cooperate with my friend, Wendell. Cooperate is a big word isn't
it! M y teacher is school taught me what it means. When you cooperate it means you work
together with one or more other people. I used to think it was hard to cooperate because I was so
shy, and my friend Wendell used to think it was hard to cooperate, because he was very bossy.
We didn't know how to play together and take turns so we were both getting a chance to have
fun. This really made me upset. But dont worry, we are going to read the book about me to find
out what happened to Wendell and I!"

Questions to ask THE 277 after presentation:

Do you think it made sense to not finish reading the book all at the same time, especially
considering the target age group?
Would you think these activities would be good to use at the beginning of the year to help
students learn cooperation and taking turns, or would you use it once the students knew each
other more?
Do you think students will be able to relate to the content of the book, even though it takes place
during a sleepover? (Since it still addresses the idea of good friendship skills)
Griss, Susan. Minds in motion a kinesthetic approach to teaching elementary curriculum.
Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1998. Print.
Henkes, Kevin. "Welcome to the official Kevin Henkes website!" Kevin Henkes Children's book
author and illustrator. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.
Henkes, Kevin. A weekend with Wendell. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1986. Print.
Wilhelm, Jeffrey D. Deepening comprehension with action strategies: role plays, text-structure
tableaux, talking statues, and other enactment techniques that engage students with text. New
York: Scholastic, 2012. Print.