You're So Dramatic!

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SWBAT be introduced to the elements of drama.

Big Idea

We all know 5th graders love drama! Now you can learn where the word comes from!

Unit Overview

The 5th grade common core standards make reference to prose, poetry and drama, so it's only fair that we give drama some love this year. We're still not sure what we'll be expected to show in terms of understanding of this written form, but we know that the kiddos need to use all of the literature standards when interacting with dramatic text. My hope is to provide my kids with one last opportunity to work with characters and plot by reading plays. It was my hope that I would align this unit with my civil war unit for social studies, but because of time constraints)the school year is almost over!) and accessibility to resources, this isn't going to happen this year. I'm bound and determined for next year though!

Also, my kids have been working as my co-teachers for the past few months now, so much of this unit will be planned by the class and myself. I'll be overseeing all of their efforts and guiding them in a suitable direction, but I want to let their ideas come to fruition and really see what they can do. 

Unit Set Up

15 minutes

Since it's the start of the unit, my kids will need to set up their new interactive notebooks. We use this time to add in their student learning maps for the unit as well. This is a Learning Focused unit planning strategy that my state adopted, and I think it works really well. It's similar to the other planning systems out there (Understanding By Design, etc.) My students decided that instead of using the district learning map, they'd like to create their own. That worked beautifully for me because I can totally share that with you! 

Now that you have you learning maps in your notebooks, chat real quick with your partner about our journey. Where are we headed? What should we be able to do by the end of the unit?

The kids should be able to tell me that the key learning on the map is where we're going, and the lesson essential questions are the pit stops along the way. I usually give the students just a few minutes to read over these questions, think about what they already know, ask me questions and just get a general idea of our task. 

Over the next 3 weeks, we will work together to find answers to each of these essential questions. The answers won't always be straight-forward; some of them will take some thorough explanation. You will learn to apply all of your literature skills to a different form of fiction text. Drama is new to you, however, I think many of you are more familiar with it than you think. 

Unit Launch Acitivity

20 minutes

Since unit set up can take a bit of time, the kids wanted to use the last part of the lesson to take a look at a drama and come up with what they think the elements might be. They wanted to use the play "Wings For The King" in our Reading Street Anthology. If you don't have access to that, and play is fine. 

As decided on by all of us, you will read "Wings For The King" and then write down ideas you have about the characteristics of the play. Remember you're looking for key elements of the drama. If you had to write a definition to describe a drama, what kinds of things would be included? Later in the unit, we'll read and really discuss this play, but for today, your task is just to write down what you think are the main elements. 

When they seem ready, I'll have them come up to complete a word splash. Here is what my kiddos came up with.  


5 minutes

To wrap up today and give me an idea of what the kiddos are thinking, they'll complete a 3-2-1 summarizing activity. Students will write down 3 things they think are elements of drama, 2 questions they have about drama, and 1 drama they have read or seen. I can then use this information to plan out the next lesson.