Here at Theatrefolk, we’re big on cross-curricular opportunities for students. We’ve got lots of cross-curricular plays, as well as exercises for students to try, such as A Picture Tells a Thousand Words, Writing Your Research and Speeches From History.
Global citizenship is applicable to so many different subjects. It touches on real-life topics and issues that are current and important to students. As we mentioned in our introductory post about global citizenship, the goal of global citizenship is to celebrate our diverse cultures while encouraging students to take ownership of their voices and use them to make positive changes for the future. Using dramatic techniques and resources taught in the drama classroom helps students make these big topics and issues more manageable and accessible.
Read on for some suggestions for including global citizenship-related topics and exercises in your drama classes and rehearsals.
Social Studies / Humanities
- Research local performance groups from different ethnic or cultural backgrounds and take your students to see them perform. Arrange for performers from these groups to come and teach a workshop for your students in their style of performance.
- Research stories/legends/fairy tales from different nations (perhaps from your students’ various cultural backgrounds). Have students summarize the stories and present them in a series of narrated tableau scenes.
- Have students create their own myth, legend, or morality tale to teach a lesson about being a positive global citizen. Have students write a scene (or series of scenes) that they could present for students at an elementary school.
Science / Environmental Studies
- Go green for your next production, and challenge yourself and your students:
- To use e-copies of scripts/scores rather than printing out paper copies.
- To use and re-purpose only props and costumes that already exist within your stocks or students’ own homes – no new purchases.
- To figure out low-energy alternatives for lighting and sound that use reduced electricity – perhaps performing outdoors using natural light, and found objects/foley sound effects/acoustic instruments instead of electronic sound effects.
- To produce only e-programs that audience members can read on their phones.
- To sell concession items in reusable or recyclable packaging (or, hygiene permitting, without packaging at all) and have appropriate recycling bins available for waste.
- Have students research recent a political movement or event (locally, nationally, or globally) and challenge them to create and perform three short scenes:
- A dramatic presentation of the event (such as a news report, or a re-creation of the event using mime or tableau),
- A scene showing what might happen if the event continues on the way it’s currently going, and
- A scene showing what could happen if the event goes in a different way.
- Read plays (or scenes from plays) with your students that feature politically-charged or issue-based topics, such as Look Me in the Eye, Power Play, or Virtual Family (all available from Theatrefolk!) Challenge your students to make connections between the issues that arise in these plays and issues that are currently occurring in the real world. What are the similarities and differences?
- Brainstorm with your students different ways that drama and theatre can be used to raise awareness and/or money for various issues or specific charities (for example, staging a production of Matilda: The Musical with a portion of the ticket sales going to a charity that promotes children’s literacy, or creating an information packet with resources for mental health and teen suicide prevention to accompany a production of Heathers: The Musical).
Your students will have many other ideas for theatrical exercises and activities that promote global citizenship. Encourage them to share their thoughts and ideas on how they can use their voices to create change in their community, and eventually work towards making the world a more equal, fair, and sustainable place.Click here for a free project planning worksheet and reflection.
Kerry Hishon is a director, actor, writer and stage combatant from London, Ontario, Canada. She blogs at www.kerryhishon.com.
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