Units

UNIT

Pantomime

by Karen Loftus

Students will explore nonverbal communication through movement, body language, simple mime, and storytelling. They will learn the specific art of pantomime through hand position, tension, follow-through, and action/reaction/interaction with objects through warmup games and exercises.

The unit culminates in a two-person pantomime performance. A rubric is included for the performance as long as journal prompts and exit slips. Please refer to the Pacing Guide for more details and ways to supplement with other DTA materials.

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UNIT

Voice

by Anna Porter

The voice is a key element in performance and can be used in many ways. In this introductory voice unit with instructor Anna Porter, students will explore how to thoughtfully communicate character, story and emotion vocally.

Lesson one focuses on the articulators and the importance and of speaking clearly on stage. Lesson two introduces students to the use of vocal variety with pitch, tone, rate and volume. In lesson three, students develop a character with background as well as design a puppet. Lesson four brings together the elements of voice studied in this unit to create vocal characterization.

Through this four lesson series, students will use journals, participate in class discussions and practice the elements taught by performing for their peers and as a class. Assessment tools include both informal assessment as well as a final puppet show performance.

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Lesson Plans

LESSON PLAN

Creating a Voice for a Character

by Elisabeth Oppelt

Students will demonstrate how to use vocal aspects in character creation.

The lesson teaches students how to create a specific character voice,considering volume, rate and pitch.

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LESSON PLAN

Vocal Projection

by Elisabeth Oppelt

Students will demonstrate their ability to project.

Projection is speaking loudly without yelling. It is the technique actors use to be heard when performing without damaging their voices. Students learn how to project and practice the skill culminating in an assessed exercise.

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LESSON PLAN

Breath Support

by Elisabeth Oppelt

Being able to control how much air comes out as you speak allows you to speak loudly without damaging your voice. It also lets you choose where to pause.

This lesson teaches students the basics of breath support and exercises to practice controlling the breath.

Students will demonstrate their ability to control their breath support by participating in a series of exercises, culminating with an attempt to say all fifty states of the union in one breath.

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LESSON PLAN

What makes a “good voice?”

by Karen Loftus

Students discuss and apply aspects of what makes a voice a “good voice:” projection, articulation, posture, proper breathing.

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LESSON PLAN

Resonance

by Karen Loftus

Students learn about the resonators and use them in an exercise.

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LESSON PLAN

Articulation

by Karen Loftus

Students learn about the articulators and use them with tongue twisters and additional exercises.

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LESSON PLAN

Unit Project

by Karen Loftus

Students will use all the vocal techniques they have used in this unit in the simple act of telling a joke. A post performance reflection and rubric are included.

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LESSON PLAN

Articulation

by Anna Porter

Students will learn the importance of articulation, how to identify the articulators in their mouth, and how to use good articulation when speaking.

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LESSON PLAN

Vocal Variety

by Anna Porter

Students will learn how to use vocal variety to communicate. Students will learn how to identify and apply Pitch, Tone, Rate, and Volume in performance.

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LESSON PLAN

Character and Puppet Design

by Anna Porter

Students will create a character and design a puppet for performance.

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LESSON PLAN

Vocal Characterization and Accent

by Anna Porter

Students will understand how they can use vocal variety and accents to create an interesting character voice.

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LESSON PLAN

Vocal Tools: Tone

by Lindsay Price

The voice is a powerful instrument. Beyond being the vehicle with which an actor delivers their dialogue, the voice can suggest emotion, subtext, character personality, location, and more. There are a variety of vocal tools an actor can use to communicate effectively with an audience. This lesson covers tone.

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LESSON PLAN

Persuasive Actions With Vocal Expression

by Rachel Atkins

In this lesson, students explore word choice, emotion, and vocal expression in communication. They will select an objective or argument and actions to support it. They will write lines of dialogue to match different actions. They will choose an emotion that correspond with the line and action, and practice speaking their lines with emotion and vocal expression. Finally, they will write an argument explaining how a line expresses a specific action – and support it with evidence.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 1

by Lindsay Price

Students are introduced to the concept of what makes a good voice and how to achieve it through breathing and proper posture.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 2

by Lindsay Price

Students explore resonance and the resonators.

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LESSON PLAN

Session 3

by Lindsay Price

Students explore articulation and the articulators.

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LESSON PLAN

Unit Project

by Lindsay Price

This is a simple project. Your students are going to tell a joke to the class. The reason to use a joke or a riddle (rather than a poem, prose piece, monologue, or scene) is that students in the audience will want to hear the answer. They will be more engaged in the simple joke or riddle than passively listening to something else.

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Resources

RESOURCE

The Vowel Tree

The Vowel Tree is a great warm up because it gets students used to just making sounds and working the entire range from the low end of the voice to the high end. You can find a video demonstration of The Vowel Tree in Lesson Two of the Friendly Shakespeare Course. Watch the video and try the exercise for yourself!

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RESOURCE

Character Projection Warm Up

Use this warm up to get students not only thinking about the physicality of a character but projection as well.

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RESOURCE

Vocal Warm-up

Learn a great vocal warm-up "What a to-do" from DTA instructor Todd Espeland. It promotes diction, projection and breath control.

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