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Aristotle's Elements

Created by Lea Marshall

Aristotle was a huge fan of the theatre. He philosophically believed in it and argued with other great thinkers at the time about the necessity and good results of theatrical pursuits. This makes him a great topic for a drama classroom unit.

Aristotle identified six elements that needed to be in a play for it to be worthy: plot, thought, character, diction, spectacle, and sound. This unit by Lea Marshall focuses on and offers exercises for each of Aristotle’s elements - from using fairy tales to examine plot, to re-imagining movie trailers to explore music.

Standards Addressed

Overview
The overview provides an introduction to the big ideas of the unit, as well as a detailed lesson-by-lesson timeline and map.
1: Three Philosophers Walk Into a Classroom
To introduce students to Aristotle and his connection to theatre.
2: It's Element(ary), My Dear
To introduce students to Aristotle’s six elements.
3: The Plot's the Thing
To introduce the Aristotelian element of plot.
4: Plotting Along
To continue applying the Aristotelian element of plot.
5: Thinking About Thoughts
To introduce the Aristotelian element of Thought.
6: Got Thoughts?
To continue applying the Aristotelian element of Thought.
7: Character Matters
To introduce the Aristotelian element of Character.
8: Speak the Speech
To introduce the Aristotelian element of Diction.
9: I Got the Music
To introduce the Aristotelian element of Music.
10: Spectacular, Spectacular
To introduce the Aristotelian element of Spectacle.
11: Final Project
To have students apply what they have learned.
12: Bonus Lesson: The Three Vs of Storytelling
This can be a standalone lesson, or an add-on to the unit. It introduces the concept of the 3 V's: VIEWERS are looking for a VICARIOUS, VULNERABLE, and/or VISCERAL experience.

Standards Addressed

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