Indigenous Symbolism in the Drama Classroom

Created by Allison Green

The objective of this unit is for students to be able to engage with Indigenous symbolism in art, and then interpret it in a theatrical context. It begins with an introduction of symbolism through a retelling of an Indigenous story with wolves representing human traits. Students develop a scene that focuses on how to “show and tell” an Indigenous story, clearly showing the symbolic meaning from the oral story. Students will then explore symbols by looking at the characteristics of Canadian Indigenous Art, delving into the symbols and story. Students then share their interpretation of the art by creating and presenting a piece of theatre, followed by reflection and class discussion.

The overview lays out the structure for the unit, as well as gives background and context to the learning circle format.
Additional Attachments
1: Intro to Indigenous Symbolism
The first day introduces the learning circle format to the class, and the story of The Two Wolves.
2: Indigenous Symbolism: Art to Drama
This lesson defines symbolism and explores Indigenous art and its characteristics.
3: Indigenous Symbolism: Art to Drama
Students expand on the previous lesson, working in small groups to begin to create theatre from art.
4: Indigenous Symbolism: Art to Drama Presentation
Students will share their findings from the previous lessons, and present their interpretation of art in small groups. Options for assessment are included.

Standards Addressed

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