DTA | Unit One: Ensemble Building and Class Norms
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Part of the Middle School Curriculum

Unit One: Ensemble Building and Class Norms

Created by Lindsay Johnson

This unit has six lessons that you can use in the first week of your middle school program. What do you do in the first week? The most important elements are creating routines such as journal prompts, opening and closing circles, and giving strong feedback; creating an ensemble and ensemble-building games; and introducing a Weekly Ensemble Rubric.

Students will define and build ensemble as a group, learning specific ways they can SAY YES and BE SAFE in class. They will understand the daily grading system and the basic routines of class. Finally, students will learn to give strong feedback by connecting specific evidence from performance to the Rubric language.

Standards Addressed

Overview
The overview provides an outline of the lessons in this unit, as well as the weekly ensemble rubric assessment tool.
Additional Attachments
1: Ensemble Building
In this first lesson at the start of a new year, students learn daily classroom routines, participate in a name game, and complete a successful journal entry reflecting on circle discussion. They will begin to interact with the Weekly Ensemble Rubric through the journal element.
2: Review Journal and Intro to Say Yes Rubric
In this second lesson, students continue to practice classroom norms and interact with a second element of the Weekly Ensemble Rubric: SAY YES. Students will role-play a column of the SAY YES category of the Weekly Ensemble Rubric in small groups via a performance task.
3: Review Journal, Say Yes Rubric, and Intro to Be Safe Rubric
In this third lesson, students continue to practice classroom norms and interact with a third element of the Weekly Ensemble Rubric: BE SAFE. Students will role-play a column of the BE SAFE Rubric in small groups via a performance task.
4: Intro to Feedback
In this fourth lesson, students continue to practice classroom norms and are introduced to the concept of feedback. In the performance task, students will give peers strong feedback by using language from the Weekly Ensemble Rubric.
5: Feedback Continued
In this fifth lesson, students continue to practice classroom norms and continue to practice giving strong feedback. In the performance task, students will practice giving strong feedback by giving a specific suggestion for improvement.
6: Feedback Continued and Feedback Quiz
In this sixth lesson, students continue to practice classroom norms and continue to practice giving strong feedback. In the performance task, students will give peers strong feedback through using body language and vocal tone to encourage and show eagerness for peers to improve.
7: Posters
3 Posters designed for the drama classroom, to support the Ensemble Building and Class Norms objectives.
Attachments

Standards Addressed

California VAPA Standards (2019)

6.TH:Pr5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.

6.TH:Pr5.a - Recognize how acting exercises and techniques can be applied to a drama/theatre work.

Alberta, Canada

Ontario, Canada

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