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Using Drama as a Resource for Giving Language More Meaning
by Sam Smith

- lesson plan 3

Lesson procedure

1. Warmer - To introduce the topic and begin the lesson.

Whole class / Pairs - 5 mins

Teacher tells the story of how he once crashed his car when driving to work, (a minor accident where no one was hurt) and students listen to decide who was to blame.

2. Speaking - To activate students' schemata and practice fluency.

Pairs - 6 mins

Students spend a minute to think if they can remember anything similar and relate this to their partner.
They then spend a minute to recall / imagine their partner's feelings at the time and again compare.

3. Setting the scene - To give the students something to start from.

Pairs - 3 mins

Students in pairs are given a picture of 2 motorists arguing at the scene of a minor road accident. They assume the positions of the 2 people and on the command 'Go' begin a dialogue.
The teacher stops them before they do more than 2 or 3 exchanges.

4. Working out the mime - To plan & contextualise a future dialogue.

Pairs - 9 mins

Students in pairs, work out a mime of the scene between the two motorists.

5. Performing and watching - To contextualise paralinguistic features.

Whole group - 6 mins

Students perform their mimes for the other pairs and elect one of them to put words to.

6. Writing the dialogue - To use the context of the mime to activate language.

Pairs - 15 mins

Students write the words for the chosen mime. The group whose mime it is, writing both parts, but, the other students in 2 groups writing the words for only 1 of the participants. The mimers can be asked to perform all or part of the mime again. The teacher monitors and actively asks the students to think carefully about the language they are using and provides any needed input.

7. Second performance - To provide speaking practice while having to adapt to an unexpected message.

Whole class - 6 mins

The original mimers perform their mime again while the other students from the 2 groups working in pairs perform the words of each participant, changing their original scripts accordingly as they watch the mimers and listen to their partners.

8. Third performance - To compare the different versions.

Whole class - 4 mins

The original mimers perform their mime with words while the others watch and listen to compare the differences.

9. Discussion - To round off the lesson and focus on the language used.

Pairs / whole class - 6 mins

First in pairs followed by plenary session students discuss what language they used, the differences between the 3 versions and the importance of having visual clues to clarify meaning.

Questions for the discussion:
1. What language structures did you and your partner use?
2. Did you use them well?
3. Why do you think your versions were different?
4. How did looking at the mime help?
5. Do movements and gestures and language go together?
6. Do you think English and Spanish people use the same gestures?

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