What Were They Thinking? Exploring Figures from History through Drama

This residency integrates Theater with Language Arts and Social Studies standards. Before the residency, student groups research a figure who played a key role in the history they are studying. During the residency, they explore dramatically and imaginatively their historical figure. Then they write monologues, arguments, or letters in the voice of their key figures that explain their points of view on the events they influenced–for example, in U.S. History, the Revolutionary War or the Civil War. They write about the motivation of historical figures, the obstacles they faced, and their hopes for and influences on the future. They work in collaborative groups to create mini-performances from their writing. Students gain skills and awareness of group dynamics and practice their skills in collaborative creative processes. Finally, students perform their monologues or letters.

Curricular Connections

CC English Language Arts Grades 6-8.W.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. NC Social Studies Grade  6.H.2.4 Explain the role that key historical figures and cultural groups had in transforming society. Grade 8.H.2.2 Summarize how leadership and citizen actions (e.g. the founding fathers, the Regulators, the Greensboro Four, and participants of the Wilmington Race Riots) influenced the outcome of key conflicts in N.C. and the U.S. NC Theatre Arts: 3-8.C.1 Use movement, voice, and writing to communicate ideas and feelings. C.2 Use performance to communicate ideas and feelings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZW6qnAVEN6Q

 

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