Jan. 25, 2021

Drama lesson - Dilemma in Lakeshore

This drama was devised by the PDST for one of their training sessions. It is describes as a dram of emigration. However, the final session about the arrival in Managua can just as easily turn it into a drama of immigration. The Managuans can convey a variety of responses to the arrival of the Lakeshore islanders, thus giving a rich resource for reflection on the attitudes of our own society to immigrants and asylum seekers.

Drama activity for 3rd and 4th class
 
A Dilemma in Lakeshore
 
Content: Change – Emigration
 
Fictional lens: Members of a community are faced with the prospect of having to leave and start a new life elsewhere.
 
Safe environment: The teacher may wish to revisit the Drama contract at the beginning of the lesson. This may not always be necessary.
 
Strand of the Drama Curriculum:
Drama to explore feelings knowledge and ideas leading to understanding
 
Strand unit:
Exploring and making drama
 
The child should be enabled to:
  • discover how the use of space and objects can help in building the context and in signifying dramatic themes
 
Reflecting on drama:
The child should be enabled to:
  • use reflection on and evaluation of a particular dramatic action to create possible alternative courses for the action
  • learn, through drama, the relationship between story, theme and life experience
  • use the sharing of insights arising out of dramatic action to develop the ability to draw conclusions and to hypothesise about life and people
 
 
Resources:
Music
Props (about 5 or 6 in total) e.g. envelope, piece of jewellery, watch, photo, item of clothing such as a lady’s scarf or man’s hat, a small box, old glasses, a key etc
Briefing cards x 5 for Mayor’s meeting
 
 
 
 
 
 
Session 1
 
1. Setting the scene (5 mins)
Narration as introduction - music
 
Long ago and far away, on the island of Lakeshore, there lived a close community in a small village.
The people of the area were very hardworking and most of their income came from fishing .They grew their own vegetables and looked after their island as it was home to many animals, insects and flowers.
In the evenings, the families would sit by the fire and discuss their day’s work. They liked to share the news of the day and talk about what they would do the next day.
They loved to chat about the monthly meeting which was held in the village square. It was a great chance for them to meet their neighbours and the town Mayor who was kind and wanted only the best for his townspeople.
They didn’t have many possessions but they kept a space in their home for special items that reminded them of the important things in their lives, work, relatives who had passed away. They often looked at these items and reminisced on past days.
 
Discuss above with the class:
What do we know so far?
Where is the story set?
What do we know about the people in Lakeshore?
What kind of work do they do?
Describe the island
 
2. Defining our roles within each family grouping (5mins)
Class is divided into groups of 4 / 5.
Each group will become a family within the village of Lakeshore.
Teacher will give a verbal brief to each group on specific roles that one or two children will take on. The following are examples of roles for each group:
There must be an elderly person in your family
There must be an aunt or uncle in your family.
There can only be one parent in your family.
There is a small baby in your family.
There are two teenagers in your family.
 
Allow time for the children to decide on who they are in the family (role and character). They cannot be a baby or a pet although there may well be a baby or a pet in the family, and if so, this should be decided.
Ask each family to decide on a space in the room as their house.
 
 
 
 
3. Sculpt the family (5mins)
Each family will now sculpt an image of a moment in their family after they have all gathered together at the end of the day. Allow the children a few minutes to work on their image.
On a count of 3 each group will show their image to the rest of the group. Each image will be counted in, in turn, while other groups will have a chance to look.
 
4. Moving from sculpted image to short group improvisation (5mins)
All groups will present their still image simultaneously.
Hold for a count of 3 and then bring the image to life. The group will improvise the moment from their evening gathering for about one minute. (Building up character within the family setting)
All will stop at an agreed signal by the teacher.
 
5. Use of prop to help gain further insights into characters within each family (10mins)
Teacher will have a selection of props which will be distributed to each group.
The following are examples of props: photo/ a letter / toy / hat / shell / book/ piece of jewellery.
This object has great significance to your family. It is very precious and holds very strong memories for all of you or maybe some member of the group.
Allow groups time to discuss the importance of the prop and why it is so important. Someone from each group will explain the importance of the object to the rest of the groups. (This will allow the groups to empathise and gain some insights into the other people who live in their village)
 
Conclusion
Tell children that in the next drama lesson the villagers will be meeting up at the monthly gathering of the townspeople in the village square. They will have a chance to meet their neighbours and also the Mayor has an important announcement to make.
                           
 
Session 2
 
Introduction (5mins)
Recap on last session. Tell the children that they are now going to prepare for the monthly meeting.
 
Defining the space for the meeting ( 5 mins)
Teacher in collaboration with the class will have a discussion on how we will create the village square and where the meeting will take place.
Use a piece of cloth to mark out the village square.
Children will maintain the same roles which they took on in last session.
All the villagers will enter the village and take a seat or sit on floor. Ask the children to think about what they might like to say to the mayor – do they have any issues, concerns, news they would like to share?
 
Hidden brief ( 5 mins)
While the villagers are gathering and taking up their places the teacher will give a hidden brief to 4 or 5 of the villagers. Remind them not to say anything until the mayor makes a big announcement.
Brief 1 : News has come through that there has been a gold mine discovered on the island of Manangua some distance away. They are desperately looking for workers or even families to come and help with the dig. You heard that the people on this island are very unfriendly
Brief 2 : News has come through that there has been a gold mine discovered on the island of Manangua some distance away. They are desperately looking for workers or even families to come and help with the dig. You heard that they speak a very different language.
Brief 3: News has come through that there has been a gold mine discovered on the island of Manangua some distance away. They are desperately looking for workers or even families to come and help with the dig. You heard that the schools are very big with over 200 children.
Brief 4: News has come through that there has been a gold mine discovered on the island of Manangua some distance away. They are desperately looking for workers or even families to come and help with the dig. You heard that there is a shortage of housing.
Brief 5 : News has come through that there has been a he gold mine discovered on the island of Manangua some distance away. They are desperately looking for workers or even families to come and help with the dig. You heard that there are poor services there for old people.
 
TIR – Teacher in role as Mayor (10 mins)
 (Addresses the villagers in an agitated manner)
 My dear villagers I have a very important announcement to make. You must listen very carefully. This will affect all of your lives. Alas our village is under threat. A great wind is coming very soon. It is the same wind that destroyed our village and killed many of our ancestors many years ago. We all need to leave very soon. There is a ship docked in the harbour but it must leave tomorrow. Please return to your homes and prepare for the journey. Take only what is essential. There is great hope for all of us however. 
News has come through that there has been a great gold mine discovered on the island of Manangua some distance away. They are desperately looking for workers or even families to come and help with the dig.
At this point the previously briefed villagers will interrupt with the rumours they heard about this island.
Teacher comes out of role.
 
Whole group improvisation (5 mins)
Children in role will walk around the village square talking to each other and expressing their reaction to the mayor’s announcement. Each child must interact with at least two others. Discuss with the people you meet how the news will affect you and your family.
 
 
 
Make a list of what to carry (10 mins)
Teacher will reflect with the children on what they should carry with them.
Think in terms of your family and what is essential.
Think of the size of the things you intend to bring.
What else is important?
Maybe you need to think about where you are going and what might come in useful in Manangua.
 
Children still in role will return to their homes. They will spend 5 minutes deciding as a family what they will decide what to take with them on the boat.
Make a list of what they are taking – only what they can carry.
Allow 5 minutes for children to write list in their family groupings.
 
Narrated mime to music :Going to the ship the following day (5 mins)
All groups will assemble ready for the departure.
Teacher will narrate the journey to the ship
Tell the group that you are going to narrate the journey from their home to the ship
 
The morning had finally dawned. The villagers woke to the sound of a rustling breeze and knew that it would not be long before the storm overtook the island.
They went about their morning tasks as usual…clearing the fire, laying the table for breakfast, sweeping the floor …but all were filled with different emotions of what lay ahead.
Some were looking forward to the change that lay ahead while others were fearful and dreading leaving their home and closing the door for the final time.
The picked up their belongings and stood together at the front door for one last time…and started on their journey.
The morning was cool but dry and as they walked towards the ship, they met many other families on their way. Some were too tired to speak and the older people kept glancing back for a final glimpse of their home. It was difficult to carry all their possessions but they took their time and helped each other when needed.
 
After what seemed like hours of moving and carrying ,one of the villagers saw the ship in the distance…………..
The moment of leaving for good had finally arrived.
 
 
 
Additional possibilities
1.Each child could write in role a personal recount of their final week in Lakeshore village.
2. Make a collage of families’ expectations about where they are going.
 
 
Session 3: The journey on the ship
Session 4:The Island of Manangua