|Grade span:||1 to 6|
|Duration:||Two 45-minute sessions|
Description:This lesson is one example of how you can implement the practice of Building Skills in the Arts. In this activity, students read Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia, act out idioms from the story, and then write a script for and act out their own idioms.
- Understand how figurative language, exaggeration, idioms, and comedy relate to drama
- Create a script that dramatize a scene from a book
- Create and perform an original script
- Copy of Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
- Chalkboard or dry-erase board
- Paper, pens, pencils
- Various costume materials and props (optional)
- Review some of the basic elements of drama, including characterization, exaggeration, and improvisation.
- Read Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish.
- Create or clear a performance space (masking tape can designate a stage).
What to Do:Session 1
- Begin by defining and discussing idioms (a figure of speech; a phrase that can't be interpreted literally). Give examples, such as "bent out of shape", "raining cats and dogs," "lend a hand," and "kick the bucket." Ask students to brainstorm additional examples.
- Read aloud Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish. Make a list of the idioms that appear in the book.
- Ask students to help create a list of funny things in the story, labeling them as surprises, exaggerations, or repetition. Discuss how these elements might be expressed in a dramatic performance (using facial expressions, actions, etc.).
- Divide the class into small groups. Ask each group to select from the book a scene that includes an idiom. Ask students to act out the scene, improvising actions and dialogue. Encourage students to use dramatic elements such as characterization and exaggeration in their performances.
- Allow groups to perform their scenes for the class. Afterwards, discuss how different groups interpreted the same scene.
- Remind students of the book Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia and the scenes performed during the previous session.
- Divide the class into small groups again and ask each group to think of an idiom that is not in the book. This time, students will develop a script, including dialogue and stage directions, for a new scene with Amelia Bedelia that includes the new idiom.
- Allow groups to perform their scenes before the class.
Evaluate (Outcomes to look for):
- Student engagement and participation
- Answers and presentations that reflect an understanding of idioms and figurative language
- Scripts that include dramatic elements and humor
- Performances that include improvisation and characterization
Click this link to see additional learning goals, grade-level benchmarks, and standards covered in this lesson.