Thursday, 14 November 2013

Creating Tableaux in History

After reading Hywel Robert's brilliant book 'Oops! Helping children learn accidentally' I decided that I really really need to incorporate more drama into my history lessons. Yeah, I've done the odd battle re-enactment but not a great deal beyond that.......

I decided the best way was to go with something quite easy so I opted for a lesson where pupils create a tableau of the moment when Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. A tableau is a still image which pupils create to capture a moment in a story or in this case a significant historical event. The pupils were allowed to act out the scene leading up to the assassination but they had to capture the moment Franz Ferdinand is shot by Gavrilo Princip in a freeze frame. This then allowed me to question their work and to get them to explain the key moments in the scene. 

The pupils absolutely loved working in their groups to create their tableau, especially some of the more challenging pupils who I sometimes find difficult to engage with written tasks.The standard of the tableaux produced were variable but asking the pupils to give some FeedBack (what they thought was good about the work) and FeedForward (what they think would improve the scene) helped to constructively guide pupils on how to enhance the quality of their tableau.   

As a plenary I chose one pupil to act as Princip and answer questions as if he was at a news conference. This, again, worked brilliantly with the pupils asking and Princip providing answers to some really good questions. 

We used the drama studio for the lesson which really helped to highlight the significance in the drama being created. If you have access to a creative space then I strongly recommend utilising it. You can download the copy of the lesson (including the objective and success criteria) here

I'm already in the process of planning my next visit to the drama studio..........

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