Saturday, November 22, 2014

History lesson plan with improv games from classroom teacher - Colonial America #1 (drama, theatre, schools, k12)

Thank you to my Drama Games student Denise for this awesome series of lesson plans that use improv games.

Subject: History

Topic: Colonial America #1

Lesson 1
The Exaggeration Games (British Accents)
The first lesson begins with the discussion of what a colony is and that they were ruled by a faraway government, most of the American colonies were ruled from afar by England. The exaggeration game could be played using a common theme of speaking with a British accent. A student could locate England on a map and using a British accent explain where England is located in relation to America. The students could place and record their guess on how long it would take to get from England to America back then. Continuing the discussion with reasons that a country (in this case England) would want to establish a colony so far away (in this case in order to procure new land as well as to take advantage of the natural resources located in the new land). Next, the students are asked why they think the people would want to leave their country and go to a far away and unfamiliar place (in this case things such as more opportunity to make a better living, to make a new start, etc). To further explore the reasons why people wanted to come to America economic rights and human rights is written on a whiteboard. The students are asked for reasons that are recorded on the board that would fall into either category (for example, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, more job opportunities). Explanations should be further discussed regarding that each colonist viewed coming to the new world as a way to make a new start and each group had their own reasons for leaving Europe. 

Explain the following reasons to the students and ask the students to identify each as an economic or human rights problem:
They could not find work in Europe.
They did not have the opportunity to practice their chosen religion.
They could not afford to own land in Europe.

Further explain that moving to the New World provided solutions to each problem:

There was work for every trade in the New World.
In the New World the colonists were able to practice whatever religion they chose.
Land was offered for free or at a very low cost to the colonists. 

Finally, have the group select a spokesperson with the best British accent to present their final findings to the class.

More history improv lessons coming soon!

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History lesson plan with improv games from classroom teacher - Colonial America #1 (drama, theatre, schools, k12)

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