Thursday, December 4, 2014

Free lesson plan idea with improv drama games #2 Colonial America History

Here is another history lesson idea from from a student (Denise) in Drama Games course:

PART 2 - The Voyage

Discuss with the students how the colonists traveled across the Atlantic Ocean during the colonial period. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean during the colonial period was a gruesome as well as a life-threatening venture for all. A typical trip was by cramped wooden ship and it took around seven weeks to arrive. The seas were very rough and the travelers were in close quarters where diseases could be spread easily among them. Some of the ailments that were common were seasickness, fevers, mouth diseases, dysentery, yellow fever, malaria, as well as smallpox, Prior to the discovery that lemons and oranges prevented scurvy, many of the travelers would be effected on their voyage. Most infants and younger children sadly, did not survive such a voyage. A five foot square it marked off the room. One by one have students begin to lay down in this square touching each 
other and then add one or two more students to really squish them in. Discuss how they would feel being that close for seven weeks!

After this discussion the Man Overboard game could be played. The players spread out in the room as the teacher (the captain) tells different commands where the students have to follow.

The commands are:
Bow--all run to the front of the playing area
Stern--all run to the back of the playing area
Starboard--all run to the right of the playing area
Port--all run to the left of the playing area
Hit the Deck--lie face down on the floor
Man overboard--grab a partner
Disease--players act ill
Fresh fruit--players act like they are eating very happily
Shark--players get off the floor however possible

After play the game, have students think about a story where their character has to deal with some of the problems in the game.  They will write it like a first person journal entry from one character's point of view.

Every student will start with this sentence: "We have been on a ship from England with nothing but water surrounding us for days. Will we ever see land again?"
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Free lesson plan idea with improv drama games #2 Colonial America History

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