Framework curricula for primary education



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DANCE AND DRAMA

Years 5 and 6 of Education


Objectives and tasks
The focus of the curriculum module ‘Dance and Drama’ is not teaching theoretical content. Its aim is to provide students with an opportunity of getting frontline experience of the tools of drama and the elements of the different theatrical modes of expression through student activities. Of course this cannot mean that academic knowledge should be neglected. On the contrary, theory does appear, however mainly as the outcome of practical activities, as a lesson from the experience gained in practice. Dance and Drama is built around activities. The analytic discussion which follows practical activities may lead to the expansion of knowledge, however this cannot be achieved without students transforming their acquired knowledge, emerging views and arising question into actions. Therefore the study and use of the different dramatic and theatrical conventions are for the benefit of teacher and student alike, as it is an opportunity for expressing thoughts and emotions which are difficult to verbalise (or being in the process of formulation). It is also a means of checking the acquired knowledge in practice.

The terminology used in the curriculum is intended to reflect this focus. The notions ‘play’ and ‘work’ are used frequently. We hope that using these terms together will be conducive to our intention that, although the artistic activities pursued in different fields are governed by technical processes, participation in classroom activities should be a pleasure and an intellectual excitement for students.

Dance and Drama intends to provide opportunities for participating in diverse activities related to drama, dance and puppetry; giving students special attention according to ability and aptitude; giving students an opportunity to experience the joy and the sense of freedom offered by drama, dance and puppetry. The acquisition and extensive use of techniques and conventions of dramatic performance and puppetry, the technical elements of dance; improvisation and experimenting with dramatic form, the technical elements of dance; experiencing dance and puppetry as a form of artistic communication.

A central objective is to act out realistic human situations and fictive stories in various theatrical forms, and to allow students use knowledge and skills acquired elsewhere.

Dance and drama sessions provide opportunities for self-assessment in order to make students able to appreciate their own results and incorporate their experiences into their artistic activities. Students should be given an opportunity to plan and create a show individually or in groups and to put the created show on stage.

It is important to make sure students can see as many live and recorded theatre / dance / puppet shows or performances, including peer productions, as possible; they need to have the opportunity to study the cultural traditions of different theatrical forms; to study the basic methods of stage-craft. An important aspect is to expand students’ terminology and active vocabulary in connection with drama and various theatrical forms.


Developmental requirements
Students need to learn the basic forms of expression used in dance, puppetry and drama through playful exercises. They are required to analyse situations from daily life and various stories in group work.

Improving concentration and the ability to relax. Recognising good and bad examples of speech, identifying gross errors of breathing technique, phonation and articulation in their own speech and in other people’s speech. Knowing and using language games serving skills development and keeping skills on the achieved level.

Converting their own ideas and certain stories into scenes in group work. Learning the elementary techniques of changing roles. Converting their own ideas and certain stories into series of scenes in group work.

Making and animating different kinds of puppets (marionette and shadow puppets) according to the given technique. Using rhythmic patterns and keeping rhythm in different tempos. Copying the learnt dance and movement motives and performing them with style.

Analysing and evaluating a dramatic work an/or theatre performance which students have seen or participated in.

Year 5
Number of teaching hours per year: 18


New activities
Acquisition of the basic expressive forms of dance, puppetry and drama.

Analysing situations from daily life and various stories in group work.

Improving the ability to concentrate and to relax, recognising good and bad examples of speech.

Identifying gross errors of breathing technique, phonation and articulation in their own speech and in other people’s speech.

Converting own ideas and certain stories into scenes in group work.

Making and animating marionettes with one stick (indirect animation), making shadow puppets using various materials and techniques; animating shadow figures according to the given technique.

Using rhythmic patterns, keeping rhythm in different tempos (clapping or tapping different rhythmic patterns while walking steady to music with a steady rhythm), recognising the learnt dances and rhythmic patterns.


TOPICS

CONTENTS


Skills development exercises

Articulation and respiration techniques.

Concentration and relaxation.

Simple interactions - role play.

Games to practise how to make contact. Communicative games.



Basic terminology of theatre and dramaturgy

The notion of tale and plot.




Learning and using basic dramatic conventions

Internal sounds, soliloquy, following thoughts, mime, letter and diary, telephone conversation and conversation in a radio studio, interview.




Studying the language of theatrical forms

Studying how the discussed elements of theatrical forms make an impact.

Making a marionette which is made to move with the help of strings attached to one stiff staff on top (two-dimensional puppetry, plastic cylindrical figures).

Learning various shadow puppetry techniques, making shadow puppets.




Games with dance and singing

Children’s games, figures from girls’ round games and customs related to such games.

Joining musical and dance motives with a steady beat.



Dances in old style

Young men’s dances.

Dancing in pairs, dance steps with turning movements.



Working with stories using dramatic devices, puppetry and dance

Dramatic improvisation based on a script supplied by the teacher or made up by the students.

Improvisation in groups based on certain figures and a simple script supplied by the teacher.

Play with marionettes or shadow puppets prepared by students. Various shadow puppetry techniques.

Improvisation using puppetry techniques learnt in class. The discussion and analysis of a puppet show seen by the students.




Prerequisites of moving ahead
Active participation in classroom activities, exercises, collective improvisation and elementary analytic discussions.

Familiarity with the rules of improvisation and observing such rules. Reproducing steady beat and simple rhythmic patterns by clapping or tapping. Free performance with the dance steps of an old dance. Participation in puppet making and/or improvisation with puppets.


Year 6
Number of teaching hours per year: 18


New activities
Playful activities with elementary forms of dance, puppetry and drama.

Acquisition of the elementary techniques of changing roles.

Converting own ideas and certain stories into series of scenes in group work.

Analysing and evaluating a dramatic work an/or theatre performance which students have seen or participated in.

Knowing and using language games serving skills development and keeping skills on the achieved level.

Copying the learnt dance and movement motives and performing them with style.

Recognising and reproducing recently learnt dances.

Making marionettes with body parts which can be moved separately. Animation with different techniques.





TOPICS

CONTENTS


Skills development exercises

Speech techniques, interactive games, balancing exercises and testing trust in each other in pairs and groups, role-play.




Learning and using frequently applied dramatic conventions

Hot chair, forum theatre, role on the wall, using props, conventional forms, ceremony, celebration, marking the moment.




Improvisation using learnt techniques on the basis of a script supplied by the teacher or elaborated by the students themselves

Dramatic improvisation to a script supplied by the teacher or elaborated by the students themselves.

Creating a series of movements made up of simple elements (start, stop, speeding up, slowing down, turning, sinking, elevating, walking, running, freezing a gesture.

Collective improvisation built around a movement to a script supplied by the teacher or elaborated by the students themselves.

Playing with marionette figures moved with multiple staffs or strings.

Improvisation using the learnt puppetry techniques.




Various techniques of characterisation - the hero and other characters

Characterisation of figures with verbal, vocal and non-verbal devices.




Dances in new style

Learning the dances ‘verbunk’ (recruiting dance) and ‘csárdás’.




The dances of various peoples, nationalities and ethnic groups

Steps and forms of round dances from the Balkans.

Parallels between Slovakian and Rumanian dances.



A theatre performance and its discussion

Analytic discussion of what has been seen, using the acquired terminology. Using the acquired elements of theatrical forms in improvisation.




Basic terminology of theatre and dramaturgy

Intention, tension, conflict and turning point.





Prerequisites of moving ahead
Active participation in classroom activities, exercises, collective story development, improvisation and analytic discussions. Using simple dramatic conventions. Knowing at least ten games with dance and singing, free performance with the dance steps of a dance in new style. Participation in puppet making and/or improvisation with puppets.



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