Sentence Pattern Drama

 
This is a sentence pattern chart that was used with story cards (see entry on storytelling cards). We adapted it for use with this activity.

This is a sentence pattern chart that was used with story cards (see entry on storytelling cards). We adapted it for use with this activity.

This is a good example of taking what is at first glance a “non-drama” activity and turning it into a drama based lesson. I learned about sentence pattern charts well over a decade ago while training in Project GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design) https://begladtraining.com/?

I used them a lot in my humanities class clustered for our newcomer English Language Learners. I remember that we would recite the sentences to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”. For example:

The magic red apple

The magic red apple

The magic red apple cures slowly on the secret island.

A bit clunky at the end, but it works.

Today I introduced it to my English through Drama class, with the idea of turning it into a drama based lesson.

The students gott a blank sentence pattern chart and we, together constructed some sentences based on the story cards that we used earlier in the year for many scene building activities. When I was satisfied that the class understood the process, students then worked in assigned groups of two to create original sentences that they thought would lend themselves to some dramatic interpretation. This was an excellent time for me as a teacher to circulate and discuss sentence structure and vocabulary with each group, differentiating instruction throughout. After the pairs created 5-10 sentences on their charts, students formed teams of 2-4 that became “drama interpreters”. I then randomly distributed the sentence charts and each team created a drama, or scene, based on one of the sentences. We did this today and I thought it went well. Here are a few video examples to help explain. You can see the variety of approaches each group took, that allowed them to access the activity at their level. I think for a follow-up we will create more sentences based on the story cards and see what we can do with those.

Here is an example of a chart completed by two students.

Here is an example of a chart completed by two students.