Age 8
Male and Female students

By Stevie Neale.  

Theme Goals:

  1. Students will indicate an increased sense of hope for their future
  2. Students will indicate how they feel about learning by choosing which emotion best describes their feelings about learning
  3. Students will indicate one new subject they’d like to study

Teaching Objectives:

  1. Students will know and be able to demonstrate the basic theatre skills and techniques of stage directions, cheating out, projection, and character
  2. Students be able to express their feelings through writing
  3. Students will work collaboratively to develop a scene to perform in front of an audience
  4. Students will know the six key elements of a story: plot, conflict, resolution, setting, character, and theme
  5. To increase student’s self-confidence, self-expression, and creativity through mastery over games and the development of a final presentation to be performed in front of an audience.
  6. To reinforce daily the metaphor of helping one another and accepting help to be better members of our community

Art Creation

Students throughout the week learned theatre skills through games and improvisation. Because of language differences and translation difficulties, the children sometimes had a difficult time understanding how to play the games, but once they understood, they were engaged and able to play by the rules.

Through the use of the various games, activities, theatre skills, and academic understanding of the elements needed for a story, the students were able to create a number of images relating to helping one another in the community. The final image that was presented to the audience was of children playing in a park. In bringing the image to life with movement and voice, the scene became about children helping another child who fell off her bicycle, damaging it and injuring herself. The others helped her by taking her bike to a repair shop and taking her to the hospital.


Working in the middle of a street was difficult, more so for me that for the children. This was their home and they were used to playing in the middle of the road and having to move out of the way, but it felt chaotic and unsafe for me. Like the children, I started to get used to the rhythm of it, but it was interesting to notice how I was significantly more affected by it that the children were.

One of the more difficult elements of teaching was the inconsistency of the children. Only two children were present every day of class, which makes the collaborative element of theatre difficult. The first two days of class were holidays so more children were able to attend that later in the week had to be in school. However, the children seemed to adjust to new members of our community easily and were often able to work despite the distractions and challenges, which helped me to adjust my teaching as well.

Dr. Drick Boyd assists in student journal writing

There are many elements that can be distracting when trying to focus and create art, both immediate outside distractions, and inner distractions when a child is having a difficult time outside of class with school or in their family. I noticed that most of the children were able to effectively block out the vast amount of distractions to which our space catered naturally. However, one of the students in particular had a very difficult time blocking out distractions. As the week went on, I noticed that part of that was due to another child who was not a part of the camp that would hang around and taunt him. Once I noticed and told the child to leave the area, my student became a lot more focused and able to participate. It was another lesson to be observant about what is going on in the life of a particularly difficult child. It usually has nothing to do with the child not wanting to participate and more to do with the fact that they are distracted or distraught by outside influences.

Assessment Methodology

The wall was used for group assessment of knowledge

Hope for Future

In their journals, students were instructed to draw or write about themselves at 20 years old, doing something important for their community. They wrote these entries on the first and last day of class. Due to school scheduling, only two of the students were present for both the first and last day.

Nicolas was present for three days of class. In his first entry Nicolas said, “When I’m big I want to be a policeman or if not do military service and get a car or motorcycle and give it to my mom, and give my dad a house and get a girlfriend and have three kids.”

In Nicolas’ second entry, he wrote, “To go to university and finish high school and maybe (or, “if not”) buy the “libreta” or go into the military.” What was different for this entry was that he wrote not only what he was going to do, but how he was going to get there.


Maria Jose was present for all but one day of class. In her first entry, she said, “When I am 28 years old I’m going to be the best veterinarian, and the best skater, I’m going to have a big beautiful house and study English.”

In her last entry, she drew a picture of herself and titled it, “This is me when I am 20 years old.”


Ana was present for all days of class. In her first entry, Ana said, “I’m made to sing. I am inspired (?). When I’m big I like to sing and dance….I like what I do….I love it, I adore it. The end.”

Ana also drew a picture of herself with a border around herself standing alone.

“When I am 20, I’m going to have…and I’m going to be pretty…” Ana also mentioned something about her teacher and drew herself with hearts around her with her name and the names of her teachers. Unfortunately, her last entry was very difficult to translate.

Elis was only present the first and last day of camp, however he was able to participate in both pre and post tests: In his first entry, Elis only drew a half finished picture of himself smiling.

In his post-test he wrote, “When I am 20 years old I’ll be tall and good-looking and heavy/fat.” He also completed the drawing of himself.


AniSofia was present every day of camp. In her first entry, she said, “I am a veterinarian when I am 28 years old. I have always wanted to be a veterinarian. I have always loved animals, they’re cute.”

In her post-tesr entry, AniSofia said, “When I am 20 years old, I’m going to have a husband, kids, and a job. Here I am in my job with my husband and kids.”

In her pretest, AniSofia identified the career she wanted and in her post-test, also identified her relational desires for her future, without neglecting her career desire. She drew herself alone with her career and then in the post-test, with her future family.

Desire to learn

Pre-test: For the pretest, 5 students indicated that learning made them feel happy, 1 student indicated that they felt in the middle, and 4 students indicated that learning made them feel sad.

Post-Test: For the post-test, 6 students indicated that learning made them feel happy, 0 students were in the middle, and 2 students indicated that learning made them feel sad.

Indicate one new subject you want to learn

Through an oral assessment, children indicated the following new things they would like to learn:

  • Ride a bike
  • Learn different languages like English, Japanese, and French
  • Learn English
  • Read
  • Learn better Spanish
  • Learn Math and English
  • Technology


Objective 1: Hope for the Future

Five children participated in both the pre-test and post-test for this objective, either because they came late to class or because they chose not to write anything in their journals.

The pre-tests indicated that most of the children already had a sense of hope about what their future looks like. There were some significant changes however, such as Ana who initially drew herself alone and later identified other people around her by drawing their names in hearts in the border. Also, AniSofia who also placed other people with her in her drawing and mentioned her desire for relationship and also her desire to have her own career. Nicolas initially mentioned what he wanted to do in his life, but later identified how he was going to accomplish his goals. Elis, who originally only drew a half-completed portrait, drew a completed portrait for his post-test and wrote a paragraph about being “tall, good-looking, and fat.”

Of the five children who participated in the pre-post tests, 80% expressed an increase in their vision of hope for their future.

Objective 2 – Desire to Learn

  • Six children participated in both the pre and post-tests. Of these children, two of them were present every day through the camp. Others were present between 2 and 4 days.
  • The girls of the group all indicated that they liked to learn, whereas the boys indicated that they did not like to learn in the pretest. In the posttest, the girls still indicated that they liked to learn and were joined by two of the boys.
  • In the pre-test, 50% of students indicated they liked learning as opposed to 10% that indicated indifference and 40% that indicated they did not like learning.
  • In the post-test, 75% of students indicated that they liked learning. Of those students, 83% of them were present more than 3 days of class.
  • In the post-test, 25% of students indicated that they did not like learning. Of those, only one student was present more than 2 days.

Objective 3- Indicate one new subject you want to learn

100% of students indicated one new subject that they would like to study. 70% of students indicated more than one new subject. Most students desired to learn English.

Teaching Objectives

  • 80% of student knew and were able to demonstrate the basic theatre skills and techniques of stage directions, projection, cheating out, and character as measured by the final presentation and authentic assessments performed throughout the camp.
  • 95% of students understood the basics of character development as measured by their ability to identify their character’s objective in the improvised images and scenes
  • 75% of students were able to express their feelings through writing as measured by the number of journal entries they completed throughout the week.
  • 90% of students were able to work collaboratively to create a short scene as measured by the final performance in front of an audience.
  • 80% of students knew 70% of the definitions of the elements of a story as measured by a kinesthetic game that served as an authentic assessment and oral assessments utilized during the creation of the final scene.


What the kids said they learned:
  • How to make a scene
  • To share
  • To act
  • To dance
  • To help one another
  • To follow rules
  • To gather with others
  • To be nice
  • To help people
  • Don’t fight with others
  • Stage directions
  • Characters
  • Characters should be good
  • To be conscious
  • To practice our scene


  • 80% of students indicated an increase in self-confidence, self-expression, and creativity as observed by their willingness to boldly participate in the games and activities.
  • Throughout the week, students were more willing to help one another by offering ideas and advice and by sharing their space and materials with one another.
  • The physical space of the drama class was in the middle of a street that had a great deal of both vehicle and foot traffic. From the start, I turned our need to get out of the way of the traffic into a game that was very chaotic in the beginning. By the end of the week, it became less chaotic as the children took on specific roles in the group, helping one another to get out of the way, grabbing chairs and clearing the space for the cars that came through. This played into our class metaphor about being good members of the community by helping one another and accepting help when needed.
  • Most of the children were very shy and uncertain on the first day, but as the week went on, they became accustomed to our rhythms, rituals, and practices in class and became bolder in their play and in relating to their instructors and one another.

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