What’s a tableau?

Tableau is short for the French term “tableau vivant” which means living picture.

Tableaux can be used many ways in your classroom. Below I featured a quick and easy way to incorporate this motivating activity.

After discussing different characters from different books the students had read, we brainstormed feelings that the characters had experienced during the stories. The students were split into small groups. They were told to make an emotion tableau. I took their pictures and we shared them with the class. Then the class had to guess the emotion, pinpoint the part of the story the feeling came from, and explain what the group did with their bodies and facial expressions that allowed them to guess correctly.

Can you guess which tableau is showing glum, aggravated, happy, surprised and bored?




The Interview: an Integrated Unit with a Focus on Biography

Common Core Standards: RI.5.9, W.5.2.d, SL.5.1.a & b                        


The Interview

Integrated Unit

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Science, Writing, Reading, Speaking, Listening, Drama

Before starting, have students prepared with the person they will be studying and the partner they will be working with.

The end result of this unit will be a completed biography report and an interview with a partner pretending to be the person..


The following games are part of the integrated unit focusing on biography.

Click titles below to see directions as PDF’s.

ABC Game


Rapid Question

Untitled from Rotella Magnet School on Vimeo.

Silly Questions

Give & Take


Intonation Sentences

Facial Expression Feelings

Follow the framework and the Prezi.

The class work listed on the lesson framework is to be completed after each drama lesson. 


Lesson Framework_Gr_5


Silly Question Interview_GR_5

INTERVIEW Questions_Gr_5

Interview Rubric_GR_5

Using a Poem to Teach Narrative Elements

Core Standard: RL.2.1




The Creature in the Classroom


It appeared inside our classroom
at a quarter after ten,
it gobbled up the blackboard,
three erasers and a pen.
It gobbled teacher’s apple
and it bopped her with the core.
“How dare you!” she responded.
“You must leave us . . . there’s the door.”
The Creature didn’t listen
but described an arabesque
as it gobbled all her pencils,
seven notebooks and her desk.
Teacher stated very calmly,
“Sir! You simply cannot stay,
I’ll report you to the principal
unless you go away!”
But the thing continued eating,
it ate paper, swallowed ink,
as it gobbled up our homework
I believe I saw it wink.
Teacher finally lost her temper.
“OUT!” she shouted at the creature.
The creature hopped beside her
and GLOPP . . . it gobbled teacher.

Narrative Elements with a Poem from Rotella Magnet School on Vimeo.


1. Read and discuss the poem.

2. Act it out from the perspective of the teacher and the creature. I also included a class in one of the performances (not in video).

3. Discuss how the performances were different depending on which part they played.

4. Recall the narrative elements. 




Did you hear? Rumor has it…

Core Standard RL.2.1, RL.2.2, RL.2.3

The Rumor by Monique Felix

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To start a unit on friendship, I used this book to discuss how rumors can hurt others.

In this book the characters don’t necessarily have their feelings hurt, but it does show how an event or comment gets changed as it’s passed from one person to another.

Order of activity…… 

1.Play the game Telephone.

2.Read The Rumor and discuss the way the comments change and how that would impact a friendship.

3. Discuss the author’s use of action verbs to help explain to the reader a character’s trait.

4. Play a matching game with the action verbs written on a board and post its with the animal name written on.

5. Put post it onto the action verb that describes the character.

6. Perform each animal by depicting the action verb that matches.

7. Perform story with students speaking dialogue the way they think that character would talk.

8. Offer time for students to be in small groups to do the same as #7 and to perform in front of each other.

This activity is a great way to introduce friendship, acting, character traits, and action verbs.


Let me know what you think. Leave a comment!


What Was Your Favorite? Please Tell Me!

At the end of the 2012-2013 school year, second grade students were asked to write a response to an open ended question about what they liked in drama.

Below is a graph of their responses. 

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It shows how many times the different answers appeared in 64 student responses

to the question “What did you like about drama class this year?”


Below is a video of second grader’s drawings depicting what they liked about drama classes this year.



Now, it’s your turn. What was your favorite post I made for last school year? 


Leave me a comment, pleeeease!

Freestyle Repertory Theatre Group

CORE Standard: SL.3.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Freestyle Repertory Theatre Group did a residency at my school.
It was fantastic! Below is a short video of the actors working with a 3rd grade class.

The students and teachers LOVED this residency.

They had 2 rules: 

1. Always say yes to your partner.

2. Always make your partner look good.

Multiple games were played helping the students practice both of the rules.




Below is a short video of the Freestyle Repertory Theatre Group doing a small part of their artist in residency at my school.

You will see  Laura and Mike modeling how to work together to make improvisation a success. 

The activity in the video focuses on an ask and answer pattern. They have to work collaboratively and build on each other’s ideas.

They are pretending they are on a talk show and one is the interviewer and one is being interviewed.

They must LISTEN to each other to maintain a conversation. 


—- Below paragraphs are copied from the Freestyle Repertory Theatre Group site

“At present, FRT is focused exclusively on its programs for children & families. We feel a theatre company must present only its best work to children, for the same reason that one hopes children are fed only the best food: to nourish them as they grow – in this case, to nourish a developing understanding & appreciation for theatre.

Every year our ON-SITE PERFORMANCES introduce thousands of students to the excitement of live theatre at their schools & community centers. Hundreds receive in-depth improv instruction in their classrooms through our RESIDENCIES PROGRAM. Our FAMILY PERFORMANCES for the general public bring children & parents into neighborhood theatres. In our TEEN EDITION, dedicated high school groups learn to collaborate with each other to perform in their own improv show.”



Do You Know These People?

The school I work at has the theme of integrating the arts. Therefore, we get exposed to many different teaching artists. In this post I am featuring two of them.

Both are following their passion!


The first teaching artist is Adam Battelstein.

Click picture below to view his info at Arts for Learning CT .


Adam Battelstein as seen on America’s Got Talent

Second is Lou Del Bianco,


Below is Lou’s amazing work on his grandfather, chief carver of the making of Mount Rushmore.




Presentation Magnet Schools of America Conference

Bloggers Marly and Angela presented Capture the Drama: iPads and Blogging at the 2013 MSA National Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A Prezi presentation focused on the steps involved to embed video which was captured, edited, uploaded, and posted soley with the use of an iPad.

Prezi from the Session

The entire process of creating the blog, capturing video, and posting can be found in the above link of the Prezi. For quick access, the steps for embedding have been pasted below.

The research, trials, and successes of this entire process can be found on Angela’s blog (link below).

Technical Journey:Blogs and iPads which is also hosted on edublogs!

In order to model the embedding process, session attendees participated in a drama activity. All of the resources for the activity ” What’s Your Interpretation?” can be accessed on Marly’s blog (link below).


Below is a video of our session attendees working on the activity.


Feel free to notify us via social media, emailing us, or commenting on our blogs. We look forward to connecting with you. We hope you find a purpose for sharing our blogs with others.

 Please feel free to email Marly or Angela at CaputreTheDrama@gmail.com