What’s Shaking in Your Neck of the Woods?

Paula Barnes Cardinale, Jennifer Medlin, Heather Capps, Denise Harrington

Students should be able identify interdependence of plants and animals within an ecosystem. Students should be able to compare/contrast the four different ecosystems taught in the lesson.


Classroom teacher will have the class complete research on the different ecosystems. Students will bring information with them to the drama class.


Day 1
Introduction/Review of drama vocabulary/skills needed to write a play/drama.

Day 2
Class is divided into at least four small groups of 4-6 students; drama teacher will model how to develop a scene initially through improvisation. Students will complete an improv exercise and critique.

Day 3
Teacher will provide a rubric to assess student knowledge of ecosystems (classroom teacher). Four different ecosystems will be represented within the class. One ecosystem per group. Students develop their own word/vocabulary wall to include all parts of the ecosystem i.e. habitats, species, food sources, interdependence…to be incorporated into the play/drama.

Day 4
Teacher will lead students in a brainstorming activity to develop a list of elements that could be included in a rubric to assess their script and performance. Students as a class will develop a rubric to assess their script and performance.

Day 5
Students will work in their designated group to start developing (improve, story mapping, webbing…) and writing their script.

Day 6
Teacher will review with vocabulary/skills/elements of a script. Teacher will assess each group’s progress and start doing revisions/additions as appropriate.

Day 7
In their group, students will run through their script. If needed, they will make revisions/additions. Rehearse.

Day 8
Students should use teacher developed and student developed rubric to self assess their script. Then do a pair-share assessment.

Day 9
Students perform drama/play. Teacher uses rubric to assess knowledge of ecosystems. Students use rubric to assess script and performance.

Differentiation Approaches

Teacher will assign groups that provide support for the needs of all students in the classroom. For example, a student with autism will be placed in a group that has at least one student that possesses a calm and nurturing personality.


Rubrics – One teacher developed and one student developed rubric will be used to do both formative and summative assessments.

Follow Up and Extension Ideas

This lesson could be changed from Theatre Arts to Visual Arts by asking students to write a graphic novel instead of a drama/skit.

Additional Details

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