Year 8 – Dramatic Genres

Please note: There will be changes to this scheme for 2015-2016. Watch this space!

Summer Term One -
The exact date of the assessment is dependent on the individual student’s timetable; however, this will be circa the week commencing Monday 18th May 2015.

What is the assessment task?
In groups, students analyse an extract from Philip Ridley’s Sparkleshark focusing on how the themes and characters are presented; this will build on their work carried out in their Drama studies during the second part of the spring half-term. As part of the analysis, students will use dramatic approaches to explore the text, for example, hot-seating, improvisation and still-images. Students will then deliver a spoken-word presentation to their class to communicate their understanding.

How will the task be assessed?
Assessment Foci: Reading 2, 3 & 6; Speaking and Listening 1 & 2. Please click on the below for details of each assessment focus.


What students can do to prepare:
Master key spellings and their meanings: genre, codes and conventions, melodrama, synopsis, coincidence, atmosphere, characterisation, empathy, theme, Americanism, monologue, duologue, characteristic, high-concept, high-character, interpretation, villain, idiosyncrasy, Absurd, irony (dramatic, verbal and situational), symbolism, red-herrings, denotations, connotations and context.

Practise dramatizing one of your favourite ‘celebrities’ or a well-known person: Some of us are more ‘dramatic’ than others, but for many of us it can be fun to pretend to be someone else for a short time. Select one of your favourite celebrities or identify a well-known person (maybe a politician or someone who has been in the news lately) and write a short monologue (a long speech by one actor) as if someone has asked them to introduce themselves. Try to capture their idiosyncrasies; ask yourself whether they have an accent or a dialect. Do they have any unique or defining physical aspects? Practice delivering your monologue in the mirror or film yourself using your iPAD so you can watch your performance back!

Tracking characters and themes: Seek out a short play which interests you. If you’re not sure where to start, consider reading a play by Willy Russell: ‘Our Day Out’ and ‘Blood Brothers’ are enjoyed by lots of people. Before you read, select one of the main characters, who will be identified in the ‘List of Characters’ at the beginning of the script. As you read, think about what that characters says, what other characters say about that character, what that character does and what other characters ‘do’ to or around that character. Can you identify 5 things that the character says or does which captures that character’s main characteristics? Does the character embody a certain ‘stereotype?’ What is the main driving force of the play – is it high-concept or high-character?

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