The Titanic (ages 11-12)
This scheme of work introduces students to the real life event of the sinking of the Titanic, focusing on the survivors and their stories. Using a series of thought provoking exercises students develop their characters and their own survivor story. Through this they empathise and understand the thoughts and feelings surrounding the real story often hidden amongst the Hollywood gloss – the story of the people, not the ship itself. Stimuli include a true survivor’s story of that fateful night, postcards and audio effects. Some of the key drama forms explored along the way are the use of visualisation exercises, thought aloud, flashback and dramatic pause. Students learn how to approach a sensitive piece of drama with maturity and insight.
This scheme of work contains 6 drama lesson plans.
- Lesson 1: In the Lifeboat. This introductory lesson sets the scene with a visualisation exercise taking them, as survivor characters in a lifeboat, to that fateful night. Basic frozen images are used as flashbacks to develop their characters’ reactions and thoughts.
- Lesson 2: Developing Characters. This lesson starts with students developing their characters through the use of a Role on the Wall sheet, before then undertaking a fun improvisation as their characters board the ship, greeted by the Captain.
- Lesson 3: Four Days. This lesson examines each social class, the difference between them and what they would have been doing on board the ship in the four days before it sank.
- Lesson 4: Hitting the Iceberg. Students use a true story from a real life survivor to help them recreate the moment before the Titanic hit the iceberg. Groups workshop their use of dramatic pause to see how to use it effectively into their work so that it creates an impact on the audience.
- Lesson 5: The Sinking of the Titanic. Students firstly explore why the Titanic actually sank before being introduced to the owner of the White Star Line. They then devise a nightmare to represent his guilt about the sinking of the Titanic.
- Lesson 6: Titanic Assessment. Lesson 6 is a whole class improvisation of a television debate about why the Titanic sank. All students are in character throughout, interacting with each other and the teacher in role. The process is completed by watching the recording (if filmed by the teacher) and the completion of the self-assessment sheet.
Supporting materials include
- Titanic Fact Sheet
- Role on the Wall Sheet
- Titanic Postcards
- Survivor’s Account
- 1 clip of an atmospheric sound effect
Additional resources are included in the appendices
- Basic Drama Skills
- End Of Unit Self-Assessment Form
The scheme of work is supplied as a zip file containing a PDF file, readable on most computers, and 1 audio clip (Mp3 format).
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