Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My temper tantrum ended. It's safe to look again.

So, co-curriculars for the 7th and 8th graders at school changed this year. They go to drama, art, P.E., and Spanish every day for one quarter each. I had no textbook, and so I bought a book on the history of theatre and wrote my own guide. I give the kids notes, then I have them perform in the style they learned. We also pop in some theatre games and exercises.

This being the end of the third quarter (just Mardi Gras week, which is a holiday next week!, followed by one regular week, a dead week, and exams), I've done almost everything three times.

Today was one of my favorite lessons...I finished giving them the notes for the quarter so we can just sort of play the rest of the quarter until they take their final, then I show them a music video.

The song is "Love Me Dead," and it's by a group called "Ludo." Interestingly enough, they also have a song called, "Lake Pontchartrain." This makes me smile.

I grew very fond of "LMD" over the summer, even though it sounds like it belongs in a musical. I hate musicals. I think that's because I can't sing or dance, and therefore was never able to participate in them. Plus, I'm a creative person with an overactive imagination and all, but the Suspension of Disbelief just shuts off when I see choreographed moments interrupt the natural flow of things.

Anyway, digression over.

After 1st quarter started, Mark found the video for the song, and I fell in love with it. Why? First of all, the singer kind of reminds me of Josh from the Nicholls Players. Second, it shows EVERYTHING (for the most part, just go with that) that I teach throughout drama history. I show the video once, all the way through, without discussion. I ask the kids what they saw that they learned about. They instantly pick up crude humor, Greek masks, and stage combat. Then I show it again, setting it up with running themes, such as costumes and props, and pause it 25 or 26 times to point out different theatre styles. Then, I show it to them a third time, no interruptions. Kids from first quarter still talk about it.

Today was that day in class, and so I was pretty happy. Not only that, but they are the first class to get this far this early in the quarter. God, I love 8th graders more than 7th graders!!! What a difference one year makes! Also, I only teach 1st and last periods on Tuesdays (making up for it with no breaks on Thursdays) and had a doctor's appointment with the orthopedist (muscular strains/sprains confirmed, physical therapy prescribed) today, so I left before lunch and missed teaching last period. Teaching only drama once a day? AWESOME!

While I was a little over halfway through the second viewing, one of my students interrupted me with, "How do teachers think?" I asked what he meant. He said, "I would NEVER have watched this and thought of any of that. But teachers always find things like this." I laughed. I told him I watched the video about 10-15 times, minimum, to find what I found, and had to back it up, move almost frame by frame, etc., to find it all. And, each time I watch it, I find a new subtle thing. I found one today. It wasn't anything theatre-related, but it was funny.

So, for your viewing pleasure, here it is:



Emi said...

sweet. that totally reminds me of our overdramatic acting back in the day. lol
.................."I'll just lay here..............and die..............."

Mae said...

Oh man, I haven't thought of her in forever!!!!!