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  • Writer's pictureBrianna Roberts

Work Sample: Grade 9 Drama Lesson Plan. Unit: Believable Acting.

Updated: Nov 18, 2021


  1. Subject(s): Drama

  2. Topic or Unit of Study: Believable Acting. Stanislavski.

  3. Grade/Level: 9

  4. Objective: Students understand and can demonstrate objectives and super objectives through acting.

  5. Time Allotment: 50 mins

Class Structure:

Warm Up - Yoga 5 minutes.

  • Class Discussion: Believable Acting. - 5 minutes

  • What makes a “good actor”

  • How do people learn to act?

  • Who are some “good actors”. Why do you like them?

  • Introduce Unit- Believable Acting. (We are going to learn tools to make our acting believable and we are going to learn about one particular theatre-maker, Stanislavski who first documented this system).

Activity 1:

  • 1. Darling If You Love Me (5 mins) - Have students sit in a circle with one student in the middle. The student in the middle must make eye contact with another student and ask “Darling if you love me won’t you please please smile?” and tries to make the other student smile. The other student responds “Darling yes I love you but I just can’t smile” and tries to keep a straight face. If the first student is successful in getting the second student to smile, then they switch places. The second student goes to the middle and tries to make a different student smile using the same text. Students must try different tactics to get their classmates to smile.

  • Debrief: Ask students “What were you trying to do in that game? What did you want”

  • Discuss: Objective:

Goal. Aspirations. What a character wants.

Explain that in a play, an actor needs to know what his character wants because it will influence his acting choices.

– Think: Something to fight for and why. (What are some examples?)

– Should fit into the following formula (I want (person) to (verb/action)) Write the formula on the board.

– Explain how an objective is more interesting when there is another person involved. How “I want to eat ice cream” is less interesting than “I want my mom to let me eat ice cream for dinner”

How were you trying to get what you wanted? (Get some examples. Write them on the board in “to ____” format. Explain

Discuss - Tactic:

  • What a character does to get what they want. A strategy.

– A strong tactic is a verb. It fits in this phrase “to _____ him/her” Write this on the board.

– Must go through your scene partner. “What do you think that means?”

– Think of the reaction you want from the other character. How do you want them to feel or what do you want them to do and how do you get there.

– “I want to persuade my mom to let me eat ice cream for dinner”

Activity 2 (10 min)

Come up with a great example of an objective together as a class. Have it written on the board for reference.

(Ex: I want the Head of School to allow pizza for lunch everyday)

Explain that everyone is in a play. That the person mentioned in the objective is a character and that so are they. In this play, there is a scene where they set up a meeting with that character and they need to think of actable tactics that work for a stage. So! They are characters, in a meeting, on a stage, trying to get something from the person in the objective.

Pass out sheets of butcher paper (four groups) and have them write down as many actable tactics that they could use to get what they want on their paper. Give them a few minutes to do this. Then, have them flip over the piece of paper and make a list like with Scattergories where they can’t have any repeats of anyone else. Give a few more minutes.

Have one student from each group write their top ten (that they think no one else will have) on the board.

Activity 3 (5 min):

Have the students get with a partner. Choose between you who is A and who is B. Have the two lines on the board?

a: Don’t go into that room.

b: I need my keys.

They should try to say these lines to each other in as many different ways as they can. Instruct students to choose tactics from the lists on the board and try to use them as they say these lines. Give them a few minutes before switching who is A and who is B in their partnerships. Have them do it multiple times, trying out different tactics, to see what works best.

  • Journal Questions (10 min):

  1. What is an objective?

  2. What is a tactic?

  3. How do objectives make scenes interesting?

Materials & Resources

  1. Butcher Paper

  2. Markers


Students demonstrate through the acting, group and written assignments that they understand objective and tactics.

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