Drama: Students present to the Maharajah in 'The Treasure of Trivandrum' unit.

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  • Author :  admin
  • Date :  Jan 24, 2013
  • Views :  7507
  • Type :  1
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  • Credits: 

    John O'Toole and Madonna Stinson, Writers

    Andrew Thomson, Photographer


    Wilston State School, class 4E, in The Treasure of Trivandrum drama

  • Tags :  making and presenting, oracy, process drama, responding, role-play
  • Supporting Documents:  

    Drama education resources


Package Specifications

This unit, The Treasure of Trivandrum, comprises 5 x 1.5-hour sessions.

The school and teachers

The teaching took place in Wilston State School, Queensland, in October 2012, with twenty-three Year 4 students of mixed ability and gender who had done little prior drama. The class included one supported special needs student who participated fully. The students were taught by the class teacher, Christina Robertson, and were assisted on day four by the school's specialist dance teacher, Leah Doherty, and on day three by a visiting teacher, Natasha Budd. The five daily sessions were taught in week 1 of term 4. The unit was planned by drama advisors John O’Toole and Madonna Stinson in collaboration with the class teacher. These three had taught a longer version of the same unit the previous year.

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) content descriptions

The principal art form is drama, comprising the following curriculum content (Drama Band 3/4):

  • Making – sustained role-play and process drama; managing tension using complex registers of language
  • Presenting – introductory play-building and informal performance
  • Responding – responding appropriately in-role; reflecting on drama within the drama itself and in discussion.

This unit incorporates dance as a subsidiary art form, comprising the following curriculum content (Dance Band 3/4):

  • Making and performing – exploring and selecting movement using dance elements
  • Responding – understanding dance made in different cultural contexts and for a range of reasons.

It also includes English from the following content area (English Year 4):

  • Language – language as interaction; understanding how texts vary (oral register)
  • Literacy (oracy) – interacting with others; interpreting, analysing, evaluating.

Based on Australian, Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA) materials.

In addition, the unit links to This is the Queensland syllabus that pre-dated history and geography in the Australian Curriculum, and was still applied at the school where the drama was conducted.  with content in the two Year 4 content areas: 'Culture and Identity' and 'Resources and Power'.

The unit also directly addresses the cross-curriculum priority, Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia (AAEA) in understanding Indian history and culture, Indian economic needs and conditions, as well as the following general capabilities:

  • Literacy – intense practice in skills of oracy and public address
  • Critical and creative thinking – the challenges, problem-solving, and decision-making inherent in the dramatic context and tasks
  • Ethical behaviour – the ethics of wealth distribution, social justice and child labour
  • Personal and social competence – challenging and building personal and public confidence, and the ability to work together in diverse groups
  • Intercultural understanding – immersion in Indian culture and identification (personally within the drama) with the perspectives of Keralan people.

Based on Australian, Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA) materials.

The unit addresses the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) Professional Standards for Teachers (1-5) by ensuring that teachers know:

  • their students and how they learn
  • the content and how to teach it
  • how to plan and implement effective teaching
  • how to encourage learning in a supportive and safe environment
  • how to assess student progress.

Teachers may also collaborate with colleagues and/or the community (Standard 7).

This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.