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Living Through Their Eyes

Last changed: 05/01/2018 12:35pm
3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8
Theatre English Social Studies
Grade Level Program Integration
5 45 min


Five, 45-minute sessions with a Sharing (no additional production elements required) or other culminating project for individual classes or entire grade level during the fifth session.

The length of each session can be extended to accommodate a middle school schedule.

Classes are typically held once a week. However, at the discretion of the teacher(s) the program may be completed in 1 or 2 weeks or spread out further to allow time for completion of classroom activities/assignments designed by the Teaching Artist with the Classroom Teacher(s).

The program can be designed and scheduled to introduce, integrate throughout or serve as a follow-up to the selected curricular unit.

*If the school calendar does not allow for 5 visits, the Teaching Artist can provide an adjusted version of the residency with 3 or 4 sessions.
In-School Short Term Residency
All Year
$10 0
yes In-Person


Props needed for Drama activities to supplement available classroom resources

Originals for handouts or prompts to be used with activities during class or conducted by the classroom teacher to deepen student learning between sessions

Additional reference materials on selected topic


Easel and large pad of paper, if available

Non-lined paper and pencils or a journal for each student

Copies of handouts for students as needed

Copies of key reference materials/resources from the classroom for the specific content selected to help the Teaching Artist support the Classroom Teacher's approach and priorities



Open space in classroom or multi-purpose space large enough for entire class to participate on their feet simultaneously or spread out to work in small groups.

If selecting a Sharing for the entire grade, will need a large enough space for all classes to meet together to present and view. Could be a stage, but not required. Should be scheduled for each class individually in session 4 and for the entire grade for session 5


I can combine facts and imagination to describe the home, clothing, food, job and/or daily life of a person from another time period or culture.

I can use selected words and phrases to speak as a character living in another time period or culture

I can recognize and discuss at least 2 similarities and 2 differences between life in another historical period or culture and my own modern life.

I can work with peers to create and perform an original scene or theatre piece representing characters from another time period or culture.




When viewed through a contemporary lens, the actions and motivations of people from the past can be difficult to grasp. In Living Through Their Eyes, students embark on a journey back in time to experience the world through the eyes of a person from a different historical period and culture. Focusing on exploration and creative process rather than performance; students visualize a character’s personal life, relationships, occupation and events within their community.

What students will do:

Based on classroom research, students imagine and act out situations as they live, work, eat, dress and speak in the voice of a specific character. They communicate insights through discussion, writing (letters/journal entries) and/or drawing (floor-plans/pictures of homes and work places). Working individually, cooperating with partners, and collaborating in small or large groups; students improvise, brainstorm, problem-solve, reflect and give/receive feedback to deepen insights into historical periods and events. The program typically culminates with students bringing their characters to life in a unique Sharing created for the entire grade or within each classroom.


Picture exploring these units or request a new topic to deepen learning:

Colonial America - characters, village life, trades and language of the period

Immigration - leaving a country of origin, traveling to America, and arriving in an unfamiliar land.

Westward Expansion - moving west, predicting hardships and brainstorming alternative solutions

Revolutionary War - events leading up to the war and effects on various segments of the population

World War I - life in 1910-1920, events and circumstances of the war and remembrances of those who fought.

Desegregation - a study of The Little Rock Nine, portraying actions and reactions by multiple characters to the changes that occurred

Identity – comparison of personal identity with characters from literature

National History Day - insights into characters and events from their chosen project and coaching for presentation

*See Additional Notes for related texts


Teachers may choose from these sample texts or select others from grade level Language Arts/Social Studies curriculum:

Colonial America
If You Lived In Colonial Times by Ann McGovern
The Scoop on Clothes, Homes, and Daily Life in Colonial America by Elizabeth Raum
If You Sailed On The Mayflower in 1620 by Ann McGovern
On The Mayflower by Kate Waters
Early American Crafts and Occupations by Peter F. Copeland

Revolutionary War
Patience Wright, America's First Sculptor and Revolutionary Spy by Pegi Deitz Shea
Freedom's Fire by Elizabeth Sullivan Falk
The poem “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

WWI
Timelines about the decade and the war
Letters, journals and newspaper articles from the time period
The film, Sergeant Alvin York - American Hero
The poem "In Flanders Field” by John McCrae

Immigration
I Was Dreaming to Come to America (Memories from the Ellis Island Oral History Project) selected and illustrated by Veronica Lawler
Journey to Ellis Island by Carol Bierman

Desegregation
A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School by Carlotta Walls Lanier


The program may also connect with and serve the goals of the Art and/or Music curriculum. To explore this option include Arts Specialists in the initial planning meeting.

The grade-level Sharing or culminating project provides a means of assessing the Social Studies concepts and the Acting and Movement techniques learned.

*All ACTive Learning programs have been developed and implemented by a professional Theatre Educator in collaboration with Classroom Teachers and Arts Specialists.
1-3 are welcome, if the classroom teacher desires. They can be most helpful in the 4th and 5th sessions to facilitate preparing and implementing the grade level Share.

Grade 3

Grade 3: History: Change, Continuity, and Context: 3.2 Compare life in specific historical time periods to life today.
Grade 3: Speaking and Listening Standards: Comprehension and Collaboration: 1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. (a-d)
Grade 3: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 1.1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. c. Collaborate to determine how characters might move and speak to support the story and given circumstances in drama/theatre work.
Grade 3: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 2.1: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. a. Participate in methods of investigation to devise original ideas for a drama/theatre work.

Grade 4

Grade 4: Geography: Human-Environment Interaction: Place, Regions, and Culture: 4.7: Explain how human settlements and movements relate to the locations and use of various natural resources.
Grade 4: Speaking and Listening Standards: Comprehension and Collaboration: 1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. (a-d)
Grade 4: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 1.1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. c. Imagine how a character might move to support the story and given circumstances in a drama/theatre work.
Grade 4: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 2.1: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. a. Collaborate to devise original ideas for a drama/theatre work by asking questions about characters and plots.

Grade 5

Grade 5: History: Perspectives: 5.4: Explain why individuals and groups during the same historical period differed in their perspectives.
Grade 5: Speaking and Listening Standards: Comprehension and Collaboration: 1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. (a-d)
Grade 5: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 1.1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. c. Imagine how a character’s inner thoughts impact the story and given circumstances in a drama/ theatre work
Grade 5: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 2.1: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. a. Devise original ideas for a drama/theatre work that reflect collective inquiry about characters and their given circumstances.

Grade 6

Grade 6: History: Change, Continuity, and Context: 6-8.1: Use questions about historically significant people or events to explain the impact on a region
Grade 6: Speaking and Listening Standards: Comprehension and Collaboration: 1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts and issues building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. (a-d)
Grade 6: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 1.1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. c. Explore a scripted or improvised character by imagining the given circumstances in a drama/theatre work.
Grade 6: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 2.1: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. a. Use critical analysis to improve, refine, and evolve original ideas and artistic choices in a devised or scripted drama/theatre work.

Grade 7

Grade 7: Geography: Human-Environment Interaction: Place, Regions, and Culture: 6-7.5: Explain the connections between the physical and human characteristics of a region and the identity of individuals and cultures living there.
Grade 7: Speaking and Listening Standards: Comprehension and Collaboration: 1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts and issues building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. (a-d)
Grade 7: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 1.1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. c. Envision and describe a scripted or improvised character’s inner thoughts and objectives in a drama/theatre work.
Grade 7: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 2.1: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. a. Examine and justify original ideas and artistic choices in a drama/theatre work based on critical analysis, background knowledge, and historical and cultural context.

Grade 8

Grade 8: History: Causation and Argumentation: 8.9: Explain multiple causes and effects of events and developments in the past.
Grade 8: Speaking and Listening Standards: Comprehension and Collaboration: 1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts and issues building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. (a-d)
Grade 8: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 1.1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. c. Develop a scripted or improvised character by articulating the character’s inner thoughts, objectives, and motivations in a drama/theatre work.
Grade 8: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 2.1: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. a. Articulate and apply critical analysis, background knowledge, research, and historical and cultural context to the development of original ideas for a drama/theatre work.
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