Contributed by Tiffany Barrett
To introduce character development through a familiar concept like a favorite animal
- Students will be asked to imagine: How would your favorite animal describe their given circumstances? What would that look and sound like? TA could provide examples of an animal in a zoo, versus the same kind of animal in a forest, for example.
- Students will choose their animals and the specific circumstances, and then complete the following monologue template: I am a ___, I move like a __, I sound like a ___, and I __ like a __, and that’s why everyone ___ me.
- Students can then add movements to go along with their monologues.
- Each person in turn says the monologue with chosen movements and action.
- Reflection: Each student can reflect on why they chose the animal they did and how the choice informed their movement and word choices in the final line of the monologue.
Transition into Activity
Invite students to take a few deep breaths together. Lead a guided visualization through different animal habitats.
Transition out of Activity
Invite students to move like their animals into the next activity.
Standing or sitting in a circle
- Students can participate as a team with a verbal student as the narrator and non-verbal student showing the movement.
- Students can have a teacher narrate for them.
- Lines can be written out on chart paper or on whiteboard.
- Notecards with lines can also be passed out to students who are less verbal.
- Less verbal students, and those with less mobility, might also be invited to draw their ideas.
- Students can participate from their seats if standing and moving around is unavailable to them.
Role of the Teachers and Paraprofessionals
- Support students in choosing an animal with verbal suggestions, images, or figurines
- Pair up with a student as the narrator
Students can work individually to write or visually share their monologues using Google Docs/Slides or their own physical materials at home. They can also be broken into break-out rooms to share in small groups. Students who want to share their monologues and movement can do so on camera for either their small breakout room or the whole class. Educators can support by rotating through breakout rooms.