Context for this Lesson
SCIENCE- the ethics of land/urban development on local resources
FOCUS: What are the ethical questions involved in the clearing of natural land for man-made developments? What are the economic and environmental consequences of development?
MATERIALS: Writing utensils for students and writing paper
ENGAGE the students: Review: (5 minutes) Make sure their letters are signed with their professions. Have students from each side read their letters to the editor.
Review the Pro/Con sides of the issue. Review characters.
Frozen Images/Stage Picture: (10 minutes) Next introduce the game of Stage Picture. Invite 3-4 students up in front of the class. Give them each a number (1, 2, 3, and 4) Then explain that you are going to be creating a frozen image, like a snap shot, or photo in a photo album. Remind students of the rules of the game: 1. We must see everyone’s face in the final image 2. Everyone in the image must be connected (people can be hugging, or just touching little toes, it doesn’t matter as long as the image is connected) 3. Play with levels; we want to keep the image and our faces dynamic. Someone should be on a low, medium, and high level. Tell the students that they are going to make a frozen picture. Ask the group to come in one at a time. Call their number (1, 2, 3, or 4) and have them add onto the image. Remember to process the image with the other students in your class using D.A.R. (Describe what we see, analyze what the relationships and story might be, relate the image to events in the students’ own world) Now tell the students that you will be calling them into an image by saying stage picture, 1, 2, 3. By the time you reach 3 the group should be frozen in a new image. After you have done a few neutral images have the students create a few more pictures using themes: Aliens, The accident, haunted house, courage, etc.
EXPLORE the issue further:
SIX MONTHS LATER. Explain that despite the many dissenters the town did finally agree to allow Malls Inc. to build their mall in town. Give them the headline, taking from the Daily Ember, the village newspaper.
It reads: MALLS, INC. BREAKS GROUND IN EMBER Many Gather to Protest, Support In fact, today’s paper has many photos from the event. Divide them into groups of two. If they want to switch and try out a different point of view, that’s fine. But invite them to keep their own characters. Arrange groups so that there are some that is mixed (for and against). Have them make protest signs that tell their positions in a short and powerful way. (Give some examples of protest/support slogans.) Take 5 minutes to make the signs and then we are going to make newspaper photos that show our argument at the new mall site. Give them five minutes to make images. Did anyone try and stop the building of the mall? What did people try and do to show their support? Have students share their images of what the protest at the mall looked like from many perspectives. Students will describe what they see. Have the audience create captions for each image.
ONE YEAR LATER: Explain that despite the protests and controversy, the mall was built. Now we are going to fast forward into the future. The mall has been open and running for six months. How does that affect our characters? Think about the job you have in town and how having this mall open makes life different for you—for better and worse. Teacher goes into role as Jammin’ Jen, Radio Show Host: This is KFRE, City of Ember’s Talk Radio. Your tuning into “Burning Issues”, the radio show that explores the hot topics here in Ember. As you know here on Burning Issues, we bring together people from our city to talk about how this issue affects them. And as you know, we also take calls from our listening audience. Today’s issue is the new mall. It’s up and running and boy! Talk about changes. We have here several guests from the village to talk about how City of Ember Mall has changed their life.
REFLECT on the issues What are the ethical and biological issues around development? What are the positive effects of development? What are some of the negative effects? What are some compromises that could be explored? Where can we find out what is happening in our community? How can we be more active in our community’s decisions?
EVALUATE the lesson: What did you notice about the group's willingness to engage in dramai work? Was there any reluctance to engage? If so, why? How could dramatic engagement be enhanced in the next drama-based lesson? What major curriculum issues were discussed? How did the drama work inform or enhance those discussions? What curriculum areas still need to be examined? Based on your evaluation, how might you follow up this lesson?
Possible Language Arts/Visual Arts/Music/Science Extensions:
- Write a two-voice poem: Have students create a poem that conveys the thoughts and feelings of both sides of the issue. Review that poems don’t need to be written in full sentences, but can have phrases that convey feeling. Your protest posters were in short phrases. A two-voice poem is written so that both views are shown side by side. They are read together. Each side can have repetition to make a point. Sometimes you can use the same phrase for each side, but it will have different meanings on each.
- Create a collage: Have students collect images that convey both sides of the issue. How can images be juxtaposed or arranged to persuade, educate, show a feeling or opinion or present a solution. How can composition be used to communicate or reflect what we know? Write a protest song: Listen to protest songs of the past. Examine their verse structure and use of imagery. Write one of your own that might express feelings about development or stagnation? Write a newspaper article: Have students write a series of three newspaper articles which detail the beginning, middle, and end of their character’s story. Decide the point of view of the newspaper. Are they in favor or opposed to the nuclear power plant?
- Write a sample script: Based on the drama work, ask students to script and stage/film an investigative news segment (e.g. 60 Minutes or Dateline) that tells the story of what happened when the nuclear power plant came to town. Scientific debate: Have student choose or assign students to research one side of the debate around development. Have the two halves of the class work in small groups to prepare their case. Encourage them to include live interviews with “experts” to support their argument. Invite another class in to watch the debate and have your students lead a post-show discussion about the issues.