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Children of War

Defining details:
Learning targets:
-I can explain how events of war influence lives, in particular the lives of children
-I can demonstrate understanding of the importance of creative expression in war
situations, especially the use of diaries, journals, and letters
-I can reflect the feelings and effects of these times through tableau and scene
- I can use improvisation and staging to create a scene
Grade Level: 6
Time: 90 minutes
Grade Level Standards:
1. TH:Cr1.1.6
a. Identify possible solutions to staging challenges in a drama/theatre work.
c. Explore a scripted or improvised character by imagining the given circumstances
in a drama/theatre work.
2. TH:Pr4.1.6
a. Identify the essential events in a story or script that make up the dramatic
structure in a drama/theatre work.
b. Experiment with various physical choices to communicate character in a
drama/theatre work.
3. R.CM.08.01.: Students will connect personal knowledge, experiences, and
understanding of the world to themes and perspectives in text through oral and
written responses.
4. RL.6.5.: Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into
the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme,
setting, or plot.
Source Materials:
-Frank, A. (1993). Anne Frank: The diary of a young girl. New York: Bantam Books.
-Starr, J. (n.d.). Joni's Dance Integration Rainforest Lesson. Retrieved December 6,
2015, from
-The Kennedy Center: ARTSEDGE - the National Arts and Education Network. (n.d.).
Retrieved December 6, 2015, from

Teaching Materials:
- White board/Markers/Powerpoint?
- Various maps of Germany (Nazi regime takeover, Annes hometown, Annes hiding
- Excerpts from the novel:
Frank, A. (1993). Anne Frank: The diary of a young girl. New York:Bantam
- Scene/story line worksheets
Body of the plan:
1. Engaging (10min)
- Have students work with tableau. Introduce by using simple ideas: You were just
told you get pizza for dinner, show me what that looks like.
- Move into using specific prompts for tableau. Have students create individual
tableau and move into interaction in small groups, 2-3.
>You are playing outside on a beautiful day
>You find out your country is at war
>You must go into hiding for your safety
>You have not eaten in 2 days and are very hungry
>You hear things are getting worse on the radio
- Internal Assessment
>What is the general mood of wartime?
>How did the tableaus demonstrate this?
>Can you imagine yourself in these shoes?
2. Building Knowledge (25min)
- Ask class to name wars they are familiar with, can be US to their country of
origin. Write these on board.
- Next have them brainstorm the effects of war
>Effects on families
>Feelings it may provoke
>Personal effects
-Introduce the story of Anne Frank. Give a general background on her story.
*Assuming students have basic background knowledge of WWII*
>Anne was young German Jewish girl who lived the effects of the Nazi
regime. Her family, like all Jewish families, were under attack by Hitler and his Nazi
government. Anne and her family, along with another family went into hiding for

about two years before being captured and sent to the concentration camps. She
died 9 months later.
>Present this maybe with an interactive presentation. Have students look at
maps of Germany and Annes hometown so they are able to identify where she was
hiding and where she was sent to.
>Annes diary was a look at her inner thoughts on day to day life as a child of
Have students brainstorm why the diary is important.
-Explain improvisational scenes to students?
>How does body movement, facial expressions, etc., help convey emotion?
>Why is it important for scenes to have a beginning middle and end? How
does this contribute to the story line?
- Internal Assessment
>Who does wars affect?
>What are the effects of war? Are the positive or negative?
Why is her diary studied in classrooms around the US?
>How do you think her diary helped her deal with her set of conditions?
>Can you imagine how other children felt at this time? Anne was
hiding. How do you think it felt in the camps?

safe in

>How does Annes diary capture the mood and theme of this time?
3. Exploring (25min)
- Students group of into discussion groups and are given different excerpts from
Annes diary.
>Have students create improvisational scenes from excerpts. Have students
full out worksheets as a group to better understanding.
What characters are in this scene?
Is their a specific person who is portraying Anne?
What is the setting of your scene? Are you in hiding or somewhere
What is your individual character doing?
How does your scene begin and end?
What is the general mood of this scene and of your character?
-Have students rehearse before presenting their scenes to the class.
- Internal Assessment
>Go around to each group and help construct a fluid scene. Give suggestions
on how improve expression, staging, overall theme, etc.

4. Sharing (20 min)

- Each group will present their scenes to the class.
- Internal Assessment (Questions to be discussed after performances)
>Go back and ask questions featured on the worksheet.
>Did your understanding of Annes families feelings deepen while acting out
your scene?
>Ask audience: What did you see?
>Give performers opportunity to explain artistic choices
- 5. Evaluating (15min)
- As a class discuss the following questions:
>Who does war effect?
>How does it effect families?
>What are some personal effects and feelings that war provokes?
>Can you imagine how Anne felt at this time? What about other children of
>How did Annes diary help her cope with feelings and conditions she was
living with?
>How did your scenes capture, not only her feelings, but the general mood of
>What performance skills did you utilize to make your scene successful?
>What about these scenes and theatre in general makes us understand
others better? Especially in specific situations, such as wartime.
6. Before or after the lesson:
-Have students research and work with other diaries written by children of war.
Have them create their own characters profiles from this an have them present as
these different children in class.
-Create a collage of words and pictures that depicts the feelings and effects of
wartime on families.
-Do other role playing assignments where students are in character. Help them
understand them on a deeper level.
7. Vocabulary: For language arts, social studies and theatre.
-Scene work
- Tableau
- Wartime
- Nazi

- Concentration camps
- Holocaust
- Staging
- Mood

- Theme