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Role Play Teacher Resources
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Suggested topics for a role play debate include school uniforms and culpability for drunk driving, but any issue of interest to your class will work. What are the hot issues in your community or on the news right now? Class members brainstorm and assume the roles of various stakeholders. They research and debate the question from that point of view. The class decides which case was better made. Links to resources outlining other debate formats are included.
This is a fun, thought-provoking lesson. Learners use census data from 1855, primary source documents, their historical knowledge, and information regarding the New York City Draft Riots of 1863 to construct and engage in a role-play. The class is divided into either African-American or Irish immigrant households; they then act out several scenarios. Great lesson!
Social Studies and role-playing can go hand in hand. Learners use supporting evidence found in primary and secondary source material to develop a character from the Five Points neighborhood in the 1850s. Each student takes on the role of a reformer or a resident of the area debates social issues in character. Links to worksheets, handouts, source materials, and a film are all included.
“. . . one man in his time plays many parts,/His acts being seven ages.” Jaques famous speech from Act II, scene vii of As you Like It sets the stage for an examination of the roles people play. Class members not only consider the roles played and masks worn by various characters in Shakespeare’s plays, but are also encouraged to examine their own. A variety of activities are included to enable learners to make text-to-self and text-to-world connections. “And so (we) play (our) part.”
High school freshmen search for examples of justice, kindness, peace, and tolerance in news media, and brainstorm how they can promote these attributes in their school, community, and world. Directions for a role-play activity, a vocabulary list, and cross-curriculum extensions are included.
A complete resource from BBC World Service provides informational text for English or ESL classes to teach vocabulary, grammar, and reading skills. Learners participate in small group work, whole class discussions, and role-plays to explore the universal topics presented in a current news article. Although the plan is thorough and easy to follow, the link to the referenced article is broken.
To grasp what life was like in the 1920's, middle schoolers research and role-play. Intended as a follow-up activity to a lecture on the 1920's, learners will journal, view a PowerPoint, role-play, and reflect on what they've learned. Use this activity in a history activity or before starting a novel unit.
Reading The Pearl by John Steinbeck with your class and looking for an extension activity? Incorporate art and drama as a way of further exploring the themes presented in this work of literature. Start off in groups, each receiving a different piece of artwork to critique and discuss in light of the social issues depicted in The Pearl. Or if a dramatic activity sounds more appealing, use the Role Play Scenario worksheet include here to get young scholars up from their seats and acting out how social issues may affect their own adolescent lives. Note: To complete the lesson plan as written, you will need several additional materials that are not included.
Role play as a person living in the 1830s working in a Lowell factory. The class will take on the role of factory owner, girl on strike, talk show host, and girl not wanting to strike. Each group will analyze and research their character using primary and secondary resources. The class will then engage in a role play and discussion. The film Daughters of Free Men is suggested as a lesson accompaniment.
Connect a scene from a class play to events in your middle and high schoolers' own lives. First, they act out a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream in pairs. They work to role play a scene as an extension of the one they have read, using experiences from their own lives as a springboard. Extend the lesson into an examination of adaptations - how did their production of the scene vary from the original play? For younger readers, use excerpts from the play or use a different play.
Five segements from Ken Burns' documentary series Prohibition, easily accessed on the PBS website, are at the center of a terrific short unit on the roots of America's ambivalent relationship with alcohol. Engage your secondary class with a discussion of proposed government regulation of personal behavior based on several examples provided. Then explore the roots of Prohibition through video excerpts, active listening practice, and an engaging, thought-provoking deliberation activity. A comprehensive resource that includes video note-taking and discussion questions, active listening guidelines, background information about six historic constituent groups that class members role play in the deliberation activity, and a bibliography with other useful resources. Take a weekend off from planning. With a resource as complete as this one; you've got Prohibition covered.
Students write personal letters, newspaper editorials, and journal entries from the perspective of one of the main characters in The Scarlet Letter. In this The Scarlet Letter lesson, students role play each of the main characters in the play and create a specific writing assignment from that character's perspective.
Learners work in cooperative learning groups to complete interview and role playing activities. In this interview activity lesson, students discuss the clear cutting forest lands and work in groups complete Internet research to formulate questions for their personal interviews. Learners interview a person representing a role from the activity, summarize the information, and participate in a role play defending their character's position.
How does consumerism affect global poverty? Upper graders find out about cost benefit, wants and needs, and making good consumer choices as they explore this global topic. They role-play an impulse spending experience and work through the process of making a wise choice about buying an expensive item. This includes cross-curricular extension activities.