Common Core Connections
In addition to providing your students with exposure to the arts, Dakota Players creates a unique learning environment. Dakota Players addresses many different learning styles of your students; the kinesthetic learners will be fully engaged in this process. Your students will learn by doing. With the transition to the Common Core, it is sometimes difficult to figure out how to incorporate additional programming. Here are several points as to how Dakota Players can help your school achieve Common Core standards.
Speaking and Listening: Flexible Communication and Collaboration
Theatre is an excellent way for your students to work collaboratively toward a common goal. Students will also gain public speaking experience where they will experience public speaking in a more formal setting.
SL1: Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
SL6: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Language: Conventions, effective use, and vocabulary
Students will be exposed to new situations that have a unique vocabulary. We also use the lines for each character as clues to understand who that character may be. We explore the following questions: What can we tell about this character based on what he/she says? What can we tell about this character based on how he/she says it? How do those questions influence how you will play that character?
L1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English Grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L4: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized references, as appropriate.
L5: Demonstrate an understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
Reading: Text complexity and growth of comprehension
When students are accessing Dakota Players’ texts, they are required to demonstrate a very advanced level of understanding. Students are not only required to comprehend the text we give them, but we also require them to take their understanding further to then perform the text to others.
R1: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
R3: Analyze how and why individuals, events and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
R4: Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
Dakota Players and College and Career Readiness: “They demonstrate independence.”
Students who participate in Dakota Players programming are given roles, but they take the responsibility to create the characters from the information given. Students are urged to do independent research to more fully understand their characters.
“They build strong content knowledge.”
Dakota Players offers a way of understanding the base knowledge of the theatre by experiencing it. Students are also reading scripts, discussing and understanding the script's content and then demonstrating that knowledge through performance.
“They respond to the varying demands of audience, task, purpose, and discipline.”
Students in Dakota Players’ productions will have the opportunity to respond to an audience in a traditional performance setting. This experience will deepen their public speaking ability.
“They comprehend as well as critique.”
Using the scripts provided by Dakota Players, students are required to understand the story of the play. Students then have to understand how their individual character contributes to the telling of the story. We also create a safe space where students are urged to give critical feedback in a productive manner. Students then synthesize this information in their performance.
“They value evidence”
Students are asked to explain why certain performances may or may not seem effective. They have to identify specific ways to improve the performance.
“They use technology and digital media strategically and capably”
Between 1 and 5 students (depending on cast size) are utilized as Assistant Directors. In addition to helping throughout the week in rehearsals, these students run the light and sound for the performance. These students get the opportunity to understand firsthand how lighting and sound can really influence the effectiveness of the performance. By running these elements, they can also understand how essential timing is when using these cues.
“They come to understand other perspectives and cultures.”
Probably above all other aspects, this is the one that Dakota Players accomplishes most effectively. Students play characters that are different than themselves, forcing them to understand the perspective of their character.