Students identify the message communicated in the visual image of a poster. Then student groups create a skit with a small group that communicates the same message in a different format. The groups write, practice and perform their skits. Then the class comments on the skits of their peers by identifying the central message of each. Groups can determine if their skit communicated their message clearly.
Two or Three 45-Minute Sessions
The learner will:
- create a dramatic presentation to communicate a message about refugees.
- interpret the message of the skits performed.
- evaluate your group's skit based on the interpretations of classmates.
- define advocacy and make a plan to use their skits to persuade others to help refugees.
This lesson could be developed into a service project that is continued into lesson four. Ask students how they could use their skits to teach others about refugees. Define the word advocacy, and tell the students that their skits could help them persuade others to take action to help refugees. Discuss how they feel about being advocates for the issue.
advocacy: the act or process of speaking or writing in favor of, or supporting, a cause
- UNHCR’s LEGO posters How Does It Feel? What’s the Difference? What’s Wrong Here? (see Bibliographical References)
- student copies of Refugees at Center Stage (Handout One)
- Handout 1
- Refugees at Center Stage
Ask the students to recall some of their favorite commercials from television. As they recall favorites, ask them to summarize the message of each commercial. Discuss how commercials use visual images and words to communicate a message or persuade an audience.
- Tell students that in this lesson, they will be creating and performing skits with a message that comes from a poster.
- Move students into small groups and give each group one of the LEGO posters that are available on the website. (See Bibliographical References.)
- Also give each student a copy of Handout Two: Refugees at Center Stage.
- Depending upon the group of students with whom you are working, you may want to assign roles (such as facilitator, note-taker, director, narrator, etc.) or have them select their own roles. Go over your classroom rules/guidelines for group work, if necessary.
- Students should work cooperatively to create a skit based around the ideas conveyed (both visually and textually) on their assigned poster.
- When the groups have written and practiced their skits, have each group share their poster with the class, then act out their skit. (This may take a few class periods.)
- For peer evaluation, be sure each student fills in the bottom of the handout as the groups present their skits. Groups can get immediate feedback on how effective their skits were by briefly discussing what the audience perceived as the message in the skit.
- Ask students how they could use their skits to teach others about refugees. Define the word advocacy, and tell the students that their skits could help them persuade others to take action to help refugees. Discuss how they feel about being advocates for the issue. Their advocacy would be an act of service to help refugees.
The skit should include some creativity and personal voice. They may use their skit creatively as an advocacy for refugees.
Students’ skills and knowledge should be evaluated based on the level of cooperation in group and adherence to group rules and roles. They will be assessed on their interpretation of the message of the poster, the creativity and thoughtfulness of the skit, their participation in the skit, and the completion of peer evaluation.
Language Arts: Write a persuasive essay convincing readers to help refugees.
For an added challenge or to reinforce writing skills, have each student individually write a rationale for his/her group’s skit, answering questions such as: How did you translate the message of the poster into a skit? What choices did your group make to create an effective skit? What did you want your audience to understand after watching the skit? etc.
Reflection: (click to view)
Refugees at Center Stage
Look at your LEGO poster and have one person in your group read the text aloud to the group. Write 1-2 sentences that explain the message of the poster.
Your task is to collaboratively create a skit that conveys the same message as the poster. As a group, come up with a real-life scenario that illustrates the issue that the
poster is addressing.
- Write out the basic scenario on a piece of paper as well as a working script (the script can be improvised when the skit is performed, but you should at least have some basic idea of what the characters will say/do).
- Assign roles in your group. Everyone should be involved in some way, either as an actor or a narrator. Consider the various individuals who should be represented in this scenario.
- Be sure that everyone in your group is contributing ideas to the interpretation of the poster and the development of the skit.
- Your skit should be less than 4 minutes long.
- Please give your skit a title (you can use the title of the poster, or something else that you come up with). You will share the title with the class before you perform your skit.
- The audience (your classmates) should be able to easily understand the message of the skit.
- As the groups perform, the members of the audience write an evaluation that includes a sentence-long interpretation of the meaning. (See below.)
Directions: For each group’s skit, write down the title of the skit, and what you think is the message of the skit.
Review the comments of your group's skit from the other groups. Discuss in your group whether the message communicated is the message you intended. Discuss what might improve the skit to make it more persuasive or impactful.