James Pecora
Course of Study Outline for "Drama and History."

Title: Drama and History
Subject Areas: Global, English.
Topics to be included: From our earliest years we are actors. We use dramatic play to understand the world and to interact with our peers. For some reason, in our society this is abandoned when we enter our teen years. I believe this is wrong. Using drama is an excellent way to learn about a variety of things, even history. In this course we are going to use drama, in addition to more traditional methods, to try and understand the history of the Holocaust. We will begin our historical study by examining the causes and effects of World War One. From there we will explore Hitler's rise to power, and how he maintained control over Germany. Finally, we will examine the Holocaust itself, from the work of the mobile death groups to the concentration camps.

Skills: Students will learn and use the following skills--
>How to identify the main ideas of short articles.
>How to read novels.
>How to write formal, five paragraph essays.
>How to perform in improvisational theater.
>How to construct a character.
>How to solve problems in a large group of students.
>How to work cooperatively in a small group of students.
>How to perform in front of an audience.

Assessments to be used: Students will be assessed in the following manner--
Major Assignments:
33% of the student's final grade will be taken from their major assignments. Major assignments are one's which take more than a day or two to complete, and receive a letter grade. Below are some examples of major assignments.
>Group work presentations. For some subjects, such as the results of the treaty of Versailles on Germany, or concentration camps, get in depth group work. First all students are assigned groups, so that there is a total of five to six groups. Then, each group is given a different reading on the topic. Every small group is expected to read their material and create a presentation for the rest of the class. The final presentations are given a letter grade.
>Final essay on novel. Two novels are read during the course of the Drama and History class.
For each, students will be required to write a five paragraph essay detailing their reaction to the material.
>Final essay describing reaction to the class. At the end of the class each student is expected to write a formal essay describing their plan for implementing their knowledge in the world around them.
>Final exam testing student's retention of historical facts from World War One.

Minor assignments:
33% of the student's final grade will be taken from their minor assignments. Minor assignments are one's which take less than a day or two to complete, and receive a check, check plus, or check minus. Below are some examples of minor assignments.
>Homework in which students observe their surroundings.
>Close readings of articles. A close reading is one in which a student is expected to identify words they do not understand and look them up, underline main ideas, and write a summary of the article.
>Daily responses to the novels we read.
>Lesson plans from group work.

33% of the student's final grade will be in response to their involvement in the course. Below are some examples of behavior considered positive participation, and how it will
be measured.
>Students are expected to participate in our large group discussions of the material studied. In order to give students feedback concerning their participation in this area, I will regularly assess students on their involvement in group discussion and give them written feedback.
>Students are expected to participate in group work. In order to assess this area of their work students will be expected to reflect on their involvement in their group, and the involvement of their peers. I will read these sheets and write my responses to their reflections.
>Students are expected to participate in the acting work we do in class. In order to assess this students will regularly reflect in their journals on how well they are participating and I will respond in writing to these thoughts.

Instruction Materials:
Books-- "Night" by Elie Wiesel
"Friedrich" by Hans Peter Richter
Various readings from the Facing History and Ourselves resource book
Various readings from "Mein Kampf," "Strange and Unexpected Love," "Frauen," and
"Survival in Auschwitz."
Various primary source materials, such as interviews with survivors of the Holocaust,or participants in the Holocaust.

>Schindler's List
>The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
>Fires in the Mirror
>Mambo Mouth
>All Quiet on the Western Front


Instructional Strategies:

Students will work together in the Drama and History course in order to understand the
history of the Holocaust and to interpret it dramatically. In the initial weeks of the class
students will work together on a variety of trust building exercises and rudimentary acting
exercises. The purpose of this is to help the students develop trust in one another and to
introduce many of the acting techniques needed later in the class. When the class has
developed an adequate amount of trust we will begin work on the historical material.
Throughout the second part of the class the time will be split between studying the
history of the Holocaust and learning acting techniques. The historical unit will begin
with World War One, progress through the 1920's to the rise of Hitler, and end with the
Holocaust itself. During the days we study history students will work in small groups to
research various topics, watch films and take notes, make class presentations, � write
essays describing their understanding of the historical material, and read novels which
detail individuals experiences of the Holocaust. In the final unit of the class students will
take all of the knowledge they have gained and create an historical drama. To do this I
will divide the students into three groups, Jewish characters, German characters, and
narrators. The characters will develop personalities consistent with the history they have
learned. The narrators will identify a narrative to the play and place characters in scenes,
which move this narrative along. Finally, the students will perform this drama for an
invited audience.