The panoramic photographs of Manitoba landscapes in the website banners are used with the kind permission of © Stan Milosevic.

The “landscape” images and metaphor illustrated in the website banners represent current understandings about curriculum presented in the “Guiding Principles for WNCP Curriculum Framework Projects” (Western and Northern Canadian Protocol, 2011).

New ways of thinking about curriculum involve a “shift in the images we use, away from knowledge pictured as fragmented pieces put together, one piece at a time, in a linear fashion on an assembly line, to an image of knowledge as a complex organic network organized into living fields, territories or 'landscapes'. Learning about these living fields of knowledge requires: 'learning the landscape'.”

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Glossary (Kindergarten to Grade 8)

The following terms are provided for clarification and understanding of selected terminology used in Manitoba's Kindergarten to Grade 8 drama curriculum and resources. These terms are not intended to be exhaustive. Educators are encouraged to consult the recommended drama resources for additional and alternative terminology.

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back story: A character's experience and background; information about the character that is not necessarily explicit in the story itself.

blocking: Directing the movement and positioning of actors.

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character: A fictitious person in a play.

choral reading, choral speaking: Reading of a poem or text aloud and in unison by a group, with leader direction; can include actions, a variety of tones, and individuals speaking in character.

collective creation: Theatrical work created by a group using multiple approaches, usually focusing on a big idea, theme, issue, concept, and/or experience; can use poetry, music, visuals, and a variety of dramatic forms.

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drama: An expressive art form that may borrow from theatre (e.g., understanding character, using voice expressively, using the body to express emotion or tension, creating a setting), although the goal is not performance but, rather, to deepen an understanding of a concept, big idea, theme, and/or experience.

dramatic forms: Types of theatrical expression (e.g., improvisation, readers theatre, tableau, mime, puppetry, choral reading).

dramatic play: A form of play similar to play experience, but with more teacher involvement, as with teacher in role. Playing in a dramatic play centre may be specific to themes, ideas, issues, and concepts students are exploring (e.g., pretending to be a firefighter). The teacher may invite students to organize play in relation to a current reading (e.g., "The Three Bears"). Dramatic situation a theatrical experience that can be an excerpt from a play, an improvised scene, a role play, a short work, or a complete play.

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farce: Light comedy focusing on a highly improbable situation, with exaggerated acting for humorous effect.

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improvisation: A dramatic form in which the dramatic situation is created spontaneously, without preparation; can also be used as a way of recalling a story without using a script.

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melodrama: A tragedy featuring stereotypical characters and exaggerated acting.

mime: A dramatic form in which character, action, meaning, and/or emotions are communicated through gestures, body movement, and/or facial expressions, without the use of speech or sound.

monologue: A long speech or an entire scene or play in which the actor speaks alone to himself or herself, or addresses the audience, without expecting an answer.

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out of role: Moving out of character, or having discussions out of character, to develop or further the drama.

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pantomime: A dramatic form in which an actor silently interprets the story using gestures, emotions, movement, interactions, and attitudes that often say more than the story narration.

play experience: Open-ended, pretend, imaginative play that is natural to children, with little or no teacher direction.

puppetry: A dramatic form in which the characters are objects or figurines moved by hand or by using strings, wires, and/or rods.

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radio play: A script developed for listening, using voice and sound effects to express actions and setting.

Readers Theatre: A genre of theatre read with script in hand; may use some movement and limited costumes, but attention is focused on the use of voice to bring character and action to life. Students assume speaking roles of characters and narrator to read a text as written, or they may develop their own scripts based on existing text.

role, in role: Taking on the role of another character; assuming the feelings, beliefs, thoughts, perceptions, and problems of another; exploring, interacting, and/or answering questions in the character of another.

role play: A situation in which students pretend or assume a role (e.g., playing a mother, a firefighter).

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set: An environment created to look and feel like the story being told; can use music, lighting, significant objects, chairs placed in a certain way, and so on.

shadow theatre: A dramatic form created by projecting shadows behind a screen—an object or person is placed between a light source and the screen to create a dramatic situation.

sketch, skit: Ashort play, often improvised.

stage business: Incidental actions and gestures that augment who the characters are.

staging: Directing the actors' presentation and performance of a play.

storytelling: Adramatic form that involves telling a story.

story theatre: A flexible, often improvised, approach to retelling a story dramatically; may use a variety of approaches, including narration, pantomime, dialogue, and/or voicing in third person.

student in role: A student interacting or answering questions in character.

style: A particular form, genre, or type of drama (e.g., comedy, tragedy, melodrama, Western, vaudeville, commedia dell'arte).

sustain a willing suspension of disbelief: To set aside all scepticism and temporarily accept the limits of the medium and the improbable situation and setting of the play as being realistic (e.g., for humorous ends); to pretend.

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tableau: A dramatic form in which a group of actors momentarily freeze in silence, as for a photograph, after which the scene may or may not continue. actors use facial expressions, levels, space, body movements, gestures, and character to communicate meaning or effect (e.g., theme, idea, representation of theme, important moment, message, emotion, experience).

teacher in role: The teacher interacting or answering questions in character.

tension: An element that moves the drama forward and motivates the characters' actions; can be a conflict to be settled, a challenge to be met, a mystery to be solved, and so on.

theatre: A structured, staged event involving specific skills and media (e.g., acting, scripts, stage craft), with the goal of performing for an audience.

theatrical elements: The building blocks that convey the essence of the dramatic situation (e.g., voice, gesture, dialogue, movement, posture, tension, beginning, problem, and resolution, staging, costumes, sets, blocking, sound, lighting).

traditions: Culturally specific dramatic forms and rituals passed, over time, from generation to generation.

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