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Written by Administrator Gordon Hensley   
Friday, 05 February 2010 03:05


What is Pantomime?

Pantomime is basically acting without words and communicating with your body. Mimes (those performing pantomime) do not speak with their mouths, but express life through movement and through using their bodies to suggest their environment. Acting like you are trapped in an invisible box is an example of pantomime, or mime. There are two main types of pantomime: narrative and plot/story-based. Narrative pantomime utilizes a storyteller or narrator as one acts out the action of the narrative. Plot/story-based pantomime is a story that unfolds or progresses on its own, with the audience seeing the story rather than hearing it.

Why should my students use Pantomime?

Students benefit from pantomime in many ways. Learning to be silent is one of them! Pantomime utilizes precise economic movement. From practicing, students gain communication skills, self control, build listening skills, practice focus, learn economy of movement, and create and understand plot lines and situations. This is a great tool for visual learners!

Where does Pantomime fit into my curriculum?

Everywhere! Many areas are addressed by pantomime including physical education, communication, and math (calculating and projecting the size and weight of imaginary objects).
- history
- literature
- moral issues
- physical education
* activity
* body coordination
* control of body
* communication

How do I start?

Begin by introducing your students to movement and body language. As with any creative drama activity, it is best to start playing in brief segments where everyone is participating simultaneously, then move toward individual playing and spotlighting. Start by acting out stories that are narrated, then moving on to improvisational situations using no voices.

What does Pantomime look like in a lesson plan?

Type out narrative pantomime (optional) Insert "students participate by pantomiming…"
OR specify scenes, plot lines, or objectives that students must communicate in a pantomime without using words.

Using Pantomime in a lesson may look something like this:

As I read this narration aloud, remember that pantomime means no voices. Use your body to show how you feel, and what you are thinking. You may move around the room, keeping your hands to yourself. Everyone lay down, take ina deep breath, turn off your voices, and listen.

You lie motionless on the ground. You are cold, hard, dusty, ancient. You're pebbled with flecks of mica. You're a rock on a mountainside, and you've experienced all there is to experience, you've felt every element on your strong, solid back. The ground beneath you is cool and uneven. Jagged rocks poke into you. The sun is hot overhead, the sky cloudless. The sun bakes your surface, heating you, warming you to temperatures too hot to touch. (and on.........)

What educational standards are met by Pantomime?

National Theatre Standard and Benchmarks
Understands how informal and formal theatre, film,
television, and electronic media productions create and
communicate meaning
Level 2 (Grade K-4)
Understands the visual, aural, oral, and kinetic elements
of dramatic performances
Understands how the wants and needs of characters
are similar to and different from one's own wants and
Provides rationales for personal preferences about the
whole as well as the parts of dramatic performances
Knows how alternative ideas can be used to enhance
character roles, environments, and situations
Knows appropriate terminology used in analyzing
dramatizations (e.g., intent, structure, effectiveness,
Identifies people, events, time, and place in classroom
Level 3 (Grade 5-8)
Understands the effect of publicity, study guides,
programs, and physical environments on audience
response and appreciation of dramatic performances
Articulates the meanings constructed from one's own
and others' dramatic performances
Understands the perceived effectiveness of artistic
choices found in dramatic performances
Understands the perceived effectiveness of
contributions (e.g., as playwrights, actors, designers,
directors) to the collaborative process of developing
improvised and scripted scenes
Applies research from print and nonprint sources to
script writing, acting, design, and directing choices
Level 4 (Grade 9-12)
Knows how social meanings (aural, oral, and visual
symbols with personal and/or social significance)
communicated in informal productions, formal
productions, and personal performances of different
cultures and historical periods can relate to current
personal, national, and international issues 
Articulates and justifies personal aesthetic criteria for
comparing perceived artistic intent with the final
aesthetic achievement
Understands how the context in which a dramatic
performance is set can enhance or hinder its
Knows how varying collaborative efforts and artistic
choices can affect the performance of informal and
formal productions
Identifies and researches cultural, historical, and
symbolic clues in dramatic texts
Understands the validity and practicality of cultural,
historical, and symbolic information used in making
artistic choices for informal and formal productions
from <http://www.mcrel.org/>
Last Updated on Friday, 05 February 2010 22:18

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