Drama Lesson Plan: Elements of Drama, Character Building and Freeze Frames– Year 3/4


Summary of Lesson Plan:

In this lesson plan students will learn about some of the elements of drama (role, character and relationships; voice and movement; space and time; and language, ideas, dramatic meaning, mood and atmosphere, and symbol) through drama games, character building and freeze frames.

Australian Curriculum Links:

Year 3 and Year 4:

  • Explore ideas and narrative structures through roles and situations and use empathy in their own improvisations and devised drama (ACADRM031)
  • Use voice, body, movement and language to sustain role and relationships and create dramatic action with a sense of time and place (ACADRM032)
  • Shape and perform dramatic action using narrative structures and tension in devised and scripted drama, including exploration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander drama (ACADRM033)
  • Identify intended purposes and meaning of drama, starting with Australian drama, including drama of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, using the elements of drama to make comparisons (ACADRR034)

Lesson Plan Sequence:

Elements of Drama: Discuss elements of drama with students:

Elements of Drama:

o   Role, Character and Relationships:

  • Role and Character: Identification and portrayal of a person’s values, attitudes, intentions and actions as imagined relationships, situations and ideas in dramatic action; role focus on type and stereotype; characters are detailed and specific.
  • Relationships: The connections and interactions between people that affect the dramatic action.
  • Situation: The setting and circumstances of the dramatic action – the who, what, where, when and what is at stake of the roles/characters.

o   Voice and Movement:

  • Voice:Using voice expressively to create roles, situations, relationships, atmosphere and symbols.
  • Movement: Using facial expression, posture and action expressively in space and time to create roles, situations, relationships, atmosphere and symbols.
  • Focus: Directing and intensifying attention and framing moments of dramatic action.
  • Tension: Sense of anticipation or conflict within characters or character relationships, or problems, surprise and mystery in stories and ideas to propel dramatic action and create audience engagement.

o   Space and Time:

  • Space: The physical space of the performance and audience, fictional space of the dramatic action and the emotional space between characters.
  • Time: Fictional time in the narrative or setting; timing of one moment to the next contributing to the tension and rhythm of dramatic action.

o   Language, Ideas, Dramatic Meaning, Mood and Atmosphere, and Symbol:

  • Language, Ideas and Dramatic Meaning: The choice of linguistic expression and ideas in drama used to create dramatic action.
  • Mood and Atmosphere:The feeling or tone of both the physical space and the dramatic action created by or emerging from the performance.
  • Symbol: Associations that occur when something is used to represent something else to reinforce or extend dramatic meaning.


Round the circle: Students sit in a circle and one at a time say how they are feeling about drama. Students then stand up and one at a time says their name and does a movement. Everyone else in the circle says their name and does their chosen movement. Then it is the next persons turn.

Clumps and shapes: Explore role and character (character building), movement and time through moving around the space in certain ways. E.g. You just won the lottery, you are extremely angry, with your nose leading, with your stomach leading, lead with your knees, etc. Clump with the number of students called. In your group turn to the person next to you and discuss what you found easy/hard, what you liked.

Gallipoli trenches freeze frames: Provide groups of students with images of soldiers in trenches and Gallipoli living conditions cards. Students discuss what it would have been like to have been in Gallipoli fighting the war and create a freeze frame to show this using the information they received.

Present freeze frames to whole class and discuss why students depicted the scene that way, what information they had, how they used the space etc.

Create whole class freeze frame.

Reflection Circle: How you are feeling about drama now?, one thing you enjoyed today.


Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • Identify and discuss drama ideas.
  • Demonstrate the elements of drama.
  • Respond to drama and the elements of drama through reflection, discussion and evaluation.

Anecdotal notes and photographs will be used as evidence of student achievement.





If you like this lesson plan, or have an idea to improve it, please consider sharing it on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook or leave a comment below.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email