Other ways to use this technique:
This activity ties in so well to language (abstract terms), and social studies/history. It provides a lot of opportunity to learn about different periods of time. It could also be used after reading a portion of a book as a class, to consider what the characters might be feeling and experiencing at a particular point in time.
After we created our tableaus, we were taught about the concept of sculpting (one student takes on the role of the sculptor, and one takes on the role of the clay. The sculptor shapes the clay to reflect the idea being portrayed). In each group, a sculptor was chosen to change the tableau to reflect another word. I was the sculptor in my group. It was fascinating to me how many different ideas could come from one tableau, and our group’s creativity really came out during this activity. We chose to sculpt our tableau from loss to victory. This was a great way to build teamwork and non-verbal communication (as we were not allowed to speak throughout our sculpting experience).
Accommodation/Special Needs Consideration: This activity would work really well for a student who feels uncomfortable speaking, or who has Selective Mutism. If this student were the sculptor, it would be empowering for this student to be able to communicate without words and have their peers tuned into their ideas. It would also be an eye-opening activity if this student were the clay. In this case, their peers would get a glimpse of how difficult it is for the student to communicate without words, and this could grow understanding and a culture of stronger communication in this classroom on a regular basis.
For someone with a physical disability, they could be the sculptor and could sculpt by verbally asking the “clay” to take a certain position, as opposed to moving them physically. In this case, I would ask all of the sculptors to verbally sculpt in order to make that student feel as comfortable as possible.
In general, this technique is useful for students to experience many feelings, from triumph to defeat, from sadness to excitement, from fear to confidence, and so on depending on the context of the lesson.
This is also a great assessment opportunity for teachers to be able to listen in on what students are saying to decipher if they understand the role they are taking in the corridor and if their words reflect the event/time/experience being re-created.
The Corridor of Voices is effective for students who are nervous about performing in front of their peers. This activity has the whole class participating at the same time, which goes a long way to making students feel comfortable with participating. It also allows these students to follow the lead of more confident students and learn from them. This activity provides a safe space for students to create a corridor with words that they think would be associated with the role they are taking, and learn from the words others are using.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Teachers should be sure to walk back and forth outside the corridor, and even through the corridor to ensure that what students are saying is appropriate and fitting for the activity/theme.
My experience in the corridor was not what I expected it to be. I forgot for a second that I was even in drama class. The space created by students standing on either side of me and the sound of voices around me made the experience so authentic. It felt real, and helped me to take on the perspective of those in the war in a much more realistic way, as opposed to just imagining how they would have felt. This is evidence that Dwyer’s theory (experiencing and teaching are strong ways to learn and remember a lesson learned) is something to use and consider in my own classroom.
These Remembrance Day activities are rich experiences for students to develop the curriculum Elements of Drama of role/character, as they take on the perspectives of soldiers and their families. They would also develop skills in establishing the time/place of their scene and creating tension to show the seriousness of the events of the war and display the emphasis and themes of Remembrance Day.