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Hello and welcome to Drama.

This is using drama conventions to explore contemporary issues.

This is lesson one out of six.

A person and a tree, part one.

My name is Mr. Wood, and I'm going to be your teacher for this unit.

For today's lesson, you're going to need a pen and paper, and plenty of space.

You can pause the video now to get those things and then click resume when you're ready to move on.

So in today's lesson, you started with your intro quiz.

Well done.


We're going to move on with meeting the character.

We'll then continue with meeting the tree.

Before we move on to understanding the challenge, that's posed to our character and the tree.

Before we finished with today's lesson, you need to take part in your exit quiz.

Okay? So that's how our lesson is going to start.

New keywords for today's lesson are character, that is a person with qualities distinctive to them.

Role on the wall.

And that is a drama strategy used to add depth to a character.


That is a situation that tests someone's abilities.

And visualisation.

That is also a drama strategy, that allows you to imagine the details of something.

So that could be a place.

That could be a particular scenario.

It could be an item, an object, okay? There are many different things that we can visualise.

So now we need to meet the character.

The person this is all about.

This is Alex.

Alex is 13 years old.

They love nature.

They have a family and they really enjoy being outside.

To them, life is brilliant.

There's nothing that they can fault about their life.

They are very content.

Now, we need to stop building this character of Alex.

I'd like you to understand by the end of this lesson, who they are and how they operate.

Okay? So the things that they do on a daily basis and you can be able to make decisions as Alex, toward the end of this lesson.

So to start with, we're going to look at our Role on the Wall, in the hope of building our character.

So, there is an outline of a body on the screen.

You need to draw this out, okay? This will take shape of Alex.

Inside the character, all of the internal aspects to them.

So the thoughts, and the feelings, the character traits.

Things that make them who they are.

And on the outside, we have things like interests, external factors essentially, things that make them who they are, but from from the outside world.

So it could be family, it could be friends, hobbies, likes, dislikes, and you can see from the current Role on the Wall, in my my own interpretation, that Alex likes playing guitar.

They like listening to the birds outside.

They dislike speeding cars near the park and they are an only child.


So you can see from this example, how it will start building our perception of who Alex is.

Now you're going to have a go at this.

Part one of your Role on the Wall is to create the outside, okay? to create the external factors.

And this is all about your decision.


So you can decide the background of Alex.


To make it external, You need to think about the following things: Family.

Who are they? Do they have any?, Who are their friends? Again, do they have any?, What might their names be? How close are they? Their appearance? Are they tall? Are they short? Do they have long hair? Possibly.

Their likes, their dislikes, their hobbies.


All of these will culminate nicely, so that you understand who Alex is.

So to do this task, you need to pause the video, give it your best go using the pen and paper.

Keep it as neat as you possibly can.

And then click resume when you're ready to move on.

Sorry? Yeah.

Yeah, I'm paying attention.





My name is Alex.

I'm 13.

Ah, likes? I like outside.

I like outside.


It's it's fun.

It's clean and it's light and airy and fun.

I do running.

I've been running before I do.

I do that out in the park.

Just down there.

It's my favourite park.


It's got trees.

It's got a big tree.

It's got bushes.

There are occasionally dogs there and dogs are cool.

I like dogs.

Cats are cool.

But I like dogs.

It's just how it is.



I saw a bunny there once.

That was fun.

It didn't stay long.

It run away.

I don't, I don't know why.

I wasn't that hurt it, obviously.

But yeah, that was fun.

Um, I play guitar.

I'm not very good at it, but I play it.

Sometimes I think my parents listen to it.


I don't want to.

If you see what I'm saying there, clearly isn't that good? I like swimming.

Swimming's fun.

It's a bit cold in the pool but then you kind of get used to it.

It's always freezing cold when you go in.

But then when you get out, it's like, warm.

Which is really fun.

And then you get back in again.

If you've been stood out for a minute and it's like freezing water again, which is really odd.

It doesn't stop me going there.

And I like food.

Food is really, really important because they say you need food to live.


I live well because I like all kinds of food.

If you had food right now, I'd eat it.

Have you got any food? Please? Okay.

Now we can move on to Meeting the tree.

As I feel like we have a basic understanding of who Alex might be.

And the beauty of it is we all have a different perception of the character, Alex.


All stems from our own imagination.

Let's broaden our understanding and our imagination of what this tree is and what it means to Alex.

So this is the tree.

Have a look at the image there.

Alex sits at the base of this tree every day to talk.


They sit down and they speak to this tree.

They air their concerns.

Okay? So it's a way of having a sounding board.

Someone who will listen.

And that doesn't need to be in the form of a person.

It can be something.

The tree has been there for many years, long before Alex and the tree for some reason is incredibly special and sentimental to Alex.

I wonder what those reasons are.

Why is this tree so special to Alex? I wonder if you've got any ideas, initially.

How could this tree be important to Alex? We're now going to start visualising this tree.

What it means through Alex's eyes, okay.

So right now I need you to close your eyes.

We're going to do this next activity through our mind, okay.

Through our imagination and creativity.

So close your eyes.

Think about what you can see.

Can you see the blue sky above us? There are one, two, three clouds in a perfectly blue sky.

You can kind of see the sun but it is behind one of the clouds.

Nonetheless, it's a beautiful day.

Can you see down at your feet, the very green grass.

You stood on a patch which is slightly higher than the rest.

And it seems a different shade to the green that's around you.

The green directly beneath you is almost the greenest grass in the entire park.

Take a step forward.

Turn around and look back.

What do you see behind you? Hills? More trees? Did they go as far as the eye can see? Does it blend into a mixture of trees and hills? Turn back to face forwards.

And we're going to start directly out this tree now.

Do you see how the trunk supports the bulk of the trees white? Must be strong.

Think about all that bark in casing the strength of the wood within.

We're going to imagine that we're up against the tree now.

Take out your hand, either your left or right hand, and place it on the bark of the tree.

Touch it.

Can you feel that? It's coarse and rough, and almost indestructible.

Try to pull a piece of that bark off.

You can't do it.

Can you? Because the tree is so strong, it's teeming with life.

Nothing could bring this tree down, in your opinion.

Not the harshest storm, not the strongest winds.

This tree has been around for countless years.

It's probably going to be around for countless to come.

Did you hear that? That sounded like.

Because that.

must've been birds.

Can you figure out which birds it might be? Are they sparrows? Was it? It sounds like a magpie.


What do you think that sound is? Can you smell that? Take a deep breath in, through your nose.

What can you smell? It's a mixture of, of grass and gorse.

That's the shrub of bush that's got yellow flowers on.

It's quite prickly to touch and it has a very distinct smell.

Smell it again.

It's in the air.

It's quite strong, but it's also pleasant.

It's not an offensive smell.

I could walk through this park.

In fact, I could walk anywhere with my eyes closed and I'd know if I was in this park.

And finally, do you taste that? That.

sensation in the mouth of crisp air? It's almost like late afternoon on a summer's day.

Where the air is just starting to lose its heat.

And what you're left with is this crisp, fresh, happiness.

of a good day.


You can open your eyes now.

It's clear to tell that Alex cares about the environment around him.

We noticed from the monologue and from that visualisation activity that there's care and there's attention to detail.

We, as young theatre makers, need to understand what the tree means to Alex.

I hinted this before, it's obviously important.


What are those possible reasons for the tree being so important? Can you now come up with one yourself? Now that you have one idea, pause the video and see how many you can come up with.


We've got some potential ideas on the screen, where that dog's ashes were scattered, because they loved the park.

They took the dog for a walk there every day.

Is it because the tree listens to Alex's problems and issues and challenges, but never comments, never criticises.

Of course, we might not expect the tree to talk, but to Alex, the tree listens, and it might be a way of solving, coming up with creative solutions to the challenge.

The place where Alex's parents first met.

It could be a very positive scenario.

Maybe he was taken there regularly when he was young.


Keep that information for you, which I'd like you to write down on your paper, is that the tree is located at the base of Rye Hill.


Jot that down for me.

And like I say you can pause the video, to have a low go, adding in your own ideas as to how this tree is important to Alex.

Sorry, why this tree is so important to Alex.

Now for the final stage of your Role on the Wall, I would like you to add any extra information that you can think about.

It needs to be stuff about Alex and you could even add in stuff about the tree itself now.

What does it mean to Alex? Any of the details that could be important to the building of the character and our own understanding.

What it means to be able to show that character, okay.

Pause the video to complete this part of the task.

And then we will move on, click on resume when you are ready.

So now there is a challenge.

We, as young theatre makers need to understand the challenge to be able to come up with creative solutions.

Now, in my own perspective, a challenge is something that tests your abilities is not a problem.

I think if we were looking at a situation from a negative perspective, we might categorise it as something that's a problem.

However, if you state it as a challenge, that would suggest that there is a solution, there is a creative way of getting around it because the challenge is that to test you.

A problem may not have a solution.

Okay? So just bear in mind how we're viewing this work from now on.

Okay? There are no limitations to how we solve these issues.

There is not an end goal of "No", or that can't happen.


There are always creative solutions to challenges.


Would you like to buy premium property? Are you interested in luxurious housing? Well, you've come to the right place because a new development is about to occur at the base of Rye Hill.

We are going to be creating between two, three, four and five bedroom homes for the modern family.

These homes are going to be filled teeming with life and happiness.

What more could you want from a family home? I suggest you go to our website and find our brochure on the new luxurious houses, due to be developed this current year at the base of Rye Hill.

See you there.

So here lies the challenge.

The scenario is the significant tree is due to be removed as the land it grows on is being developed into houses.

The tree is going to be cut down and it will be turned most likely into chippings.

Alex will not be able to sit at the base of this tree to talk ever again.

They'll become someone's house or at least someone's house will be built on where the tree was.

What do you think Alex should do? There are four options on the screen.

Number one is Nothing.

Because he can't do anything.

So that's his option, or it could be, Speak to parents or carers to see what they could do.

Talk to them instead, take those concerns instead of wait in the tree, to his parents.

Another option is, write a letter or speak to the local MP.

Option four, your own creative option.

What do you think Alex should do? And this puts you in the driving seat here.

Gives you potential to give your own spin to this story and give it a real trajectory.

A real focus on where you might take this story now.

So pick one of those options for me.

If it's option four, make sure you've got that option.

So now what I would like you to do is think about an internal monologue.

Okay? So an internal monologue being the thoughts and feelings inside the body.

Okay? So as Alex, I want you to consider what you are going to do.

Speak your conflicting thoughts out loud, okay? Merge thought and feeling together and talk us through as an audience, your step-by-step thoughts of the brain.

Okay? It's more than just a thought track.

It's is more elongated.

It's a lot more developed and you can speak in full sentences, and flip back and forth between them as in when they pop into your head.

You need to weigh up the options in this moment, in this scenario, before coming to a decision.

So let's hear some tension in your voice.

Let's play around with clarity and with volume, and let's discuss what our options are, and which when you think you might go for.

Okay? Pause the video to complete this task and then click resume when you're ready to move on.

We've got a bit of a curve ball here.

Alex is faced with a choice.

They're thinking about skipping school, to go and sit down at the base of the tree as part of a peaceful protest.

Alex hopes to be able to talk to the workers and convince them that they shouldn't be chopping it down.

Do we think this is a good decision or a bad one? Three seconds to decide, good or bad? No.

I'm not going to go to school and sit there and do algebra Or sentence structures while they're chopping down my tree.

No, I'm not having it.

No, I'm going to go.

I'm going to chain myself to the tree.

I'll find a chain and I will chain myself to the tree.

They're not taking my tree away from me.

I'm not going to let it happen.

It doesn't matter what happens at school.

I'm just, I'm not going.

I'll tell them I'm ill.

What they're going to do? I'm going to the tree and I'm going to save it.

I can't skip school.

I've got to go to school.

I'll go to the tree after.

I'll go to the tree before school and after school.

What if they chop it down in between.

But I can't skip school.

People we'll know though.

Let's discuss what the outcomes of these choices are.

You can use your pen and paper for this, and jot it down as ideas as we talk.

What are the outcomes of skipping school? What's going to happen to Alex, if he does? Tutor got to get involved? Subject teachers? Might his friends write him out? Is he going to get in trouble with parents or carers? Does he have a sibling at the school? If you have decided to add that into your Role on the Wall.

I said he was an only child but if you added that detail in, are they going to say anything to his teachers or parents? Has he already been warned against dipping, skipping school? Is it going to go up to his head of house or head of the year? Does the head teacher get involved? What are the possible outcomes? Could it lead to something that's less than peaceful? Not they get into trouble, but they start a fight, or the police are going to get called.


So we've got a few different options there.

What about going to school? What are the outcomes of that? Continuing education which would therefore mean that if he skipped school, is he losing out on key education? It could be the one day that he misses, how to do let's say internal monologues in drama.

And he loses out on that.

Whereas if he goes to school he gets that knowledge and that education that another child in a different country might not get.


So the value of education.

What of outcomes are there for going to school? Does it teach them anything about how to regulate their emotions, or how to deal with pain, to deal with sadness or bad news? How to process information.

The loss of the tree.

Or is if the tree is then chopped down as an outcome, Is there an emotional range at that point when shock is gone? What's left? Anger, sadness, frustration.

This is up to you to decide.


So I want you to jot down a couple of ideas for both skipping school and going to school.

What are the outcomes? There are plenty there.

Now we move on.

I would like you to rewind and improvise.

In the role of Alex, improvise the moment leading up to the decision that they make.

What might you be thinking? What would the body be doing when you think like that? For example, is it going to look relaxed? Is it going to look tense? Is it going to look uneasy or unsettling? Body language, and facial expressions too.

Are they pained? Are they tense? Are you in turmoil? Can you not decide you to what to do? Do they become more clear or more relaxed or even open as you decide? Okay, this is all up to you.

And it depends what you want your character of Alex to be able to go with in terms of the outcome.

So make it your own.


Be creative.

Pause the video to complete this task and then click resume when you're ready to move on.

Now, let's imagine a brand new scenario.

You as Alex have been offered time on the news.

The news team want you to talk about the tree.

What it means to you? Why you want to save it? What is it about that tree that makes it so special? Okay.

Be prepared to talk about that on the news.

If you were addressing the nation, what would you say? You're going to need your pen and paper for that bit.

And then once you've got a few ideas written down, how would you say it? That, you're going to need your physical and vocal skills? Okay.

A bit like what we worked on in the previous task but now they can afford to become developed.


You can start working on how you use those to convey meaning.

So you are going to have a slot on the news.

It's your chance to save your tree by getting your voice heard.

Consider your tone of voice when you speak.

This will help you communicate your character's intentions.

You need pause the video to be able to complete this task and then click resume when you're ready to move on.

Okay, well done.

I hope you had some freedom with that activity to be able to get creative and improvise.

Now, we've come to the part of the lesson, as we always do.

We're at the end.

Now, let's summarise what we've done this lesson, and we'll talk about where we move forward from now.

We've met Alex and we've met the tree, and therefore we've understood and created the importance of the tree as well.

We understood the challenge and we recognise a challenge is different to a problem because there's always a creative solution to a challenge.

We developed the character of Alex through Role on the Wall, visualisation, internal monologue and improvisation.


And you've worked really hard today to take on both those concepts and then to develop them in practise.


So massive well done.

Give yourself a pat on the back.

If you would like to share your work with us today, because you've done something that you're particularly proud of.

Well done.

You can do that.

Just make sure that you ask your parents or carer to share the work on Twitter first.

They can tag us using @OakNational and #LearnwithOak.

Until our next lesson, which is, A person and a tree part two.

Take care and I look forward to seeing you there for more work in drama.

Take care.

Bye bye.