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Writers:Chris Walsh & Evelyn Mann

This drama can be used as a generic model to explore script. It shows development of role through an understanding of subtext, and the management of people and props in the space to support the narrative in preparation for performance.
This format can be used across levels by changing the source.

Key Question: What are the processes and understandings that underlie strong believable performance?

Key Understandings:

  • Performance is successful when role has been firmly established.
  • Most scripts are reliant on interpretation of subtext for full meaning.
  • Meaning is more strongly communicated when drama techniques and technologies are used effectively.

The following are the Key Question and Understandings for the context for Sauce for the Gander.

Key Question: How do people decide how to respond to situation?

Key Understandings:

  • Sometimes people carry out antisocial or illegal behaviours because of extreme need.
  • Sometimes we label people according to stereotype.
  • Fear sometimes causes us to make assumptions about other people.
  • There are ways of dealing with situations that avoid confrontation.

Connected Curriculum Areas: Health and Physical Education, English. Key Competencies - Managing Self, Relating to Others, and Thinking.

Possible Learning Intentions and indicators are offered for this drama. We acknowledge that there are many other possible learning intentions and that you might prefer to write your own in response to the needs of your students. The learning intentions offered are examples to choose from and to guide teachers new to drama in writing learning intentions. There is a variety of ways for collecting evidence to support learning.

Level Four

Possible Drama Learning Intentions:
Students will be able to

  • Explore role through revealing possible subtext. PK DI CI UC
  • Use a variety of conventions to develop a role with a believable past and predictable future. PK DI CI
  • Work with people and objects within space to create meaning to support text. PK DI CI UC

Develop Indicators with the students for Learning Intentions. Here is an example of indicators, which can be used to focus assessment, for the learning intention: Work with people and objects within space to create meaning to support text. PK DI CI UC
Indicators: Students can

  • Work convincingly in role.
  • Prepare, trial and refine drama work to ensure meaning is clear.
  • Refine drama work by exploring a variety of ways of organizing people and objects within the space to make meaning.
Drama Resources available in New Zealand Schools

It is important that you refer to these resources to support the content in these plans.

  • Ministry of Education. 2001. Drama in the Classroom. Wellington: Learning Media. (Book and Video)
  • Ministry of Education. 2007. Drama Posters, 2007. Wellington: Learning Media,
  • Ministry of Education. 2006. Playing Our Stories. Wellington: Learning Media. (Book and DVD)
  • Ministry of Education. 2004. Telling Our Stories, Wellington: Learning Media. (Book and Video)
  • Ministry of Education. 2003. The New Zealand Curriculum Exemplars - The Arts. Wellington: Learning Media and the Learning Centre Trust of New Zealand.
Resources applicable to this drama:
  • One copy of Sauce for the Gander per student. This is a play printed in the School Journal, Part 4, Number 2, 1992 published by Learning Media for the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.
Learning Experiences Teaching Notes

Forming Links to Our Own Lives
Developing Role

  • Read the text together.
  • Discuss responses to the play. Brainstorm and record words that represent the play in some way. Discuss what the title means. In small groups discuss and record what you think the key understandings are.


This activity establishes shared key understandings from the play script that influence the interpretation that follows.When reading the script together as a class read the script each student taking a turn as each different character speaks. This provides opportunity for everyone to read, everyone to try a character or more than one, and encourages strong focus to follow the narrative without attaching a particular person to a character.

Motivating the Work and Setting the Context
Developing RoleIn small groups allocate each group a main character from the play.

  • Read through the text and write down everything that you find out about your character.
  • Write down everything that other characters say or think about you.
  • Write down what your character thinks or feels about other characters at different times in the text.

Hot Seat: Each group is hot seated as the class asks them about their character to explore the roles further. Ensure questioning guides the establishment of a past and a future.Create a Role on the Wall for your character.

These activities support students as they discover the roles within the play and the relationships they have with one another.This hot seating supports the group in developing a shared sense of the past and a shared sense of future for the character.

Developing the Narrative
In small groups map the tension spots through the script.

Conscience Alley: with each of the main characters in the story at the point of climax.

  • In the groups create a Freeze Frame depicting the point of climax in the story.
  • Now create 2 other images that either lead to or surround the climax image.
  • Each group shares their three images adding Spoken Thoughts to the climax image.

Students return to their Role on the Wall and add further information in another colour.

Discuss with the students the 'shape' of the play relating it to a story plot.What is this really about?Have we discovered anything new about the characters or the story?

Interpreting the Subtext

Discuss what subtext is, relating it to Spoken Thoughts.In small groups, select four lines of dialogue from the play involving two or more characters.Read, and then discuss the possibilities of subtext.Try out different ways by playing the lines speaking the dialogue, then the subtext you want to explore as an aside e.g. Dialogue "Bread's cheaper than those things."Subtext "So, why take that?" "I don't buy these."Subtext "Oh, I hope she doesn't find out I nicked them." (P33)People and props in space: Having established how you want to say the lines now consider where the exchange takes place. Sitting/standing, moving/still, facing one another/or not, distance varying between you.

As the students work to prepare their pieces of work they should aim to build tension within the piece appropriate to the situation and the place in the story.Encourage students to try several variations before deciding which they think is the strongest .

Concluding the drama

  • Organise the pieces that have been worked on in pairs in chronological sequence as they occur in the play (it doesn't matter if there are more than one piece that is same.
  • Perform each piece one after the other to get a sense of the whole.

Return to the Role On The Wall and make final entries in a third colour.

Do you feel you identified with the role you played? What feelings did you experience? Have you discovered anything new about ways to develop a role?Which activities helped you to develop your role? How and/or Why?

Reflecting on the issues:

Marking The Moment: working in small groups discuss significant moments in this story.

Choose one of these moments and depict in frozen image with a caption.

Share the significant moments.Closing discussion.

What did you learn about people from the work in this drama? Is there anything you want to ask about the work?

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