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A drama by Chris Walsh and Evelyn Mann (October 2001)Based on the book Holes by Louis Sachar

Achievement Objectives – Level 4

  • Developing Practical Knowledge in Drama (PK) – combine elements, techniques and a range of conventions to extend drama practice through a variety of activities.
  • Developing Ideas in Drama (DI) – initiate ideas, and make individual and collective decisions in order to plan and develop drama.
  • Communicating and Interpreting in Drama (CI) – present and respond to drama, and identify ways in which dramatic elements, techniques, and conventions combine to create meaning.

Possible learning outcomes

  1. Collectively make, and justify, choices in the positioning of people and objects in a performance space, with the aim of focussing audience attention = PK, DI, CI. Discuss, practice and explore options available in the use of space that lead to an informed decision about, for example:
    • levels,
    • position,
    • proximity to others,
    • grouping,
    • spacing.
  2. Discuss the purpose of each convention in the drama = PK, DI, CI.
    1. Describe the strengths of each convention as it was used in the drama, making links to the unwrapping of the human dimension. For example:
      • Spoken thoughts – this convention allows us to know what characters are thinking in a specific situation;
      • Negotiated text – this convention allows us to explore work with voice and to interpret text.
    2. List the sequence of conventions used, and identify how they build on one another
  3. Identify the strengths of a drama work, and describe why each is a strength, with reference to elements, techniques and conventions = PK, CI.Identify pleasing features, and explain why they are pleasing, using drama language.


  • Holes by Louis Saachar. Bloomsbury Publishing (London, 1998). ISBN 0 7475 4847 1(Note: The teacher will need to have read the story to bring reality to the role of Mr Sir. It is not necessary for the students to have read the book, but the drama provides the motivation to do so.)
  • Lesson plan

    This lesson plan is also available in PDF (PDF 103 KB)

  • letter received recently (PDF 56 KB)

  • Message
  • Paper and pens for writing exercise.
  • Basic furniture for court scenes.


The human dimension: What are the consequences of experiencing unjust and difficult circumstances?Theme learning area: Because life often doesn’t go the way we want it to, we need to develop strategies and processes to cope.Context: Someone is suffering the consequences for something they didn’t do.Student blanket role: Committee of Advocacy for Youth Justice.Teacher roles:1. Messenger from the Office of the Attorney General;2. Mr Sir, guard at the detention center, responsible to the Warden.

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