Dramatic Time Line


The students work in cooperative groups to dramatize the historical time line of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin.


  • paper pens, pencils materials for props - to be brought in by students or found at school

  • materials for making backdrops, etc.

  • costumes - to be brought from home by the students or made from odds and ends

  • Handout: Planning the Scene

  • Handout: The Script

Getting Ready:

  1. Read and duplicate "Historical Highlights of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin."

  2. Gather books and other resources from the library for the students to use as resources.

  3. Arrange a field trip to the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans or to a museum in your community.

  4. Arrange with the principal a time that is good for the class to perform the skits for the school or specific classes. Another idea is to perform the skits for your community's retirement home. The senior citizens may also be able to furnish some good stories about their memories of the lake.

  5. Be on the lookout ahead of time for likely props and costume materials.


  1. Read "Historical Highlights of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin" with the class.

  2. Divide the class into cooperative groups.

  3. Help the students assign roles in their groups. They will need script writers, directors, prop finders and makers, and set designers.

  4. Assign each group a time period in history. There are seven main time periods delineated in the text.

  5. Allow for research time, including use of the resources you brought in as well as homework time in which the students do their own information search.

  6. Take a field trip to the Louisiana Sate Museum or another museum for a fact-finding mission.

  7. Allow the groups time to organize the information gathered during the fact-finding time.

  8. Pass out Handout: Planning the Scene. Allow the students time to begin planning their scene. At the end of the class period bring the groups together to discuss their plans. Talk about how to put the individual scenes together to make a whole time line.

  9. Pass out Handout: The Script. Allow the groups time for script-writing. Collect the scripts so you can read through them and give feedback in time for the next class.

  10. Ask the students to bring their props and costumes to class.

  11. Allow class time for the students to learn their lines, rehearse their skits, and finish the props and sets. Encourage simplicity in set and prop design.

  12. Conduct a dress rehearsal; allow time for final preparations.

  13. Perform the skits.

  14. Conduct a "debriefing" session in class to allow the students to discuss their performances dramatizing the time line.

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