Summary: Students act out a story about bullying using their bodies instead of words.
Target grades: 4th and above
Minimum time needed: 40 minutes
Connections to Bullying: Understanding how choices affect other people; exploring the role bystanders can play in preventing bullying.
A tableau is a frozen picture. Tableaux are a great building block for creating a scene.
- As a class, decide on a story about bullying. Identify the characters involved.
- Divide the story into four or five parts (beginning, middle, climax, end). In each part, a choice is made that leads to the next action.
- Divide the class into smalls groups (3 or 4 students/group works best). Each group is assigned a part of the story. Working on their own, each group will create a tableau (frozen picture) to illustrate their part of the story. Option: Each group can create 2 or 3 tableaux to illustrate their part of the story.
- Have each group perform their tableau, in order so the entire story is told.
- As a class, discuss the choices the characters in the story made. What could they have done differently?
- Have the groups re-do their tableau showing these different choices. The goal is to make this a story about how bullying was stopped or avoided altogether.
Tableau can be used in combination with other exercises such as Appreciative Inquiry and Photovoice.
For older students, have each group tell their own story. Dialogue and simple movement can be added to each tableau to animate it.