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In order to invent or interpret short scenes and to appreciate dramatic works, students must acquire a certain amount of knowledge related to the language of drama, performance techniques, styles of theatre and elements of drama. Presented schematically in the program as essential knowledges, this learning is addressed here in order to facilitate teachers’ planning. It is presented in four tables. The first table covers knowledge that students should have acquired by the end of each cycle. The other three tables illustrate, by means of observable actions, how this knowledge is mobilized in the exercise of each of the three competencies developed in the program. Related to the key features of the competencies, the action verbs used in each statement show the progression of learning from one cycle to the next. Teachers will be better equipped to ensure students’ competency development if they include in their planning simple or complex tasks aimed at the acquisition and application of different items of knowledge in a given context.

Since competency development and acquisition of the knowledge underlying the competency are closely related, the particulars contained in this document should enable teachers to help students acquire the tools they need to develop each of the program’s competencies and to discover their artistic sensitivity and their creative potential.

Throughout elementary school, students in the Drama program become familiar with the creative process by using various elements of knowledge to invent their own short scenes. They also use this knowledge to interpret the meaning of a story, which adds to their cultural experience. Lastly, they learn to express themselves using the appropriate subject-specific vocabulary and acquire the skills they need to exercise critical judgment when appreciating dramatic works, personal productions and those of classmates.

The elementary-level Arts Education programs were designed to ensure the progression of learning in each subject area from the first to the sixth years. However, since continuity is required only for one of the two arts subjects,1 the second subject may not be offered continuously throughout elementary school. In such a case, it is important to provide students with as complete an arts education as possible, taking their abilities into account. For example, if the drama course is offered in one cycle only, teachers should make an effort to help students acquire not only the knowledge associated with that cycle, but any other knowledge deemed essential. This knowledge appears as statements in bold type.

In short, by progressively acquiring the knowledge outlined in this document, students will develop the competencies presented in the Drama program. The tables will allow teachers to provide students with the conditions necessary for competency development at the elementary level.

1.  The Basic school regulation for preschool, elementary and secondary education stipulates that two of the four arts subjects (Drama, Visual Arts, Dance and Music) are compulsory at the elementary level. According to these obligations, one of the two subjects taught in Cycles Two and Three must be the same as one of those taught in Cycle One.