Fearsome Fizmo

play by Philippa Werry , illustrated by Michel Streich

Learning intention:

I am learning to experiment with voice effects such as tone, volume, pitch and pace.

Success criteria:

  • I can identify emotions characters’ may be feeling.
  • I can use tone, volume, pitch and pace to perform the emotion I have noted on my script.
  • I can provide feedback to my peers on their performance, based on their tone, volume, pitch and pace.

Display the line,

‘This is the most unusual day ever’.

Discuss the different ways this line could be said (excited, scared, morose). Model examples before placing students with a partner and instructing them and experiment with saying the line in different ways. Tell them to use expression to communicate the desired emotion. For example, model saying the line using a high pitched voice and a fast pace to communicate expression, or using a jittery voice and using a slow pace to show fear.

Tell students that they will be using tone, volume, pitch and pace to add emotion to a script. Read the first page of Fearsome Fizmo, found on page 29 and display a copy of the page for students to view.

Focus students’ attention on the following line:

Quieten down, you revolting rabble. Listen to the Captain!

Discuss what emotion the 1st Mate might be feeling as they say that line (frustrated, authoritative). Experiment with communicating this feeling using tone, volume, pitch and pace. For example, speak quickly, though gritted teeth, to show frustration.

Provide students with copies of the script. Model noting the chosen emotion on the script, by placing a word, such as ‘frustrated’ in the margin next to the line in the play.

Repeat this process with the next line,

We’ve got an hour in this crummy little port before we set sail again for the seven seas.

Discuss how the Captain might be feeling as they say this line (excited, rushed, harassed). Instruct students to select one of the emotions discussed for how the captain might be feeling before using their tone, volume, pitch and pace to communicate this emotion. For example, talking in a high pitched voice, rushing over words for excited, or in a clipped, fast-paced tone for rushed. Instruct students to note their chosen emotion in the margin of their script.

Working with the same partners as previously, instruct students to repeat this process with the remainder of the script on page 29. Inform students that both members of the pair will need to mark the emotions on their own copies of the script.

Once students have had time to mark up at least one page of the script, instruct them to rehearse one page with their partner. Inform students that they will need to take on a number of characters to read each line of the page they are focusing on.

Remind students that the Learning Intention here is using their tone, volume, pitch and pace to communicate the emotions’ they identified in their scripts.

After students have rehearsed their section of the script, match each of the pairs with another. Instruct one students from each pair to swap scripts with the other pair, while one person from each group retains their own script.

Instruct the students to perform the section they have rehearsed to the other pair. While one pair perform, instruct the other to follow along with the script the pair provided them with, checking the emotions the pair identified on their script. Once the first pair has had a chance to perform, instruct their peer group to share feedback on how the performance matched the emotions noted on the script. Remind students to comment on the tone, volume, pitch and pace the performing pair used.

Once feedback has been provided, instruct the other group to take a turn performing. Again instruct the other group to follow the script provided by their peers to check the intended emotions before providing feedback on how well the performance matched the emotions noted on the script.