Otto von Bismarck and Napoleon III in a Drama exercise


Shared by M. Isabel Gejo-Santos

Drama exercise: What are they doing?

Level: 4th ESO (group of 10 students)

Language focus: Inventing, guessing, and talking about an assumed persona.

Key structures:
Perhaps the aged man is his opponent; I think they are talking about a battle. They are frowning because they have just quarreled.

Aim: To help learners to interpret the roles of people in paintings and understand better complex historical events.

You will need a reproduction of a specific painting: Otto von Bismarck and Napoleon III after the Battle of Sedan in 1870. Author: Wilhelm Camphausen. Date: 1878. (shown above)

In class:

1.Ask the students to form small groups (3 or 4 people)

2.Give each group a reproduction of the painting. Tell each group that they should study their picture and decide on their mood. Encourage them to be creative and to invent a logical background information (10 minutes for this phase).

3.Explain that each group will reproduce the tableau. They may also exaggerate the poses suggested by the painting (10 minutes)

4.Ask each group to pose in turn for the rest of the class.
Strategies: teamwork, collaboration, positive classroom, improvising drama idea to understand a complex historical fact (historical roots to understand the beginning of WWI)