SecondaryThe Arts

Movement in drama – Portraying different characters KS3 lesson

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PDF lesson plan

Key Stage



Years 7-9


Develop your pupils’ skills at portraying different characters with this movement in drama KS3 lesson, devised by drama staff at Clacton Coastal Academy. It draws on the ‘Italian Commedia Dell’Arte’ form of theatre.

The lesson will develop students’ knowledge, skills and understanding of movement within characterisation.

After studying basic improvisational and mime skills, young people will learn that drama and acting are about much more than the soap operas and Netflix that they are glued to each evening.

With the freedom to experiment, the students can make direct links to the importance of Italian theatre and its influences on modern-day entertainment. This is a fun and playful lesson, which encourages high levels of student engagement and doesn’t inhibit ability.

Movement in drama starter activity

Stand in a circle and use over-exaggerated techniques to portray the following:

  • Pass around a mime of a yawn, then a sneeze
  • Ask students to come up with their own gestures to pass around the circle
  • Throw an (imaginary) object across the circle, varying the weight, shape and fragility

These activities encourage the idea of ‘clowning’ and exaggeration of movement.

Terri Beacham, Julie Galloway and Cassie Croucher are all teachers in the drama department at Clacton Coastal Academy.

Movement in drama – Portraying different characters KS3 lesson
SecondaryThe Arts

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