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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Freeze-frame characters

Adapted from The Arts/Nga Toi Materials unit Freeze-frame Characters

Adaptations for ESOL students: Charine Van Pittius


Year: 1-3

Level: 1

Duration: 3 weeks

Achievement objectives and strands

  • Developing Practical Knowledge in Drama (PK)
    Students will explore elements and techniques of drama.
  • Developing Ideas in Drama (DI)
    Students will contribute ideas and participate in drama, using personal experiences and imagination.
  • Communicating and Interpreting in Drama (CI)
    Students will share drama through informal presentation and respond to ways in which drama tells stories and conveys ideas.

Language learning focus

Focus on building vocabulary (Word 42KB) and oracy (Word 29KB)

Students will:

  • learn key vocabulary
  • listen to the teacher scaffolding students into questioning during 'interviews'
  • in groups, use new words to describe their actions during role play.


  • Build on students' understandings of the expanded key word list.

How to achieve the language learning outcomes:

  • focus on KeyWords (RTF 69KB) ; pre-teach the language needed to describe the shapes
  • focus on visuals when introducing vocabulary, display the props and attach word cards
  • model the words, the sentences, the questions
  • recycle the new language as often as possible
  • focus on expanded word and phrase list if students are ready to acquire these

Teacher background reading

Teaching and learning activities

Learning task 1

Learning task 2

Learning task 3


Assessment activities could include:

 Teacher can observe students' spatial awareness through involvement in the freeze-frame. Particular aspects, for example:

  • individual ability to hold movement/stillness
  • enthusiasm to join in with group work
  • the ability to make clear physical offers with a group may be observed.

 Teacher can assess the students' knowledge by observing:

  • the language used, specifically listening for the new words learnt
  • the ability to listen to and understand the questions asked in the "interview" situation.

Teacher may check student ability to sequence three moments. Certain students may make particularly strong offers to assist with in-role development.

Teacher may note students displaying high levels of empathy or imagination through such offers. For example, "I can help the others draw tapa patterns". "I think we should put the grandpa in the picture next because then Grandma won't feel so lonely." "I think Grandma really wants to see her new baby grandson but he lives a long way away in Wales."

Teacher may listen for student willingness to offer meaningful or developed personal story to the group.


Links to essential learning areas

  • Cutter, J. & Ryan, S. (1993). Darcy and Gran Don't Like Babies. New York: Scholastic.
  • Fox, M. & Mullins, P. (1989). Shoes from Grandpa. Sydney: Scholastic.
  • Fox, M. & Vivas. (1984). J. Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge. Adelaide: Omnibus.
  • Geissler, C. & McClelland, L. (1997). Why, Nana? Auckland: Scholastic.
  • Gibson, A. & Meyer, K. Nana's Place.
  • Grace, P. & Kahukiwa, R. (1981). The Kuia and the Spider. Wellington: Longman Paul.
  • Hessell, J. & Pye, T. (1990). Grandma McGarvey series. Auckland: OUP.
  • Mitton, T. (2000). Red Riding Hood (traditional), London: Walker.
  • Norman, L. & Young, N. (1998). Grandpa. Sydney: Margaret Hamilton.
  • Roche, H. & Fisher, C. (1996). My Gran is Great. London: de Agostini.
  • Smith, M. (1988). Annie and Moon. Wellington: Mallinson Rendel.
  • Watson, J. & Hodder, W. (1989). Grandpa's Slippers. Auckland: Ashton Scholastic,
  • Watson, J. & Hodder, W. (1993). Grandpa's Cardigan. Auckland: Ashton Scholastic.
  • Wild, M. & Huxley, D. (1992). Remember Me. Sydney: Margaret Hamilton.
  • Wild, M. & Vivas, J. (1993). Our Granny. Adelaide: Omnibus.

Activity boxes of fabric including varied prints and plain materials will be essential. Look for batiks, tapa prints, old sari fabrics, or other culturally interesting materials. A hatbox including an array of recycled headgear helps to establish role.

A props box including, for example, scarves, beads, frames for glasses, a walking stick, bags, an umbrella, some old tickets and envelopes may be useful. These can be used as starting points to develop story.

Published on: 09 Jan 2018