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Show and Tell: Snow (1963)
Introduction English History Performing Arts Art & Design  
Performing Arts
image from Snow (1963)
AuthorPoppy Simpson
TopicRhythm in film, status and Perspective
Curriculum linksNC KS3 PA

Snow provides a fantastic stimulus for drama activities using the key words of status and perspective. There's clearly all sorts you could do with this by using the rhythm of the music and the rhythm of the train, or by exploring way the music changes to reflect the different sections of the film before it builds up to that final crescendo.

Ask students to move around the room to the music and consider how their pace, rhythm and actions change over the seven minutes (or shorter sections if preferred). This could lead into an interesting understanding of pace in narrative (on the stage as well as in film). Simple prompt questions can develop students' understanding: How does the director alert us to key moments in the narrative? How did we feel when the music accelerated? How did this impact on our actions - and how might it impact on a narrative?

This could be built up over a series of lessons into a devised improvisation using the interplay of music and image as a stimulus. In order to keep it close to the film's content, the improvisation could be extended to include the 'characters' in the film, with students working in groups to give them a voice. What might the workers say if they spoke in the film? The driver? The man eating his fancy dinner? Hot-seating could be a great way of getting students thinking about this. Alternatively, divide the class into two - people outside the train and people inside the train - and challenge students to generate simple sentences in a call-and-response activity.

This could culminate in some work on perspective and status, looking at how differences in status and point of view are implied visually in film as well as physically on the stage. Ask students to come up with freeze frames or simple role-plays that take either of these words (perspective/status) as their central theme.

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