Remembering No. 9 Teacher Resources

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 09:27 -- sewm02

Remembering No. 9 Teacher Resources

Communication 3341 - Methods and Materials in Teaching Theatre and Communication

On this page, you will work together to create the teacher resource packet for Remembering No 9: Stories from the Farmington Mine Disaster. We will then put the information into a publishing program. This is a work space.

Consider - How do you want this packet to be used? Who do you want to use it? Will it be only teachers? Will parents be able to use the pacekt? Can you create a version that can be distributed at public performances? Who is your audience?


Celi- I would like both teachers and paretns to be able to use this packet, but I would also like it made available to libraries or people who run after school reading programs like those of Christian Cox or Diana Nuzum. Some of the information might be useful for them too?

Celi- Social Studies, 8th Grade WV studies, English, theatre, communication, directing classes could benefit from the packet

Celi- I don't think we have enough time to create a version for the public, unless we can just copy and paste from this packet and make a pared down version of this packet.

Celi- I was thinking today...and this maybe a stupid question, but- do we want this resource packet to supplement the play or do we want the main focus of this packet to be the collection of oral histories with the play as sort of a backdrop??? I don't know.

Holly-I would like this packet to provide information to parents and teachers of students who are going to see Remembering No. 9. This packet will serve as an educational resource that will enhance the students theatre experience. Perhaps the same packets will be available to the audience at the show.

Holly- I agree that this type of packet would be appropriate for students sixth grade and up studying social studies, WV history, or theatre. I would like the packet to contain information on the history moreso than on writing a script. I think it will be important to concentrate the packet on the history so it does not become too intimidating for teachers in subject areas other than theatre. However, I do believe a brief explanation on theatre etiquette and some theatre games that would enhance the students' experience would be helpful.

Fran - You could have a lesson for English classes that allowed the students to interview someone and write a first person monologue/story based on the interview. If you don't ask them to perform, you could concentrate on the writing...on capturing the "voice" of the person.







Morgan- I like the idea of having the students interview someone and writing a monologue from it. I do not think it is important that it be about the Farmington Mine Disaster, it just needs to give the students the idea of the process that led to creating the script. Maybe they could interview their parents or grandparents about their "life story" or an experience that changed their life... etc...



Introduction/Preface of the Farmington Project

What we could do is preface the play and what we did exactly- We could go to the AATE presentation wikki page and copy and paste some of the general information so that we won't have to re-write very much and use that as a preface explain our process and our methodology for creating the piece. Then our activity could be having students collect their own oral histories. Depending on the age and grade level the students could them create time minute scenes or monologues from their interviews.

“From Mouth and Memory: Stories from the Farmington Mine Disaster.” was an undergraduate research project funded by Fairmont State University's Undergraduate Research Program. Survivors, widows, former miners, and family members with memories of the Farmington Mine Disaster of 1968 were interviewed about their memories. 78 miners of the Consol Operated number nine mine were killed on November 20. This profound disaster was to leave a mark on the small town’s psyche for years to come. This is why we as researchers have chosen to use the method of ethnographic research to preserve the emotions, memories, ad and stories from that experience. Many of today's mine saftey requirements were born from this disaster through the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969.

Most of the information was too lengthy or wordy in the other resource packets that we read- maybe when we go to format we could just ask essential questions and bullet point in bold print to get the basic facts across to the audience?

Example: What Happened? In 1968 at the Jamison #9 Mine 78 miners were killed in an explosion.

Where did it Happen? Console Operated Jamison #9 mine. Farmington, WV.

How did it Happen? No one is really sure, but most experts believe that the methane gas was some how ignited by a spark and caused an explosion which then fed a huge fire.

Does this format work?

Holly-I think this format works because instead of cluttering up the page with lengthy paragraphs, you are giving the answers to the most common questions.

Samantha- I agree, I also think more simple and short we make the packet, the more teachers will use it. I mean lets face it, teachers do not have a lot of time to read a packet on this play. I also think that in the interest of making as much information avaliable we could attach links to the wiki pages for the AATE conference and the play itself, perhaps on the resorces page.

Cause and Effect

Cause and Effect is important in literature, theater, speech writing, and history. I think we should include information about this idea and provide some activities about cause and effect.


In my narrative and descriptive writing class we are doing a similar project right now. I think Dr. Savage's major end of the year project could be scaled down and used as an activity in the teacher's packet. I could ask her if we could steal ideas from her rubric and grading scale to make an activity for the teacher resource packet.

One of the activities could be a web quest or a library search or something to get kids in the library and online to find out answer for their historical questions.

Holly-I think a web quest is a great idea. Students love to research on the computer.

Samantha- I think that something like making the students an "expert" on a certian aspect of life and people opf the coal mine, having them do reasearch, and then having a discussion is another option.

Interviewing Process

1. Information about the Klines and the use of the one question technique 2. Information from the Group Comm. Book and the journalistic method of interviewing 3. Information from Morgan's Listening Micro-teaching about non verbal behavior, the listening process, and what a good listener does during and after the listening process


I would like to include an activity about script/monologue writing and devising/improvising.

Where do we need to start with scriptwriting and what do students need to learn along the way?

Celi- I think that we should include the play treatment that Donna Ison and Greg Hardison gave us in the resource packet. I already wrote up an example.

Activity Idea:

We probably need to teach dramatic action like beginning middle end.

We can have the students go back to their transcripts and find the through line of dramatic action. What happened first second third fourth... ect until the last event

I can print out pages from comic life and students can story board their interviewee's transcript and just use one line from the transcript for each picture that they draw on the story board.

Example Play Treatment

Audience- College age young adults Educated or professional adults Local residents with memories of the number nine mine disaster

Time 15-20 minutes

Space Black Box Theatre Minimal set, costumes, props The set should only give the feel of a 1950s or 60s living room One playing space for a factory and dance hall

Characters Mildred Hardman young and older played by the same actress Interviewer/Charles Hardman/Frank Hardman/Machine Attendant/State Trooper/ played by the same actor

Goal To faithfully tell and honor Mrs. Hardman's story of her memories of the Farmington Mine Disaster

Dramatic Elements Guilt Regret Loss

Theatrical Conventions Multiple roles played by the same actor Tableau (frozen pictures that the actors make with gesture)

Preview An interviewer is sitting in Mrs. Hardman's living room. Present day. It looks as if Mrs. Hardman hasn't updated her living room in about 40 years. She looks polite and pleasant- but there is an air of unease about her. She wants to help this young person, but is nervous about the interview. There is something she doesn't quite trust or want to talk about and is trying to hide this feeling by playing calm, cool, and reserved.

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<a href="" style="color:#4D4D4D;font-weight:bold;text-decoration:none;">Scriptwriting Section</a>


Celi- I thought about what Sam and Holly said in class- about the example packets bieng too cluttered- so I made up these sheets just to play around. Let me know what you think. I'm trying to balance information and drama/ethnographic content vs. making this whole process not so scary for teachers who don't know anything about theatre.

Let me know if there is enough information and I'm on the right track please! Thank you!

Holly- I think this is a great start. I'm just confused about what the focus of the packet is. Are we providing information that will enhance the story or teaching people how to write their own?

Fran - So, I think we are back to our main questions, what do you want the students to know or be able to do?

Samantha- I thought this packet was originally intended to be an introduction to the show we would bring to the school. So in my mind what we would want them to know would be information on life in a coal mining town, the struggles between union and the company, information of the different theatrical conventions being used, activities for before and after viewing the show,theater ettiquet,etc.

Additional Resources

I created an bibliography for the play for Dr. Savage's Class- so we can just give them the web link and maybe some important web sites in the packet?