Simulation Plan

To prepare for your dramatic simulation of the Mount St. Helens eruption of May 18, 1980, take a few minutes to read, think about, and jot some notes on this handout. Then, meet with your Expert Group (lateral blast, pyroclastic flowlahar, etc.) or Role Group (new groups assigned to the roles of trees and pocket gophers) to share members' ideas and plan your part in the dramatic action.

1. Brainstorm alone, and then with your group, about the characteristics of your assigned role. To help with this, ask yourself . . . If this role (a pyroclastic flow, a tree, a lateral blast, etc.) were a person, it would have these characteristics:


    Physical appearance:


    Speech patterns (volume, accent, fast/slow, etc.):






2. Brainstorm alone, and then with your group, about the way your assigned role "acts:"


    It moves like . . . 


    It looks like . . . 


    It sounds like . . .


3. Write a description of the action of your assigned role, using ideas from 1 and 2.


4. Brainstorm all the different ways you and your group could dramatize this action. With your group, pick the best one. Make notes on it here.


5. Decide on a sequence. At what point in the eruption sequence does your role start its action? Stop its action? (You may refer to the "Eruption Storyboard" if your teacher provides it, or draw your own cartoon-like set of illustrations depicting stages in the eruption.) What will be your group's first move? Will different members do different things? Where in the 'stage' area will your part of the action take place?


6. Are there materials or props that would make your part of the dramatization more effective? Think about what you might do with the following. In your group, decide which ones (if any) you want to use and which members could provide them:



    Sound effects:




7. Appoint one member to report to the whole class on what your group has decided to do.

8. In whole-class discussion, you will talk about how your plan fits with those of the other groups, and in what order. Everyone must agree that your plan will work.

9. Finally, set the date, finish the preparations, apply the final touches, and . . . "Break a leg!"