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Arts and culture

Grade 7

Critical and creative reflection

Module 12

The elements of drama in social and cultural events


  • With this unit we will be exploring the elements of drama in social and cultural events. Do not panic! This is fun.
  • You have at least seen a ritual before in your life and I am sure you have been to a sports meeting at your school. Try to remember what you saw and experienced the last time you were at your local Inter-Schools sports event. That is what we will be looking at! See, I told you, you did not have to panic!

Activity 1:

To identify elements of drama in forms of cultural events:“inter-schools”

[lo 2.3]


  • Look for rituals in your life or culture and make a list.
  • Your educator will write the rituals on the board and let you have a short class discussion about each one.
  • Supply your educator with information about the rituals you are presenting to the class.
  • Explore the processions, chants, proceedings of the rituals.
  • Explore the following:
  • What is the structure (beginning, middle and end) of the ritual?
  • Is there a pattern of events? Explain.
  • Where is the dynamic tension?
  • Does the ritual not deteriorate into dull routine or repetition?

Research Project

Research the opening ceremony of your choice, e.g. opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, a boxing match, a rugby match, a rock concert, opening of Parliament, etc.

Isolate the following dramatic elements :

  • processions;
  • chants;
  • music or accompaniment;
  • special effects (e.g. pyrotechnics, smoke, lighting, sound, etc.);
  • costumes;
  • choreography;
  • cast (the people involved in the opening ceremony);
  • time and duration;
  • audience participation.

If your class is very big, your educator will divide the class into groups.

Give an oral and visual presentation on this project.


Work together with the rest of your class on an opening ceremony for the next Inter Schools sports event, be it athletics, soccer, rugby, etc.

This opening ceremony should include the following, if possible:

  • a theme (African, Rock ‘n Roll, James Bond, Disco, etc.);
  • cheerleaders;
  • songs, music, chants;
  • accompaniment (drums, percussion instruments, etc.);
  • an exciting entrance on the sports field;
  • costumes;
  • props (streamers, rosettes, whistles, flags, banners, etc.);
  • special effects (smoke machines, fireworks, etc.).

First plan and present a structure and production plan for the ceremony.

Refine and develop this pre-production plan with the help of your educator.

Put together the opening ceremony by acting out the process in the class.

Go to the sports field and rehearse and perform the ceremony.

South African artists and our cultural heritage

Activity 2:

A reasearch project on our artists and our cultural heritage

[lo 2.2, 2.4]

The values, beliefs, and traditions of a culture are reflected in its arts and passed down through generations. The arts are always evolving and changing with new influences from society and individual artists.

Examples of individuals in all four art forms who had a significant influence on the arts in South Africa:


  • David Poole – Ballet
  • Alfred Hinkel – Modern Dance
  • Vusi Ngema – African dance


  • Maggie Laubser / Irma Stern
  • Gerhard Sekoto / Helen Mmakgoba Sebedi
  • Penelope Siopis / William Kentridge


  • Roelof Temmingh / Bongani Ndodana
  • Miriam Mkeba / Abdullah Ebrahim
  • Nataniël / Koos du Plessis

The Task:

Choose only one of the artists listed above. Research the artist and his/her style and gather data on the following:

  • biography (early years, training, etc.);
  • impact of society on the art at that time (political or overseas influences, etc.);
  • brief description of a piece of his/her work (describe the motivation and the purpose of the work);
  • describe how the artists’ influence impacted on the arts in South Africa.

Herewith guidelines to assist you with your research.

Part 1

  • Look at the different factors that influence and affect the arts in our culture.
  • Identify the specific style associated with your chosen artist and compare it to other styles of that time, i.e. identify the similarities and differences between styles.

Part 2

Research your chosen artist and gather information about him/her that can answer these questions:

  • Who is your artist?
  • When and what type of training did he/she receive?
  • Who was influential in his/her training?
  • How would you describe the artist’s individual style?
  • What was the motivation behind his/her creative works?
  • How did he/she impact on their specific art form?

Name and give a brief description of one of his/her art works.

Part 3

Organise the information into a brief 5 minute oral presentation.


Learning Outcomes(LOs)
LO 2
REFLECTING The learner will be able to reflect critically and creatively on artistic and cultural processes, products and styles in past and present contexts.
Assessment Standards(ASs)
We know this when the learner:
COMPOSITE (2.1 – 2.2)
finds out about a South African artist of the past or present, from any form, and reports to the class;
explains the need for conservation of a country’s indigenous knowledge systems, heritage artefacts in museums, galleries, theatres, cultural sites and natural heritage sites;
DANCE (2.3 – 2.4)
researches a traditional dance in the community from people, books or videos and presents it to the class;
displays observation skills by describing components of dances in terms of movement style, purpose, and use of dances, costumes and music;
DRAMA (2.5)
recognises and identifies elements of drama (e.g. processions, charts) in forms of cultural and social expression over time (e.g. opening ceremonies, rock concerts, gladiators, state events, sport).

Questions & Answers

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Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
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Source:  OpenStax, Arts and culture grade 7. OpenStax CNX. Sep 10, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11027/1.1
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