Tableaus & Embodied Response

Tableaus & Embodied Response:


Students are given a subject, objective or question that they will physicalize in a static tableau. Students are divided into groups where they discuss their subject, objective or question. This can be done through either writing, brainstorming, or prompted discussions. Once the student groups have had sufficient time to come up with their ideas on the subject they start to create a tableau to represent their findings. After each group has finalized their tableau they will present it to the class. Once the class has had a chance to view and analyze the tableau they will respond physically in a static image, creating a group tableau of their own. The original tableau members will break their frozen tableau and have a chance to analyze the response tableau.


Tableaus are another way to physicalize and internalize a response to a prompt. These prompts give students a chance to respond to materials in a physical way. By creating with their bodies students are able to represent their knowledge in a kinesthetic way. The tableaus are a chance to create and respond to artwork in a physical way. All students can participate and find a way to contribute to the group through tableau creations.


  • Students are given time to create several tableaus and can tell a story or explore a theme further through multiple explosions
  • Smaller groupings can deal with different perspectives of the same subject, objective or question the class can analyze where the similarities and difference exist in each tableau


Students can discuss the tableau with the participants briefly before they from their response but the responses should be based on initial response and not thought of too deeply. The strength of the response is most impactful when it comes from the initial feelings and emotions. Students can respond to each tableau but there should be a chance for large group discussions. Large group will allow teachers to assess the responses and learning. The large group will also allow students more time to analyze why they responded in certain ways.

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