Dr. Tom's Teacher Study Guide:
Character that Counts

About Dr. Tom

Tom Pierce is a professional mime and actor who has toured nationally and internationally for over 25 years. He studied mime, acting and children's theater at Florida State University. He performs a style of mime that is primarily narrative, using illusionary mime technique, masks, and clowning to communicate with his audience. He has performed in schools, theaters, festivals, colleges, and churches in 40 states and in Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Hong Kong, England, Mexico and Cuba. Tom also performs during the summer months with his two sons, Zack (15) and Aaron (11). The Pierces live in a 100 year old farm house in Bethlehem, Georgia, about 45 miles northeast of Atlanta.

About the Program

This performance / teaching program was developed in part with MACAD (Metropolitan Atlanta Council on Alcohol & Drugs) to use creative expression to stop at-risk behavior in children. Using mime, drama, humor, and verbal discussion Dr. Tom and the audience examine how good character promotes standards of moral obligation which help young people determine the difference between right and wrong. The program touches on values such as honesty, self discipline and kindness.

"Character that Counts" can be done in any open space at least 10 feet deep by 15 feet wide.

Dr. Tom brings all his own sound equipment for the performance. All that is needed is a table and an outlet to plug in a tape deck.

Mime Stories

At the Bus Stop: A story about someone who gets into a fight at a bus stop.
--Teaches forgiveness, self-discipline, and kindness.
The Test: To Cheat or Not to Cheat.
--Teaches about honesty, honor, self respect.
Ice Cream: Character finds money and buys himself some ice cream.
--Teaches about honesty.
The Race:
--Teaches about courage, perseverance.

Curriculum Connections
Language Arts, Social Studies, Art

Cultural and Historical Connections

The student understands context by analyzing the role of theater in the past and present.
1....understands how we learn about ourselves, our relationships and our environment through forms of theater.
2....understands how theater is an interpretation of actual events in history and everyday life.

Aesthetic and Critical Analysis
The student analyzes and constructs meaning from formal and informal theater.
1....understands how theater communicates events of everyday life.
2....articulates emotional responses to the whole, as well as parts of dramatic performances.

Suggested Pre-Performance Activities
1. Read "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" from The Book of Virtues, Bennett.
2. Read "The King and His Hawk" from The Book of Virtues.
3. Read Aesop's Fables: "The Boy and the Nuts," "The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs," "The Flies and the Honey Pot," and "The Frogs and the Well," by Aesop in The Book of Virtues.

Suggested Post-Performance Activities
1. On the board, draw a tree with big apples. Write Kindnesson the trunk and ask students to fill in the apples with words that define kindness. (Good, Helpful, Caring, Giving, etc.)
2. Do the same for Honesty, Forgiveness, and Courage.
3. Have the students act out Dr. Tom's stories and then talk about them.
4. Break up students into groups of 3 to 5 students each and have them write their own stories about honesty, kindness, forgiveness, and courage. Give them 10 to 15 mintutes to work on the stories. Each group can perform them for the class and discuss afterwards.

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