Small groups of students create frozen images of imagined worlds, characters, and actions with their bodies according to a prompt. When they perform, they practice describing, interpreting, and evaluating each otherʻs work.

Example National Core Art Standard Alignment (opens in new window)


Anchor Standard 2:

Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.


Anchor Standard 6:

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

Curriculum Integration Ideas

  1. Small groups of students can use tableaux to convey key ideas and details from text such as main idea, theme, or conflict/resolution (English Language Arts).
  2. Small groups of students can use tableaux to explore elements of culture for people across the globe (Social Studies).
  3. Small groups of students can use tableaux to represent principles of geometry (Math).
  4. Small groups of students can use tableaux to create a scientific model (Science).
sad clowns
“Early Ringling Bros. clowns” by Double–M

Differentiation Ideas


Students can scaffold toward tableaux by engaging first in Snapshots. Smaller group numbers (pairs and triads) support emerging collaboration skills. Tableaux can be shared with ½ class at a time to support performance confidence.


Place additional emphasis on advanced compositional components, including foreground/background and point of focus. Students can collaborate to create add-on tableaux, bring their image to life with slow-motion action, perform a narrated tableaux, or create three related tableaux with transitions in between.

Tableaux Strategy Handout