Students in Mr. Matilton's class were given a choice to write about their understanding of a chapter in the book they were studying or act out their understanding using the theater technique called a "tableau" which is short for "tableau vivant" or "living picture". The term, borrowed from the French language, describes a group of actors, carefully posed. Throughout the duration of the display, the people shown do not speak or move. The approach thus marries the art forms of the stage with those of painting or photography. After each performance, Mr. Maitilton had the students clarify the scene and the significance it had in the story.