Actors Teacher Resources
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Black Actors in American Cinema
Students examine the contributions of a few African American actors. After watching different films, they work together to recreate the film and the struggles faced by the actors. In groups, they compare and contrast the acting style of the different actors. To end the lesson, they identify the stereotypes used in films to represent African Americans.
Poetry Through the Eyes of An Actor
Students examine the ways poetry has been used by actors. After reading a poem, they discuss the characters and the differences in how the male and female students view them. In groups, they read a few of Shakespeare's sonnets and write an outline about who they believe Shakespeare is speaking to.
Casting Doubt: "Color-blind" and Nontraditional Casting Decisions
In his article about color-blind casting entitled, "Willy Loman Is Lost, Still Looking for Stimulus Plan and Some Dignity," Charles Isherwood quotes August Wilson as saying, "To mount an all-black production of a 'Death of a Salesman' or any other play conceived for white actors as an investigation of the human condition through the specifics of white culture is to deny us our humanity, our own history." After reading Isherwood's article, class members consider nontraditional casting decisions and work with a partner to recast a movie or play. Pairs then consider the possible impact of their choices.
Los Artistas Unidos
Students explore the diversity of characters in popular television shows and movies, then investigate the backgrounds and careers of famous Hispanic actors.
Vibrant Animals: Using an Actor's Body for Character Attributes
Students identify and portray specific character attributes through uprigth movement, creating a portrayal of an animal. They use vibrant, upright movement to convey the characteristics and temperament of specific animals. Finally, students combine attributes of shape and movement with an emotional quality or behavior in a full upright physical representation.
Literary Terms: Take Me to the Theater!
Take your class to the theater! First graders will examine characters that actors play such a villians and heroes. Then participate in creating plays and performing in them. They will also research what it takes to create scenery, props and costumes and take a unit assessment.
State of the Art
Students watch and discuss a scene from 'Cool Hand Luke,' then read the actor Kevin Costner's commentary on it. Then, each identifies one work of art that he or she loves and prepares a similar commentary on the details of that work's genius.
Language Arts: Making a Book into a Movie
Students read Billy Budd and examine ways to make it into a movie. They role-play as casting teams locating actors to portray the roles in the book turned movie. Students also design movie posters, write reviews, and write scripts for a scene from their film.
Rowan Atkinson: Famous People, ELL Assignment
This 13-page assignment was designed for English language learners. It includes a one-page reading on the comedic actor Rowan Atkinson and 10 activities/exercises that focus on listening and reading comprehension, speaking, vocabulary acquisition, spelling, and more. An answer key is provided for some of the exercises.
Media Arts Production
Students learn about the basic legal and ethical responsibilities shouldered by people making "reality" videos (i.e. videos with non-actors).
Learners of all ages discover the importance of reading fluently by viewing celebrities reading children books and telling about their personal paths to fluency. They participate in a fluency reading routine that connects them with a partner who times, evaluates, and films their readings (repeated) of the same book. Class members also graph their words per minute and their personal progress. This plan is connected with storylineonline.net, a literacy support program of the Screen Actors Guild.
Women’s Roles in As You Like It
“There is nothing that becommeth a maid better than soberness, silence, shamefastness, and chastity, both of body & mind.” This line, from Thomas Bentley ‘s The Monument of Matrons published in 1582, typifies the way women were viewed during the Elizabethan period. To begin an examination of women’s roles in Shakespeare’s plays, class members first consider a series of passages about women that were written during this time period. With these restrictions and expectations in mind, the class then focuses on how Rosalind is portrayed in As You Like It. The packet includes complete directions for numerous activities, discussion questions, and writing prompts.
Voice and Body Communication
Students examine the various ways actors and actresses communicate by using not only their voice, but body language. In groups, they practice some of the same techniques in front of the class. They complete a worksheet to end the instructional activity.
ENDOWING SUPPORT ELEMENTS
Students demonstrate how an actor might engage sensate reaction using 3 sets of stage props. They imagine and use as many sense reactions as they can to make the props become endowed with a reality. They use one table and chair to support the use of the props.
Character Dialogue A Theatre Lesson Plan
Students perform this warm up to get the actors in character with the characters they interacted with most and in one case two actors that never spoke directly to each other on stage.
Final Performance of a Play
Second graders study theatre by designing a play, studying actors, and work in partners to create a story to perform. In this theatre study lesson plan, 2nd graders discuss theatre as live theatre, television, film, and radio. Students act out their own Reader's Theatre. Students design and act out the entire play to perform for their class or parents.
Demonstrating Acting Skills
Class members demonstrate their mastery of acting skills by rehearsing and performing a scene from a play. Actors perform as a character in an ensemble, a play, or duet. A detailed Acting Skills Rubric is provided.
Acting Out with Shakespeare: Lesson 3
Students examine the role Shakespeare and his works play in our culture. In this langauge arts lesson, students also examine what actors do when preparing for a role. Students engage in a game intended to build confidence then they move into analysis of a scene from Romeo and Juliet.
Poetry Alive! Interpreting Poetry Using Digital Images
Young scholars investigate poetry by incorporating images into the words of a poem. In this language arts instructional activity, students discuss poetry writing devices and self expression with their classmates. Young scholars create a film about the poem by giving each student a job such as storyboard artist, actor and set designer.
The Fisherman and His Wife
Second graders discuss the concept of a play and actors as compared to a story and characters. In this language arts lesson plan, 2nd graders read the play The Fisherman and his Wife and answer comprehension questions. Students write about a wish and discuss journals with the class.