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Theater and plays Teacher Resources
Find teacher approved Theater and Plays educational resource ideas and activities
Explore script writing based on prose in a cross-curricular literacy lesson. After listening to the folktale The Drum, middle schoolers identify and describe specific story elements such as characters and events. They work in groups to write a script for the story, and each group performs its play.
Suggested topics for a role play debate include school uniforms and culpability for drunk driving, but any issue of interest to your class will work. What are the hot issues in your community or on the news right now? Class members brainstorm and assume the roles of various stakeholders. They research and debate the question from that point of view. The class decides which case was better made. Links to resources outlining other debate formats are included.
Do figures of speech enhance a play or story? In small groups, learners locate and describe figures of speech they find while reading a reader's theater play. After making predictions, they describe how the figures of speech make the play better. They also compare the play to the story on which it was based. Part I of the instructions relates to this activity; Parts III and beyond appear to have been accidentally cut-and-pasted from another unit.
Readers' theater is a fun way to get kids reading with expression and improve their fluency! There is a full script here for The Three Bears with five characters to assign. Consider splitting kids into small groups so everyone can practice at the same time. Highlight the lines for each character before handing out the scripts. Once kids get the hang of it, mix it up by providing props or even switching roles! This would even make a great introduction to a school play.
Learners read aloud and perform a simplified version of Mark Twain's novel The Prince and the Pauper. They watch a video version of the novel and then analyze, compare, and contrast characters. Each person also writes letters to a character from the point of view of another character and then creates a new ending to the play.
Explore historical portraits through art, world history, and drama. Budding thespians view websites featuring historical portraits, then choose a person of interest to research. They role play the part of this historical figure and engage in conversation with classmates portraying other people of the past. This is a wonderful way to build strong character analysis skills and explore a historical perspective.
What a way to teach the parts of a play! Use Michelle Anthony’s adapted script of Falling for Rapunzel to demonstrate for your young readers the differences between stories and dramas. While no lesson plan is included, the script could launch a discussion of plays and serve as a model for budding playwrights.
How does a new version of a Shakespearean play change in the adaptation process? Use this New York Times' Learning Network lesson to consider texts that have been produced in different media. Middle schoolers examine the latest version or interpretation of a Shakespearean play and develop proposals for modernizing a particular scene in the text.