Theater and plays Teacher Resources
Find Theater and Plays educational ideas and activities
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All the Globe’s a Stage: Shakespeare’s Theatre
“All the world’s a stage,” exclaims Jaques in As You Like It, but it is the structure of the Globe stage and how that structure influenced Shakespeare’s plays that is the focus of an on-line research project. Class members visit a series of bookmarked sites and gather information to complete a Globe scavenger hunt. Using what they have discovered, they discuss the limitations and opportunities the structure of the Globe Theater afforded Shakespeare.
Web of Life - Role-Playing
Students role-play how organisms adapt to their environment. They play 20 questions with plant and animal habitats. They create a web of life to demonstrate how each plant and animal relies on the other for survival.
Using Reader's Theater in the Classroom
Here are some suggestions for using Reader's Theater in the classroom.
Reading the Play
Students read the play "Julius Caesar" by William Shakespeare. In groups, they identify the instances of similes, metaphors and personification. They use the Internet to compare and contrast the events in the play with historical facts. To end the lesson plan, they hold a mock trial to examine Brutus' innocence or guilt.
The Show Must Go On!
In collaborative teams, young readers work to improve their fluency and build on stage confidence. Each group practices a reader's theater piece, focusing on fluency and reading with expression. They don costumes and perform their pieces for the class. The lesson focuses heavily on team building as well as reading skills.
William Shakespeare: The Man, The Myth, The Legend
Welcome to the Globe Theater! Use this PowerPoint presentation to introduce your class to William Shakespeare, his plays, and the theater his plays were performed in. Just basics are provided here, but it provides a nice overview or introduction for those not knowing much about this era.
Carbon Cycle Role Play
Anytime you make concepts clear with role playing or hands-on experience, it's a win for the whole class. Ping-Pong balls are used to represent carbon in a carbon cycle role-play activity. In small groups, children first discuss what carbon is and how it moves through each of Earth's spheres. They show how carbon moves by drawing a card and acting out the movement of the carbon as described on the card. This is a great visual way to represent the carbon cycle!
What Role did the Movies Play in Forming a New Generation of Youth After WWI?
Class members examine a series of primary and secondary source materials to try and ascertain the role films played in forming “a new generation of youth after World War I.” Individuals are assigned one of three documents to examine, form expert groups to share their findings, and then participate in jigsaw discussions. The documents, part of the packet, include a plot summary for The Jazz Singer, an excerpt from Herbert Blumer’s, Movies and Conduct, and a commentary about the film Are Parents People? Individuals craft a reflective essay to conclude the exercise. The 2001 Frontline program Merchants of Cool and the accompanying materials provided by PBS would provide a great extension to the exercises in this resource.
Forbidden Territory: Middle East Project - Traveling Jewish Theatre
Students complete activities to study the traveling Jewish theatre and the ideas of tolerance. For this theatre study lesson, students read information about the Traveling Jewish Theatre and learn about the project to unit artists from the US and the Middle East, Jews and Muslims, and Israelis and Palestinians. Students complete several activities to learn how theatre can help students explore important social issues.
Performance Ideas: Theatre
Students study satirical and political theatre to learn how performing arts can be used for social change. In this theatre study lesson, students read about satirical theatre and create art from issues they see in their own lives. Students complete several activities to study the political theatre.
The New Deal's Federal Theatre Project
Young scholars become acquainted with the New Deal's Federal Theatre Project (FTP) and the rationale for its creation. They analyze primary source material regarding the relationship between art and propaganda.
On With the Show: Fifty Years of the Public Theater
Students explore the Public Theater in New York City. In this theater lesson, students consider mission of the Public Theater and learn more about its productions. Students create their own event schedules for the Public Theater.
Mythology: Reader's Theater
Build reading fluency and classroom community with a Reader’s Theater activity. Class groups select a myth, or if part of a myth writing unit, select a group member’s myth, craft a script, and perform for the class. Directions for scripting a myth and a model myth are included in the plan.
The Play's the Thing
Young scholars describe to a partner theater experiences they have had in their lives that were memorable, and analyze why. They study about one director's original artistic choices for staging Shakespeare by reading and discussing "Nature's a Stage, and Often a Player." They will then plan a production of a play studied in class by acting as directors and envisioning, in small groups, a new way of staging, casting, costuming, and using music to bring it alive.
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.
Esperanza Rising - Reader's Theater
Fifth graders perform a skit using scenes from Esperanza Rising. In this reader's theater lesson, 5th graders create their own script from a scene in the book. Students discuss the differences in readers' theater and an actual play. Students perform their skit for the class.
Civil War Reader's Theater Lesson Plan
Students participate in a reader's theater about the Civil War. In this performing arts activity, students review the Civil War through a reader's theater. They practice reading their parts to work on expression and fluidity before performing for the class.
Checkmate: The Play's The Thing
Students investigate the Middle Ages and it's relation to the theater. In this acting instructional activity, students read Arthurian stories form the Middle Ages and practice using vocabulary words from the Medieval Times. Students write a play set in the era and act it out in front of their classmates.
Civil War Play Lesson Plan
Students act out the Civil War through reader's theater. In this performing arts lesson, students research the Civil War and find costumes, props and scenery appropriate to the time period. They become characters from the Civil War time and identify and connect with these people.
Playing with Shakespeare's Language
Students can understand Shakespeare's language using comprehensible input and dramatic play.