West Side Story Teacher Resources
Find West Side Story educational ideas and activities
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West Side Story
The Jets and the Sharks are back! As you watch the film version of West Side Story, use this viewing guide to help keep your class on track and analyze important plot events. Each song's lyrics are presented here, along with a set of analysis questions.
7th - 12th English Language Arts
"Mambo" from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein
Students encounter and study "Mambo" from "West Side Story," by Leonard Bernstein. They practice utilizing musical elements (instrumentation, tempo, and dynamics) to create a certain mood for a scene with music. Each student interprets or imitate various experiences through pantomime, dramatization, role playing, etc.
8th - 10th Visual & Performing Arts
Romeo and Juliet
Students study Romeo and Juliet. In this language arts lesson, students read the play and complete a series of activities. Students choose the activities to complete. Students write a summary, draw a poster or compare and contrast Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story.
9th - 12th English Language Arts
Expressions of Anti-Racism through Painting: The Puerto Rican Community from West Side Story to Connecticut
Young scholars create a graffiti wall using their own name or personal symbol. They examine their own understanding of the film as a source of inspiration and listen to the music from the soundtrack as an effective motivation. They make connections between the characters and cultures depicted in the film to their own lives.
7th - 12th Social Studies & History
"West Side Story"
For this music history worksheet, students discover the musical "West Side Story" by first reading a summary of the plot. Students answer 5 questions about the story line. Students then read and analyze the lyrics to "America" and discuss how it fits the story theme.
5th - 6th Visual & Performing Arts
Leonard Bernstein Young Peoples Concerts
Students discover the musical achievements of Leonard Bernstein by viewing a slide-show. In this music appreciation instructional activity, students identify Leonard Bernstein, his work on Broadway, and his other musical ventures by examining photographs of him.
K - 4th Visual & Performing Arts
New Review Middle Level Writing with Integrated Reading and Oral Language
Imagine everything you need to teach writing in one packet! Designed to augment instruction in language arts classes, the lessons, activities, and exercises contained in this packet employ AVID methodologies to help learners develop their literacy skills.
6th - 8th English Language Arts CCSS: Adaptable
All in a Day's Work
Who is Herman Melville? Read and discuss "Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street." Then, discuss the film adaptations of Melville's work and translate a passage of the text into modern-day English. Discussion questions are included, and be sure to check out the possible extension activities.
6th - 12th English Language Arts CCSS: Adaptable
That's Moor Like It!
How do modern adaptations of Shakespearean plays relate to their original source material? Middle and high schoolers focus on Shakespeare's play Othello and its screen adaptation "O" to explore how modern film adaptations of Shakespeare have the potential to both enhance the original literature and detract from its meaning.
6th - 12th English Language Arts CCSS: Adaptable
Samurai, Daimyo, Matthew Perry, and Nationalism
What really constitutes nationalism? The video's narrator reviews this concept in detail and covers a range of topics in the nineteenth century, from the creation of the Ottoman Empire to the Opium Wars of the mid-1800s. He spends great deal of time focusing on Japan as a case study, including information on the daimyo, the restoration of the imperial throne, and the country's rise as a modern nation-state.
11 mins 9th - 12th Social Studies & History CCSS: Adaptable
It's so hard to remember how to punctuate titles! Give your class this practice packet to help them remember. On the first page, learners review the rules for punctuating the titles of short stories, monologues, commercials, etc. Then, learners apply what they learned to the 60 sentences that follow.
8th - 9th English Language Arts
Venn Diagrams: Contrasts in Color
Compare and contrast two topics with your class. They will pick a topic of their choosing, create color-coded Venn diagram to visually organize their information, share diagrams with classmates, and write well-organized essay on similarities and differences in two chosen topics.
K - 12th English Language Arts
Shakespeare Goes to the Show
Use this lesson in your Romeo and Juliet unit. Middle and high schoolers compare, contrast, and critique the written version of the play with modern stage and film adaptations through an oral presentation. Several discussion questions are included to explore the idea of chivalry, romantic love, and courtship.
8th Visual & Performing Arts CCSS: Adaptable
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton Essay Questions
Bring this online interactive reading comprehension worksheet to your unit on S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. Middle schoolers respond to nine essay questions based on the novel. They may also access an online quiz on the selection using the link at the bottom of the page.
7th - 11th English Language Arts