These are some of my more successful lessons and activities. My hope is that other new teachers who surf the web as often as I do, searching high and low for good theatre lessons, can find something good here! This page is an ongoing project, so please be patient as I get organized. Thanks!
Disclaimer: Almost all of the MS Office documents here were created in the new version of Office and then converted to the 97-2004 versions to make them more universal. I apologize for any formatting issues that may arise from the conversion! (P.S. I’m anal.)
- Create Your Own Superhero Project – This is a fun little characterization project I did with my sixth graders. After the super heroes were created, I took them to the computer lab and had them create comic strips in ComicLife. Before heading to the lab I scanned their drawings so they could put their super heroes into the comic exactly as they had designed them.
- Costume Design PowerPoint/Lesson – This PowerPoint presentation takes you through the lesson and the activity. We read Contemporary Drama Service’s “Petrouchka” after the presentation, and then the students designed costumes based on what they read.
- “Project Runway” – This was a super fun project I did with my kids where they made costumes out of recycled materials. I “stole” this from a theatre educators conference. I’m putting links below to a copy of my scribbled-on handout from the conference (it’s 2 pages, scanned separately). I also got a great CD from the presenter. I was going to put her contact information here, but of course I packed it up for the summer, so if you’re interested in that additional info just leave me a comment below with your email address and I’ll get it to you when I unpack it! Anyway, this handout is of a more involved lesson plan than what I did, but I think it’s a good one. Take whatever works for you and run with it!
- Greek Theatre PowerPoint
- “Create Your Own Greek Tragedy” Project – This was a fun project I did where the students wrote their own Greek Tragedies, made masks and performed them.
- Greek Tragedy Project Reminders – I just typed this up after I saw the same issues/questions come up over and over again while the kids were working on their Greek Tragedies. Next year I will probably merge the information on this document with the previous (but I do not have the time to do it now)!
- Greek Tragedy Project Script Format – This was the format I had them use when typing up their Greek Tragedies. I need to note that this took a lot longer in the computer lab than I had anticipated. I was amazed at how computer illiterate my kids were. They can surf the web like nobody’s business, but typing up a document in Word was painful.
- Greek Tragedy Project Rubric – I hesitated posting this because it needs revamping. But in the end I thought maybe it would be a good starting point for someone out there (and this year I have been thankful for even that)!
- Mask Making Rules and Jobs – These are just some notes I took for next year. I realized in the mask making process that apparently you need to tell adolescents they are not supposed to fling paint across the room. Shame on me for assuming they knew better. Anyway, throughout that fun and messy mask-making process I learned some things and got some ideas, which I jotted down for next year. I hope they help you!
- Lighting PowerPoint
- Lighting Test Review Activity – I made this activity up to help the kids memorize the lighting instruments, etc. It was a fun activity that made pure memorization more interesting (and in my humble opinion, worked better, too)!
- Color Experiment Assignment [COMING SOON] – I got this from a conference. It was kind of fun but it really only took half of a class period and I’m not sure they got a whole lot out of it (hey, I’m honest)! Actually, it would be cool if you could show that different shades of gobos created different colors. For example, in science they tell you that blue + red = purple. But if you choose a different shade of blue gobo it actually makes pink (against red fabric). Two blue gobos may look almost identical, but produce a totally different color. I actually discovered this on accident, because I used gobo samples when covering my flashlights, and of course they don’t have two of the same color in any sample pack. So I took two that looked as close to the same color as possible and taped them together. When we shined the blue light on the red fabric, half of it was pink and half of it was purple. It ended up being a great lesson for the kids that were just filling out the worksheet based on their color combination knowledge without actually shining the lights on the fabrics. Next year I’m going to work on finding more different shades to really drive that point harder, and make it more interesting for the kids.
- Makeup Design PowerPoint/Lesson – This PowerPoint presentation takes you through the lesson and the activity. We read an excerpt from Contemporary Drama Service’s “Hansel and Gretel” where noted in the presentation, and then the students designed the witch’s makeup based on what they read.
- Makeup Bruise Instructions – as discussed on my blog here
- Pantomime PowerPoint
- Did you know Michael Jackson’s moonwalk was inspired by mime? He and Marcel Marceau shared a special bond. There is lots of information about this on the internet you can use in your classes. To end our unit, I taught my kids how to moonwalk. Don’t know how? There are tons of “how to” videos on YouTube!
- Mini Flat Project – I “stole” this from a conference I went to in January. My kids really learned the parts of a flat by doing this project, and even the kids I have a hard time getting to do anything got into this project. FYI, I pre-cut the craft sticks to the various lengths needed and they had to dig through them to get the sizes they needed (I didn’t want to risk dismemberment of student fingers via scissors).
- Flat Design – This is the handout the kids used as a guide for the Mini Flat Project.
- Radio Plays – The kids LOVED this project. I was trying to figure out a way to teach the kids about sound without actually having sound boards, etc. to work with. Then I had the idea of doing radio plays in GarageBand to give them the experience of creating moods, etc. using music and sound effects. Here’s a breakdown of what I did:
- Day 1: Introduce radio plays and read through/listen to an example. Divide into groups of 3 and explain the assignment (click here for the assignment requirements, which I will probably revamp next year to give them more structure). The groups generate ideas of what to do for their original radio plays and start writing the scripts.
- Day 2: GarageBand class (given by campus technologist)
- Day 3: Finish writing scripts (They were much more motivated to finish once they learned all the cool things they would be able to do in GarageBand… and the “we don’t go to the lab until the scripts are done” warning was more of a push for them to finish.)
- Day 4-8: Create radio plays in the lab (Whenever they were ready to record vocals, I had them get completely set up to record and then raise their hands. When I saw a hand I would say, “Quiet on the set!” and everyone had to drop what they were doing and be silent while the group recorded their lines.)
- Added bonus: Put all the radio plays on one CD and sell the CD’s as a fundraiser!