How do I integrate other academic subjects with drama in a meaningful way?
Integrating drama with academic subjects might seem difficult at first but once you become familiar with the process, it becomes second nature. Here is how I have conquered the first and most important steps of the process.
I begin with the standards. I look at the standards in the grade level I teach for the two or more subject areas I would like to integrate. Our site has the drama/theater standards (check it out after login) easy to read and easily downloadable by grade level for members.
I scan the concepts and skills listed in each of the subject’s standards, looking for connections. For instance, I might see “story elements” in language arts and “character” in drama – this is a strong and obvious connection.
Some connections aren’t quite so obvious. If I want to dig deeper into the underlying definitions of certain concepts or skills, I do a quick internet or old fashioned textbook search. (Look at the wealth of drama content explanations in the Fine Arts Resource Manual located on our web site for members.)
I then review any curriculum maps or scope and sequence to see if the skills and concepts in each subject area are matching up on the learning time line for students.
-> If the standard connection seems strong and valid, I write objectives (my learning target) for each standard to be addressed in the lesson or unit.
If you have found a strong connection based on standards, you will impact learning in both subjects from the onset. Of course, you must also include instruction and assessment in each area you are integrating, including drama. We provide assessments of all types for you to download that will assist you in giving students feedback in their drama/theater learning.
More articles to come will focus on writing meaningful objectives and selecting the right activity or story.