Whether or not you are new to Reader’s Theater, this lesson will provide you with innovative ways to bring it into your classroom. Providing a bridge from drama to theatre as well as an excellent opportunity for vocal work, Reader’s Theater is a versatile learning tool and tons of fun for all! Adaptable for all age groups, you can even extend this lesson to introduce public speaking to older students. There is also a rubric available which can be used to teach up to 7 different skills of your choosing. Inflection, tone, pitch, rate, and projection are all skills introduced through this lesson.
Use this list of plot boosters to develop original stories for your drama work! These ideas can support the plot by moving the story along, giving the reader/viewer new information, showing character changes, foreshadowing, providing irony, creating cause and effect, and supporting the message and/or theme of the story.
Transformation is one of the key building blocks of storytelling. In this lesson, students in grades 6-8 can hone their transformation skills by utilizing support tools to tell a dynamic story. By transforming two and then three objects at a time, students can practice visualization, imitation, imagination, and concentration skills.
Challenge students to read between the lines and play distinctive characters in these open-ended scenes. With dialogue that purposefully leaves details up to the imagination, this lesson can be used with students to work on collaboration, imitation, transformation, and planning and practicing skills. You may also integrate Language Arts by challenging students to use inferences to draw conclusions about what is going on in each scene.
“How the World Was Formed on Turtle’s Back” is an Onondaga creation story that features a team of vibrant animal characters who work together to save a young woman’s life and create the world as we know it. This lesson provides numerous opportunities for students to use their bodies and voices to create characters and practice transformation. You may also integrate Language Arts by discussing the importance of personification and character traits in the story.
How do actors create realistic characters? How do we create believable, specific dramas? In this lesson, students in grades 6-8 can practice imitation, character transformation and collaboration by developing distinct and detailed characters and character relationships within a small group. The twist? Their scenes must take place in an elevator! The flexibility and simplicity of this lessons allows students to explore their creativity, while giving you the chance to assess their collaboration, planning and character development skills.
The beauty and clarity of Langston Hughes’ words makes his work ideal for introducing students to the joys of studying poetry. By adapting Hughes’ poem Bound No’th Blues into a drama, students can practice collaboration, imitation, and concentration skills. You may also choose to integrate Language Arts and Social Studies skills into the lesson, by encouraging students to analyze the use of figurative language in the poem and investigate what this artist’s work tells us about this era in US history.
To maximize student achievement, download this drama journal for students to use as reflection or formative assessment. A drama journal allows participants to reflect on their learning and artistic growth (metacognition). It also allows you, the teacher, to see how students are using the drama vocabulary, thinking about big ideas, and perceiving their own strengths and weaknesses.
How do actors bring truth to every performance they do, even if it’s outside their own experience? In this lesson, students in grades 6-8 will have the chance to practice telling each other true stories that happened in their lives, and then telling each other’s stories to the class as if they were their own. This lesson challenges students to practice great listening, collaboration, concentration, and imitation skills, preparing them to play more realistic characters and circumstances.
Our “I Was Courageous” lesson is the perfect way to celebrate different kinds of courage among your students, whether it be personal, physical, emotional, or intellectual courage. In this lesson, students can practice collaboration, planning, and using physicality to create a character as they act out their classmates’ true stories of showing courage. You may also choose to integrate Language Arts by discussing autobiography.
Want a way to get students to make inferences and ask questions about a text while addressing bullying issues? This lesson for fourth through eighth graders is the first in a series that makes up a longer unit based on McEwan’s book, THE DAYDREAMER. Students work alone and then with a partner to create characters and act out their ideas based on inferences about the story.