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City Dionysia - Kennedy Center

Grades
9 to 12
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This is a great interactive site that takes students on a trip back in time to ancient Greece. They will study the theatres, the players, the playwrights, and the plays. ...more
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This is a great interactive site that takes students on a trip back in time to ancient Greece. They will study the theatres, the players, the playwrights, and the plays. As a culminating activity students have the opportunity to "stage" their own tragedy using an interactive tool.

tag(s): greece (26), greek (41), plays (37)

In the Classroom

Here's an opportunity for collaboration in which students can teach one another different aspects of the origins of Western theatre and then perform their own tragedy for the class. Be sure to try the interactive "staging" activity in small groups or on an interactive whiteboard. Then have cooperative learning groups perform their different tragedies for the class. Video the performances and share the videos on a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Blues Journey - Kennedy Center

Grades
9 to 12
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If you are looking for an interactive site that combines music with theatre and culture, this is a good one. Incorporating the "page to the stage" idea, the site allows ...more
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If you are looking for an interactive site that combines music with theatre and culture, this is a good one. Incorporating the "page to the stage" idea, the site allows students to read about the main character and background and then listen to the blues with an introduction by Scot Reese, the director of the play. Students can see clips of the actual play, too. Another section deals with the music and includes a history and a walkthrough to the present. Don't miss the interactive map! This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): blues (21), chicago (5), jazz (15), louisiana (11), mississippi (6)

In the Classroom

Students will love listening to the clips as well as watching the play excerpts. Share the clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. The site invites them to try the blues themselves, and this is a good class or small group exercise. Use this site in music or U.S. history classes. Have students write a fictitious blog from the viewpoint of one of the music composers: what were they thinking? What was their life like? In music class, have students compose their own "Blues." Video the songs and share them on using TeacherTube (explained here). Gifted students, especially those with an interest in music, could use this site as a springboard for their own compositions.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Interactive-Learning.com.au - K.O'Regan

Grades
6 to 12
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Don't let the simple appearance fool you! This site is a smorgasbord of interactive lessons on history, English, and music. Wonderful for the Humanities teacher, it allows teachers...more
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Don't let the simple appearance fool you! This site is a smorgasbord of interactive lessons on history, English, and music. Wonderful for the Humanities teacher, it allows teachers of any of those subjects to pick and choose what best fits their plans. Some examples of topics include archaeology, ancient Rome, South American Empires, ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, letter writing, gorgeous grammar, common spelling errors, the Renaissance, the Middle Ages, poetry, the theatre, film, composers, and at least twenty other topics. The site declares itself "student self-directed (self-explanatory)." The links are functional, the graphics are attractive, and, while some of the activities are simple and straightforward, many of them take students into analysis and synthesis without them even realizing they are thinking on higher levels and producing work with more depth. Many of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): australia (35), civil rights (117), grammar (216), listening (91), medieval (27), poetry (227), renaissance (34), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

The world is open on this site. Choose any activity your students are interested in and this site can help you mold it into what you want for your curriculum. Students interested in fantasy? Have them investigate and write from the "Fantasy-Myths and Legends" prompt. Trouble with grammar? Have them print off the worksheets from "Gorgeous Grammar" and play online, interactive, Grammar Gorillas. This site's use is only limited by your imagination! From virtual site studies to student web projects-- it's all here!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Wonder How To - Wonder How To, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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This creative site offers "how to" videos on a WIDE variety of topics. Anyone is able to view the videos, but you must be a member (which is free) to ...more
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This creative site offers "how to" videos on a WIDE variety of topics. Anyone is able to view the videos, but you must be a member (which is free) to comment on the videos, grade the videos, or submit your own "how to" video. Topics vary; some are appropriate for the classroom - others are definitely NOT appropriate. Some of the general topics that may be useful in the middle school or high school classroom include: alcohol, autos, motorcycles, and planes, business and money, computers and programming, diet and health, education (which features a variety of science experiments and more), film and theater, language (English, Chinese, Hungarian, Russian, Finnish, sign language, Polish, and countless others), music and instruments, travel, and several other topics. Within each of these general topics, there are thousands of specific "how to" videos.

Membership is free and has many perks. You are able to comment and/or grade the video clips or even submit your own video. Registration does require some personal information: a username, password, email address, and date of birth. ALL USERS MUST BE OVER 13-years of age! Check with your administrator about allowing the students to register for this site using fictitious names. You may wish to set up a class registration instead of entering true data into the registration site. Another option is to create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Warning: not all videos are suitable for the classroom. Be sure to preview what you wish to share. If you choose to allow your older students to navigate this site on their own (for research or a class project), be sure to set boundaries on which videos to watch, consequences for going elsewhere, and WATCH CAREFULLY! Some videos explain "how to" do things that are unsafe or inappropriate for school-ages audiences. Wonder How To does include unobtrusive advertisements. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aircraft (24), business (58), money (193), russian (26), sign language (8)

In the Classroom

Use these fabulous "how to" videos for informative writing projects in speech, science, or even with your gifted students. The site does provide excellent research. You may want to link directly to the specific videos you want students to see in order to avoid other, less-desirable options. Share the "how to" videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an anticipatory set for a new lesson. For a final project, have students create and submit their own "how to" video using YouTube or using a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

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Shakespeare's Staging - Regents University of California

Grades
11 to 12
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This great site gives serious Shakespeare students something to dig into deeply. Of particular interest is a full-length, documentary video titled "Shakespeare and the Spanish Connection."...more
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This great site gives serious Shakespeare students something to dig into deeply. Of particular interest is a full-length, documentary video titled "Shakespeare and the Spanish Connection." The documentary links Spanish and Elizabethan theatres in style of performance, architecture, and background. From the homepage, you can look at galleries (basically online picture albums) of Shakespearean productions from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Clicking on the "Videos" tab will enable you watch short excerpts of plays performed in various venues including open air theatres. Due to the academic nature of the presentations, this is probably best used with upperclassmen or gifted students who have some familiarity with the Elizabethan Renaissance and Shakespeare. The videos require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): literature (275), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

The ideas presented on this site offer imaginative teachers great scope. Using the short videos and/or the albums as jumping off points, students can create their own videos of their own productions. Share the videos on YouTube or another tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

One of the central topics can be the ease or difficulty in staging some of the scenes. Since there are several of the videos where actors describe the experiences playing certain characters as well as short documentaries showing authentic Elizabethan music, dance, etc., students can incorporate their own ideas in making their own scenes more genuine.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Humane High School - Humane Society Youth

Grades
6 to 12
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Come to Humane High School to learn all about animal protection, service projects to protect the animals, puppy mills, cruelty to animals, caring for pets, animals in entertainment,...more
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Come to Humane High School to learn all about animal protection, service projects to protect the animals, puppy mills, cruelty to animals, caring for pets, animals in entertainment, and other sensitive topics. This site features video clips (warning: preview before sharing, some are rather graphic), a FREE online course for students, student activity guides, printable PDF pages on HOT topics, and service learning ideas (in the areas of art, business/marketing, drama, language arts, health, physical education, life skills, math, music, science, social studies, technology, world languages, ESL, and ELL). There is also information about the legislative process of protecting animals. This site is geared towards grades 6 through 12. The link Mission: Humane provides even MORE ways to GET INVOLVED!

The Mission: Humane projects have recently won the prestigious Harris Wofford service award from Youth Service America. The projects are provided and easy to understand in a step-by-step format. Be aware: this site does include a Community link that has message boards, registration, and sign-in options (which are not required to use this site), and some other collaborative features. Be sure to watch students carefully if you allow them to navigate this site independently. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): animals (276), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Use this eye opening site in any of the subject areas listed above. Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to check out the activity guides, they are ready to go and very easy to follow. Present this site and an opposing one as part of a discussion of web sites and even or slanted presentation of information. Ask students to decide whether they see any "bias" on this site.

Use this site for research projects. Print off the list of service project ideas for students to use to earn credit in community service. Share the online course link with students that may be interested in pursuing this topic even further. Use the site as one of several sources for a class debate on animal rights or charge students to explore alternate points of view on animal issues, such as from the AKC or the meat industry. Then invite students to write a position paper with supporting facts.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Institute for Historical Dance Practice - Lieven Baert

Grades
9 to 12
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While very "plain vanilla" in design, this is a research site for a topic with very little online information available. It is worth exploring if you teach dance, theatre, or ...more
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While very "plain vanilla" in design, this is a research site for a topic with very little online information available. It is worth exploring if you teach dance, theatre, or humanities. The site is available in both Dutch and English. There are links to explore and an address in the Netherlands to write to for more information on such topics as advice and design for period dance costumes. Since they are located in the Netherlands, this is a great source for someone who is close enough to take advantage of some of the services they offer onsite. For those far away, the information itself is valuable and provides a different view of dance for those who are interested.

tag(s): costumes (6), dance (28)

In the Classroom

For students interested in theatre and dance, learning about historical dances is important. Students can research the dances and the music that accompanies them and perform them or teach them to classmates. Writing for more information from the Institute for Historical Dance Practice also provides practice in asking for specific information and an opportunity to correspond with someone in a different company.

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Interactive Drama - Skotos & individual authors

Grades
9 to 12
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This is an interesting set of scenarios, mostly written in murder mystery format, by ESL and ELL students in Taiwan. Very little editing was done to the scenarios, so you ...more
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This is an interesting set of scenarios, mostly written in murder mystery format, by ESL and ELL students in Taiwan. Very little editing was done to the scenarios, so you may notice some grammatical and spelling errors. Be sure to preview whichever of these scenarios you want to use to be sure they are appropriate for your students (although most of them are fine). Most of the scenarios are available in either WORD or PDF versions. If you need Adobe Acrobat, you can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

The murder mystery set-up is always a hit with students and provides both acting practice as well as revision skills since some of the writing needs work due to the nature of being written by ESL and ELL students. Have students prepare and perform the scenarios for each other, having the rest of the class act as the audience, guessing the answer to the mystery.

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The Shakespeare Mystery - WBGH Educational Foundation

Grades
9 to 12
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Since almost every high school reads Shakespeare, the look at the man himself and the controversies surrounding him make fascinating study for students and pull them into the Elizabethan...more
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Since almost every high school reads Shakespeare, the look at the man himself and the controversies surrounding him make fascinating study for students and pull them into the Elizabethan world (generally making study of the plays more interesting!). Originally aired in April 1989 (and no longer available for purchase), this site offers the text and links to the fascinating debate of whether Shakespeare was the man from Stratford or really an intimate of Elizabeth I, the Earl of Oxford. It is divided into three sections: The Debate Continues, Updates, and Shakespeare on the Web. In a related report, the site looks at Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe as contemporaries, rivals, or being the same man.

tag(s): acting (27), elizabethan (17), shakespeare (131), writing (358)

In the Classroom

This site offers a wide variety of activities from mock trials to timelines to actual discussions of the topic. Having students assume the roles of different participants either as those debating the issue or as Shakespeare himself, Marlowe, the Earl of Oxford, and Elizabeth I enhances research, writing, persuasive, and acting skills.

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English Teaching Program - Jason

Grades
9 to 12
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This site provides scripts for English practice of dramatic scenes, short plays, idioms, and trivia. The subjects are definitely sophisticated and most appropriately used with high...more
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This site provides scripts for English practice of dramatic scenes, short plays, idioms, and trivia. The subjects are definitely sophisticated and most appropriately used with high school aged ESL/ELL students. Be aware - this website was obviously created by a non-native English speaker. You will notice some minor grammar and spelling errors.

tag(s): idioms (44), speaking (24), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to share the multimedia section of stories with the entire class. This site is very useful to encourage language learners and hesitant speakers to complete communication projects and gain confidence in public speaking.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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highschooldrama.com - Natalie Hendrickson

Grades
9 to 12
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Created by a drama teacher in California, this drama site has several interesting aspects and promises more in the future. There is a link to organizations, affiliations, guilds, and...more
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Created by a drama teacher in California, this drama site has several interesting aspects and promises more in the future. There is a link to organizations, affiliations, guilds, and unions as well as books that are helpful from Amazon. The best part of the site is the section Drama Notes and Exercises . Based on Robert Cohen's book Acting One , with additions by the site author. This offers a variety of exercises appropriate to the high school setting and classroom, tested out by teachers. There are some simple advertisements at this website.

tag(s): acting (27), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

Pull interesting ideas from the Drama Notes as either class enrichment or for inclusion in lessons involving drama, such as Shakespeare and other plays. Students love to "act it out," and if they have a little knowledge on how to do that well, they will enjoy it more and remember it better.

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The Art of Teaching the Arts - Annenberg Media

Grades
9 to 12
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This is a wonderful site for high school educators who are interested in teaching the arts through theatre, music, art, or any of the humanities. It is a professional workshop ...more
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This is a wonderful site for high school educators who are interested in teaching the arts through theatre, music, art, or any of the humanities. It is a professional workshop site that offers 8 one-hour practical video seminars on how to teach the arts and on the passion of those who already do. The videos are free for streaming, but you can also purchase them as DVDs or VHS. You do have to register--for free. The self-described goal is a workshop to help teachers improve their teaching through seven different foci, including the diverse needs of students, instructional approaches, creating the appropriate learning environment to making the most of community resources, and encouraging students to be independent thinkers and creative problem solvers. This site requires Windows Media Player. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): creativity (109)

In the Classroom

This is a professional site rich in ideas for any teacher looking for new ideas or a jump-start to teach the arts. Make this course your personal goal for summer break or a collaborative professional development group.

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60 second Shakespeare - BBC

Grades
9 to 12
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This is a fabulous site for the Shakespeare teacher or simply the Shakespeare fan. It includes all of Willie's most famous plays done up in student-friendly and attractive, attention-getting...more
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This is a fabulous site for the Shakespeare teacher or simply the Shakespeare fan. It includes all of Willie's most famous plays done up in student-friendly and attractive, attention-getting form. The challenge is for students to develop their own '60-second' bit of Shakespeare. The site includes examples of different formats and offers everything from teacher lesson plans to "master classes" in teaching students how to do things such as audios, films, and photo slideshows as well as the more common newspaper articles and acting classes. The site also allows viewers to "vote" on their favorite renditions. This website requires Windows Media Player or Real Player. You can get either from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): acting (27), shakespeare (131), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Since you can even submit your 60-second Shakespeare piece to the site for posting, this can be a real challenge to classes in competition. Have each class design its own 60-second program. They can use the ones already posted for inspiration. If you choose, you can use plans already posted by Paul Sibson, an IT teaching instructor, or you can pick and choose which ones you want students to attempt (or make better!). Make sure you have written parent permission before submitting student work and are within school policies. If policies prohibit posting on the BBC site, create a private wiki of your own within your school.

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English Renaissance Drama - Anniina Jokinen

Grades
9 to 12
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Students know something about Shakespeare, but they tend to think he was the only playwright of his day. This site helps them realize that he was only one of many ...more
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Students know something about Shakespeare, but they tend to think he was the only playwright of his day. This site helps them realize that he was only one of many in the Elizabethan period and that there was a Tudor period before and a Jacobean period after him. This is an exhaustive, albeit entertaining, and authoritative look at English drama as it moved from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance. The articles are written by professors and they all contain links with explanations for all the referenced allusions. While rather encyclopedic in nature, having all the resources in one place is extraordinarily handy for the teacher of this period.

tag(s): elizabethan (17), renaissance (34)

In the Classroom

Have students "become" one of the rival playwrights after researching the times and the playwright might be interesting. Perhaps students could do a panel discussion or write a blog entry as their "playwright." Don't miss the Introduction section to get valuable information about the theaters and the staging conventions of the time.

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Skip's Radio Scripts for Language Learners - Skip Reske

Grades
6 to 12
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These adapted radio scripts assist ESL/ELL students with learning how to use articles and grammar correctly, increase vocabulary, and improve reading comprehension. A highly motivating...more
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These adapted radio scripts assist ESL/ELL students with learning how to use articles and grammar correctly, increase vocabulary, and improve reading comprehension. A highly motivating site, students can see photos of old movies and even enjoy clips from the movies as they work with the scripts.

tag(s): grammar (216), movies (64), radio (27)

In the Classroom

This website is particularly useful if your ESL/ELL students want to perform a portion of a play. If your students are having difficulty with article usage, try a different approach to teaching the skill in the context of drama. If you have access to DVDs of the films used, you may want to play a few clips for the students.

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Literary Visions - Intelcom & Maryland Public Television

Grades
9 to 12
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This website offers a wide range of free video streaming for understanding different aspects of literature from a variety of experts. You must register, but it is free. Note: streaming...more
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This website offers a wide range of free video streaming for understanding different aspects of literature from a variety of experts. You must register, but it is free. Note: streaming of the videos is free, but you cannot download them. (You can purchase them as a set of DVDs if you choose.) However, being able to pick and choose the pieces that you want that apply to your curriculum is a big advantage. Topics range from an introduction through analysis of an essay, short fiction, poetry, tone, drama, power, and uses of literature. This is an exciting website, sharing many aspects of literature by experts in their fields. The examples of story readings and short dramatizations of such plays as "Hamlet" and poems as Amy Lowell's "Patterns" builds student appreciation and understanding of these works. This powerful and useful series is brought to the web by Annenberg Media.

tag(s): elements (36), literature (275), poetry (227)

In the Classroom

Use one of the streaming videos on a projector or whiteboard to introduce students to the style used by a writer. Then assign small groups to watch, summarize, and react to different styles and report their observations to the class.

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The Online Guide to Traditional Games - James Masters

Grades
8 to 12
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Clearly, students love playing games of all kinds. This website takes a look at the history of games from board games to lawn games. It both describes the pieces, the ...more
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Clearly, students love playing games of all kinds. This website takes a look at the history of games from board games to lawn games. It both describes the pieces, the boards, the rules, and the history. Since many of the games are from other places around the world, this site affords the opportunity to investigate how game playing relates to life in different times and places. This is a great site to get kids involved in history, games, and creativity. Not only can they learn about games from the Renaissance and before; they will laugh at names like "Toad in the Hole" and "Ringing the Bull." While many of these games will show the origins of games they play today, it will give students ideas on how to create their own games.

In the Classroom

Have students design gameboards or cards, game pieces, and rules to play variations of the games on the site. In your world cultures class, have students play and compare games from different cultures. Use game-creation as the culminating project at the end of a content or research unit or simply as a way to teach writing: both informational (directions) and creative. Have students role-play characters who might play original or historic games by writing character sketches and then performing them. Let the games begin!

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Cinema: How are Hollywood films made? - Annenberg Media, Learner.org

Grades
8 to 12
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If you teach film or plan a video project with students, this is a great site for students to see and practice the step-by-step process of basic film. As you ...more
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If you teach film or plan a video project with students, this is a great site for students to see and practice the step-by-step process of basic film. As you click through each step, the site provides some history. It then asks students to create their own screenplay scenes from a given (already filmed) scenario. Students can see what other student writers have said as well as see the actual screenplay that was used. The site follows this format through each step, with varying degrees of interaction all along the way: from directing to producing, acting to editing.

tag(s): movies (64)

In the Classroom

After using some of the brief history of film, teachers could have students create their own movie by assigning them different roles in the process (screenwriter, director, editor, actor, etc.) Some students might be responsible for blogging the process for another class and the end product could be shared among classes.

The resource links at the end are great for extending activities outside the classroom or getting students interested in their own research on film. Gifted students could use this as the start of a year-long project!

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Aaron Shephard's RT (Reader's Theater) Page - Aaron Shephard

Grades
3 to 12
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This page provides lots of info and resources for using reader's theater in conjunction with plays, manuscripts, and folktales. Besides displaying Shephard's books for sale, click on...more
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This page provides lots of info and resources for using reader's theater in conjunction with plays, manuscripts, and folktales. Besides displaying Shephard's books for sale, click on Aaron's Extras to find scripts for plays and tales you can use in the classroom. Other offerings include worksheets, examples of scripting sheets you can use or learn to do it yourself, tips for using RT, and links to other references. You can search among the many materials available by genre, country, historical period, theme, etc.

tag(s): plays (37), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Use this website to find hints on how to dramatize the literature or folklore you're studying in the classroom. ESL students will find using Reader's Theater particularly helpful as they can read, speak, and listen to the materials and have more chances at comprehension. Similarly, students who are visual or oral learners will benefit from the multi-sensory presentations.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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16th Century Renaissance English Literature - Anion Jokinen

Grades
9 to 12
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While there are countless sites on Shakespeare, this one offers the OTHER authors from the greatest period of English literature. This site doesn't even bother with Shakespeare, sending...more
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While there are countless sites on Shakespeare, this one offers the OTHER authors from the greatest period of English literature. This site doesn't even bother with Shakespeare, sending the reader to a different source for that information. The site divides the plays into Tudor, Elizabethan, and Jacobean periods. This is an impressive array that focuses on the history of the Tudors as background for Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Kyd, Hooker, Spenser, and dozens more. There is a new section on Renaissance drama and another on religious writers, who were very influential at this time. The variety offered here, particularly for those who think the only writer of this time was Shakespeare, is amazing. The small Google ads are unobtrusive.

tag(s): elizabethan (17), literature (275), marlowe (2)

In the Classroom

This is a great site for research and sharing with students. It gives them a taste beyond what they think they know about the English Renaissance. Most of the author-specific pages have links to discussion forums for that author, and students can quickly find other aficionados for obscure writers of this period. Share an author a day as you read Shakespeare, then ask students to research a favorite and create a digital museum piece about him/her on a wiki or write a blog entry as if from their person's journal.

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