TeachersFirst's Dramatic Arts and Dance

Discover resources in this collection to infuse drama and dance into your lessons. This curated list includes musicals, readers theater, dance instruction, and more. You may find it helpful to use ideas from this list to plan your physical education and language arts lessons. This list includes resources for all grades.

See our complete collection of acting, plays, readers' theater, and dance resources.

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All the World's a Stage: Incorporating Dramatic Arts and Dance into the Classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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All the World's a Stage is part of the TeachersFirst Help! I Lost My Library/Media Specialist series reviewed here sharing book lists and ideas for...more
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All the World's a Stage is part of the TeachersFirst Help! I Lost My Library/Media Specialist series reviewed here sharing book lists and ideas for incorporating dramatic arts and dance into the classroom. The Background Knowledge section shares information on easing into the dramatic arts beginning with Reader's Theater activities, then extending into additional arts activities such as drama circles and dance. In addition to recommended books about the dramatic arts and artists, numerous classroom activities are available for students. Extension activities are also provided to encourage students to create art that represents various curriculum areas. Information includes correlation to ISTE and AASL standards.

tag(s): book lists (162), dance (26), readers theater (10)

In the Classroom

Include the books and activities this article suggests to engage students through movement and the arts. Have students create and share Reader's Theater productions to demonstrate learning of any content. Use Storyboard That, reviewed here to create storyboards as they plan their productions. After recording your students' Reader's Theater presentations, use Clipchamp, reviewed here to edit and transform your presentations into professional-looking productions.
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Indigenous Peoples of the Americas - The Kennedy Center

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K to 8
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This diverse collection of resources provides many opportunities to experience the culture of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas through visual arts, dance, music, and more. Resources...more
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This diverse collection of resources provides many opportunities to experience the culture of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas through visual arts, dance, music, and more. Resources include lessons for grades K-8 that focus on learning about indigenous people through integrating the arts with science, social studies, and language arts. Other resources include videos that feature Native Americans discussing their crafts through interviews and storytelling. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. Lessons correlate to National Core Arts Standards, Common Core, and Next Generation Science Standards.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (155), cultures (132), dance (26), holidays (163), native americans (91), north america (14), stories and storytelling (42)

In the Classroom

Print lesson plans during Native American Month, as a supplement to social studies lessons about cultures and states, or during geography lessons. Lesson plans are available in PDF format or as Google Documents; save any lesson to your Google Drive as a copy of the original document and edit it to fit your curriculum or adapt it as desired to fit current lessons. Use any or all materials found on this site as a personalized learning lesson for students to complete in person or remotely. For example, add a video, poem, and reflective activity, and additional materials to a SchoolStack, reviewed here, an activity that offers students a choice of learning materials and activities. Consider asking students to work in collaborative groups to research indigenous people based on their interests. For example, have a group explore dance, another their art and sculpture, and a group that researches geographic locations of the different tribes. Ask each group to share their learning by creating simple websites made with Telegra.ph, reviewed here. Telegra.ph provides simple website creation tools without all the distractions of backgrounds, templates, and other distractions. Easily add text, images, and links to any Telegra.ph site.
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Swing Your Partner: The Basics of Square Dancing - The Kennedy Center

Grades
3 to 6
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Square Dancing is considered a uniquely American dance form, although it has strong roots in 17th Century English and French dance forms. This lesson for grades 3-5 uses the inquiry...more
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Square Dancing is considered a uniquely American dance form, although it has strong roots in 17th Century English and French dance forms. This lesson for grades 3-5 uses the inquiry process to introduce students to square dancing and guide them through completing a "Kids Guide to Square Dancing." As a final project, groups of students create an instructional video and perform a square dance for their peers. The lesson includes links to videos, supporting lessons, and suggestions for making the instructional video presentation. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): dance (26), process writing (38)

In the Classroom

Use this lesson as an alternative to typical informational writing prompts. Engage students in learning about square dance as you introduce the first activity that asks students to share what they know about square dancing using an interactive whiteboard tool such as IdeaBoardz, reviewed here. For example, create a board with two sections - use one section for students to share what they know and the second section for sharing what they would like to learn. Use Padlet, reviewed here, to organize resources for students to use when researching the guide to square dancing. Include a column for videos, another for music, and another with tips on how to write an instructional guide. Enhance the video portion of lessons using playposit, reviewed here, to add comments that highlight specific portions of the video such as types of dance steps or choreography.

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Baila! Latin Dance in the Spanish Classroom - The Kennedy Center

Grades
8 to 12
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This lesson provides students with an understanding of traditional Latin dance styles using videos and comparisons to elements of dance using standard terminology. The study focuses...more
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This lesson provides students with an understanding of traditional Latin dance styles using videos and comparisons to elements of dance using standard terminology. The study focuses on different types of dance that include salsa, mambo, merengue, rumba, cha-cha, bachata, and samba. In addition, activities introduce the geography behind the dances and provide an introduction to the history behind the dance styles. As a final activity, student groups select a country and dance style to research and present to their peers. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (155), dance (26), spanish (105)

In the Classroom

Use the ideas found in this lesson to incorporate dance into your lessons that feature the Caribbean or South American countries. For example, when studying the history of Cuba, include ideas from this lesson and additional information about the dances that originated in the country to help students engage in a deeper understanding of the culture. As students share their research and presentations, provide them with various options to share their learning. For example, allow students to choose from Sway, reviewed here, to create a multimedia presentation, or offer students the opportunity to create a video presentation using Adobe Express Video Maker, reviewed here, with audio and templates.

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The Kennedy Center Ballet Collection - The Kennedy Center

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K to 12
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This extensive collection from The Kennedy Center features many lessons, media resources, and articles relating to ballet. Use this site to learn about ballerinas as athletes and discover...more
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This extensive collection from The Kennedy Center features many lessons, media resources, and articles relating to ballet. Use this site to learn about ballerinas as athletes and discover the history of ballet and its influence on cultures, politics, and art. Scroll through the home page to find articles on bringing community connections through dance, learn how to prevent injuries, and prepare for a visit to the ballet. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): dance (26), russia (33), stories and storytelling (42)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent site to use when introducing students to ballet as a form of dance or as an option to use with girls who are interested in athletics and sports. Consider including resources found on the ballet site as part of a storytelling unit or sharing ideas with students for finding role models when writing biographies. As you share information from this site and others, consider using curation tools such as Symbaloo, reviewed here, and Wakelet, reviewed here, to share information with students in an organized manner. Add information from this collection into an interactive lesson using Curipod, reviewed here. Include videos, articles, quizzes, and documents as part of your interactive lesson.

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The Kennedy Center Dance Collection - The Kennedy Center

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K to 12
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Discover the culture and history of dance worldwide and its importance in telling stories through movement and music using this rich and varied collection of resources. This site contains...more
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Discover the culture and history of dance worldwide and its importance in telling stories through movement and music using this rich and varied collection of resources. This site contains groups, lessons, information from featured artists, and more, covering many dance genres. In addition, media resources feature videos that teach dance, provide information on dance companies worldwide, and visit featured artists.

tag(s): chinese new year (5), cross cultural understanding (155), cultures (132), dance (26), hispanic (28), jazz (17), native americans (91), poetry (190), stories and storytelling (42)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many free resources on this site to add dance to music lessons and cultural units and enrich topics featuring people and places worldwide. Each resource includes tags, and the lessons include suggested grade levels, use these links to find additional resources for classroom use. As you include information from this site, use an online whiteboard tool such as Google Jamboard, reviewed here, to engage students in learning. For example, add a link to a video from the site about a featured artist and ask students to share their learning or post questions to explore further. Ask students to share their understanding using one of the many tools found Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here. For example, ask students to create a website of a featured dance style, while other students create a video sharing dance and cultural information about their chosen group of people or country.

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myShakespeare - Richard Clark and Greg Watson

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8 to 12
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myShakespeare provides interactive content, including videos and study tools to accompany six of the most well-known Shakespeare plays. In addition to the play's complete text, the...more
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myShakespeare provides interactive content, including videos and study tools to accompany six of the most well-known Shakespeare plays. In addition to the play's complete text, the supplemental materials include video performances of key scenes, character discussions, complete audio recordings, and pop-up notes that share insight into the literary devices used within the text. Another option includes viewing portions of each play in modern language to help guide comprehension of the material. The Notebook portion of the site offers study tools that have comprehension questions and includes the ability for students to highlight and annotate the text. Finished notebooks can be saved, shared, and exported to teacher accounts. Select any play to begin; at the top of the page, you will find links to the materials, including a summary, the number of videos, toggle glossed words on or off (alternative words for items in the text), and notebook activities. Then, as you scroll through the page, available items appear next to the selected area on the right side of the screen. Use the links to share to your Google Classroom account as desired.

tag(s): england (50), literature (218), plays (27), shakespeare (93)

In the Classroom

This site is a must-have for teachers of Shakespeare! Engage students by sharing the video performances to help students understand key events during any of the plays. Share and point out the glossed (bold) words to help students understand difficult language. Find the tool for glossed words in the top menu to turn it on and off. Have students answer the comprehension questions as a formative assessment for their self-reflection and to guide your lesson planning. This site is perfect for use in remote classrooms or as a flipped learning activity. Assign portions of the text to students to read before class discussions. Using myShakespeare in this way offers many tools for students to view the material in different formats as they complete the reading. Use Flip, reviewed here, to enhance student learning throughout your Shakespeare unit by asking clarifying questions and have students post video responses. Extend learning further by asking students to create short video explainers of different scenes of the play using Adobe Express Video Maker, reviewed here.

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ArtsAlive - The Stage is Yours - National Arts Centre

Grades
8 to 12
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Learn everything you ever wanted to know about acting, producing, directing and the theater in general. This site is focused on the English Canadian Theater, but is applicable to all...more
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Learn everything you ever wanted to know about acting, producing, directing and the theater in general. This site is focused on the English Canadian Theater, but is applicable to all dramas. Find an introduction to acting, biographies of actors, and video interviews with professional actors. For those interested in other theater related work, visit the design and production area to learn about sets and props, costumes, wigs, make up and all the physical details of the play and environment. Learn about script writing at The Playwright's Corner. Find activities for improvisation, Shakespeare, script creation, and study guides. Don't miss the FREE teacher, parent, and student resource links.

tag(s): acting (18), design (80), plays (27), shakespeare (93)

In the Classroom

Use a projector or interactive whiteboard to present this outstanding site to your students. Students of drama, English, history, art, and architecture will find something of interest. Although the site is text heavy in places, you could employ a tool like From Text to Speech, reviewed here, for the interview transcripts to help weaker readers access information. Have students choose a category (design and production, playwright's corner, Shakespeare's plays, acting, etc.) of interest to investigate. Group students by interest. Within their small groups students can jigsaw, each taking a different facet of the category to learn about. After that they can put together a mini-presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Presentation tools reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, Vevox, Animatron, Renderforest, and Presentious. Once everyone is done studying their categories, suggest producing a play by one of the scriptwriters from the group.

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Drama Resource - David Farmer

Grades
K to 6
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Find drama instruction including lessons, games, and strategies. Choose the Games link to find a game of the week as well as many other activities for icebreakers, improvisation,...more
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Find drama instruction including lessons, games, and strategies. Choose the Games link to find a game of the week as well as many other activities for icebreakers, improvisation, storytelling, and more. Explore many different dramatic strategies through brief descriptions, videos, and downloadable templates. Choose from several primary drama lessons including one on anti-bullying. There are also history-related "dramas" such as World War II Evacuees to bring historical events to life. A new addition to the site is Making Drama Out of a Crisis - teaching drama online or socially distanced. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): acting (18), back to school (63), bullying (49), digital storytelling (144), stories and storytelling (42)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. If you are looking for ways to get students more involved with history lessons, drama may be just the thing. Take advantage of the free lesson plans included on the site. Use lessons and activities as part of your storytelling unit, for beginning of the year activities, or to promote higher level thinking skills. Have students create their own mini-drama moment: upload a photo they have taken and add voice bubbles for dialog using a tool such as Phrase.it, reviewed here. Have students create animated movies online demonstrating different drama techniques using invideo AI, reviewed here.
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Drama in the ESL Classroom - Jessica Davis

Grades
2 to 12
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Find a wealth of resources for using drama in the ESL/ELL classroom. The same activities can also be useful for other subjects. The improvisation resources are especially exciting,...more
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Find a wealth of resources for using drama in the ESL/ELL classroom. The same activities can also be useful for other subjects. The improvisation resources are especially exciting, offering definitions, examples of activities, links, and visual examples of how you can use improvisational techniques. In addition, information and activities on using plays, process drama, and reader's theater for language teaching abound. Use play writing for another aspect of language teaching. There is a complete curriculum for offering an independent class in drama for ESL/ELL students. Although this site may appear plain vanilla, there are sprinkles throughout, making this tool very valuable and informative.

tag(s): acting (18), creative writing (120), plays (27)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the starting point for group projects like having the students write and produce their own play(s). This is a great find for gifted students as well as students studying any modern language as the play writing and acting techniques can easily be adapted. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos of the plays they write and produce then edit and save them using using wevideo, reviewed here. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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Elizabethan & Jacobean Drama - Nicoleta Cinpoes

Grades
9 to 12
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Sponsored by the University of Warwick in Coventry England, this website is a scholarly, yet eminently entertaining and readable/usable website about the English Renaissance in drama....more
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Sponsored by the University of Warwick in Coventry England, this website is a scholarly, yet eminently entertaining and readable/usable website about the English Renaissance in drama. Opening to the main page will show you a blank (this is a project in process), but click on any of the links on the left and you will find everything from timelines (divided into political, theatre, social, and the life of Thomas Kyd) to key fragment studies of several playwrights' work. Any of the websites with a little padlock next to them are not accessible without signing in and you can't sign in unless you are a student of the university. However, there is enough free offering here to make it a worthwhile site.

tag(s): elizabethan (13)

In the Classroom

The timelines alone are a goldmine. Set students to work connecting political, social, and religious background with the rich drama of the 16th-17th century and you can have a fascinating blend of humanistic study.

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Kennedy Center Digital Resources - Formerly ArtsEdge - Kennedy Center

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K to 12
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This site, created by the Kennedy Center, offers a wealth of interactive lesson plans for grades K-12 dealing with a variety of topics, all with an "arts" spin. Search by ...more
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This site, created by the Kennedy Center, offers a wealth of interactive lesson plans for grades K-12 dealing with a variety of topics, all with an "arts" spin. Search by subject, keyword, or grade level (K-4, 5-8, or 9-12). Some examples of topics include Native Americans, Civil War, Shakespeare, myths, melodrama, adjectives, monsters, baseball, and countless others! Be sure to check out the category "Our Best Resources Organized by Subject." After that click on the the top menu for Education and get even more resources. There are many interactive lessons: some with video, audio, or slideshows. The lessons provide an estimate of time required and complete, step-by-step instructions. There are printables included with some of the lessons.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): african american (111), baseball (33), civil war (134), comics and cartoons (54), dance (26), folktales (34), greece (27), habitats (86), immigration (63), literature (218), mexico (29), musical instruments (47), myths and legends (21), native americans (91), painting (55), surrealism (2)

In the Classroom

Search this site for a topic that you are teaching in your class. Share the lesson on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Better yet, make the video or slideshow a learning station for students to watch in small groups. This site is so wonderful and HUGE, that after students are one with the resources you have for them, you may want to allow them to explore on independently or in small groups for a specific interest of theirs.
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Reader's Theatre Scripts and Plays - Colleen Gallagher

Grades
1 to 9
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Full of scripts and related materials for reader's theater, this site offers a wealth of information for the teacher who wants to use reader's theater as a tool for reading ...more
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Full of scripts and related materials for reader's theater, this site offers a wealth of information for the teacher who wants to use reader's theater as a tool for reading or drama. Some of the links don't work, but many do, and you can find actual scripts as well as other ideas for making reader's theater a complete experience for students. There are also guidelines for setting up reader's theatre, rubrics for evaluation, and ideas for use with a range of grades and reading levels.

Editor's note: There is one group of links (to sites that start with "hometown.aol") that no longer work. Since this is only a small portion of the site, TeachersFirst continues to list the resource for its many GOOD links. Roll your mouse over the links before clicking and check the address in the gray bar at the bottom left of your screen. Don't bother with the hometown.aol links.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): readers theater (10)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your favorites, then let student groups select from scripts to record their own audio podcasts or create a Thinglink, reviewed here, of a tale, illustrated with a selection of copyright-safe images or student drawings. Or have students make a high-tech excerpt from a reader's theater script by creating avatars to read each part using Voki, reviewed here. Sequence the embedded conversation bits on a class wiki so viewers can enjoy the performance by clicking through them in order. These wiki excerpts could be used to "advertise" an upcoming performance or a featured literary piece.

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Creating Dramatic Monologues from Grapes of Wrath - Alisa Soderquist

Grades
9 to 12
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If you are looking for a new way to involve students in literature, this is a great idea. This site offers a two-day plan for students to create dramatic monologues ...more
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If you are looking for a new way to involve students in literature, this is a great idea. This site offers a two-day plan for students to create dramatic monologues for different characters in Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. The lesson does require that students research sources for authenticity and suggests that students work in groups to come up with the monologues. The lesson includes standards, extension activities, vocabulary words (with audio) and links to other resources. This site requires Media Player. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): writing (317)

In the Classroom

This site works on so many levels from teaching what a monologue is and how it suits a particular character in literature to researching primary sources and understanding what they tell you. This is a good group project that could work for other novels as well as The Grapes of Wrath. Try using an online digital recording tool such as Podomatic (reviewed here)for students to record and share their monologues as a podcast.

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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.

tag(s): creativity (91)

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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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 (13), renaissance (32)

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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Applied and Interactive Theatre Guide - Toni Sant

Grades
9 to 12
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An unusual site, this resource should be approached with care, but is worth listing for the interactiveness and uniqueness of it. It is a self-professed "resource for those who use...more
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An unusual site, this resource should be approached with care, but is worth listing for the interactiveness and uniqueness of it. It is a self-professed "resource for those who use theatre techniques for other or more than arts or entertainment purposes, and for those whose theatre styles incorporate other than traditional presentation styles." All of the links appear to work and provide a WIDE variety of activities and viewpoints. The caution comes in some of those links which can direct students to inappropriate sites for school. Please preview first.

The top of each site will give you a brief overview and then there is a row of book sources that you can purchase (clicking on them will take you to Amazon). Scroll down past those for the wealth of the site.

In the Classroom

Setting up for a direct link to one of the main areas like History of Theatre will allow your students a veritable feast of areas to choose from. They can look from ancient Greek theatre to marionette puppets to magic-lantern shows. Theatre in Education and WWW Resources and Links are also very useful to the classroom teacher.

If you teach Humanities, Radical Theatre is a good source for some of the epic, theatre of the absurd, and Guerrilla Girls art. Steer away from Drama Therapy, Hacktivism, and Psychodrama.

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The Educational Theatre Association - EdTA

Grades
6 to 12
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This is a site for those who teach theatre and those who want to be more involved in educational theatre throughout the USA and internationally. As the U.S. association affiliated ...more
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This is a site for those who teach theatre and those who want to be more involved in educational theatre throughout the USA and internationally. As the U.S. association affiliated with the International Thespian Society, this site provides everything a first-time director or a seasoned pro might want to begin a thespian society in his school. Or perhaps you just want to use some of the information from this site-- that's worthwhile too.

tag(s): acting (18)

In the Classroom

Going to the Eduction under the resources tab and scanning down the topics will provide you with a lot of information. They are selling their stamped goods, of course, but the goal of the site is to let people know about the society and provide support for those who teach drama. It is also a great place to network and they have programs for middle school as well as high school students.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Multicultural Theatre in Music - Iris R. Davis

Grades
4 to 6
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This curriculum unit is designed to help fourth and fifth grade students acquire musical and dramatic skills and knowledge. The lessons can be taught in the regular enrichment class...more
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This curriculum unit is designed to help fourth and fifth grade students acquire musical and dramatic skills and knowledge. The lessons can be taught in the regular enrichment class and can be completed in less than 30 minutes. It will take approximately nine weeks to complete the entire unit. While this is geared to a music class, it is adaptable to literature, history, art, or drama. The history of the theater will help students to understand that personal beliefs and societal values influence art forms and styles. Identifying significant works of drama will allow students to understand the diversity of cultures and styles. Students will be able to recognize the aesthetic qualities of the arts and they will learn to act, analyze and respond to performances, evaluate the quality of performances, and demonstrate performance disciplines.

tag(s): diversity (38)

In the Classroom

The joy of units offered like this is being able to use them in their entirety or pick, choose, and adapt to your own classroom needs. If your language arts series includes a theme on creativity or drama, this is a natural extension of that theme.

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Monologue Archive

Grades
8 to 12
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Links to MANY monologues for use by students for speech and drama. Categories include comic, dramatic, and classic for men and women, as well as monologues for children and "seniors."...more
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Links to MANY monologues for use by students for speech and drama. Categories include comic, dramatic, and classic for men and women, as well as monologues for children and "seniors." A real prize for teachers who are working with forensics or drama students. All the links on this site take you to a list of possiblities that are either reprinted by permission or public domain. You can search by playwright. Going to a particular monologue will allow you to check on other monologues by that playwright. You can also access the main menu from the monologue itself rather than going back each time.

tag(s): forensics (13), speech (66)

In the Classroom

If you are beginning podcasting in your clases, monologues could provide some material for your students to try. Consider creating a collection of monlogues on a certain theme or a "monologue of the week" podcast for your literature or drama class.

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