TeachersFirst's Dramatic Arts and Dance

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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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Drama Toolkit - DramaToolkit.co

Grades
K to 12
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Do you need resources for teaching drama? Drama Toolkit is a one-stop-shop for games, strategies, and lessons for teaching drama. Created by drama therapists, the website includes many...more
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Do you need resources for teaching drama? Drama Toolkit is a one-stop-shop for games, strategies, and lessons for teaching drama. Created by drama therapists, the website includes many ideas for incorporating the Arts with children and teens. Choose the games section to find activities sorted by objectives such as thinking skills, trust, and concentration. Other parts of the site share ideas on how to incorporate dramatic strategies and offer a free lesson plan for download.

tag(s): acting (18), plays (24), readers theater (11)

In the Classroom

This site isn't just for drama teachers; it offers many ideas for use in all classrooms. Take advantage of the games section to find team-building, getting to know you, and listening skills activities. For example, use the game "Change Places If..." within a variety of academic topics. In math class, use the prompt for students to change places with others when they hear the correct answer to a problem within a series of answers or change places if they can share a tip for a problem-solving activity. When teaching social studies, play this game to have students change places if they can provide information on a date in history or tell a fact about a famous person. Use this same game as a review activity when preparing for quizzes and tests. Another set of activities helps students work on voice and dialogue skills. Use these ideas to promote students' oral reading skills. Use FlipGrid, reviewed here, as a video recording tool for students to assess their reading improvement by asking them to read a passage before participating in voice and dialogue activities, then again after these lessons.

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Space School Musical - Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology

Grades
3 to 12
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Introduce students to planets, the moon, and more through this "hip-hopera" correlated to science standards. The materials are designed to be used as a whole production, or as individual...more
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Introduce students to planets, the moon, and more through this "hip-hopera" correlated to science standards. The materials are designed to be used as a whole production, or as individual stand-alone parts. Each section includes a video download and transcript. Total runtime of the videos is 30 minutes. If your school blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): moon (66), planets (111), readers theater (11), space (204), STEM (225)

In the Classroom

Appeal to your students' love of music and drama to teach key space concepts with this site. Instead of just watching the videos, enhance learning using edpuzzle, reviewed here. Use edpuzzle to upload the video then add questions to help student comprehension or as a starter for further exploration. Have students interested in music and theater create their own production of Space School Musical (or their original space production). Allow students who aren't interested in being featured in the production to create scenery, be authors and add additional information, or help videotape and share the finished project. Enhance learning by having other students create video explainers using a video creation tool like Typito, reviewed here. Use these explainers as part of your ongoing assessment of student learning in place of a written report.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ArtsAlive.ca English Theatre - 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. Though the video interviews require Flash or QuickTime, they have transcripts and there is still a lot to be learned about the theater at this site.

tag(s): acting (18), design (85), plays (24), shakespeare (91)

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 Beautiful.AI. 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 - Creative Ideas for Teaching Drama - 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 (56), bullying (51), digital storytelling (129), stories and storytelling (34)

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 Kizoa, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Shakespeare Study Guide - formerly known as Shake Sphere - Michael J. Cummings

Grades
6 to 12
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Peruse this Shakespeare Study Guide to find anything and everything you ever wanted to know about Shakespeare, his works, his craft, the Globe Theater, and more. This site is so ...more
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Peruse this Shakespeare Study Guide to find anything and everything you ever wanted to know about Shakespeare, his works, his craft, the Globe Theater, and more. This site is so impressive that it is recommended as a Shakespeare Resource by The New York Times, the British Library, and the BBC. Of course, you will find all the famous sayings (one fell swoop), quotations, and insults.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): feudalism (2), hamlet (9), julius caesar (5), literature (220), macbeth (9), midsummer nights dream (4), plays (24), romeo & juliet (8), romeo and juliet (4), shakespeare (91), sonnets (6)

In the Classroom

Make this all inclusive site available to your students on your webpage so they can look up words they do not know, etc. There are so many resources available that you could divide your class into groups and have each group research a different play or sonnet. Along with resources for Shakespeare's writing there are resources for Feudalism, Kings and Queens, castles, stage directions and drama terms, and so much more. Consider introducing your heterogeneous class to Shakespeare by using one of the Animated Shakespeare Videos reviewed here. Also, to help differentiate, look at Shmoop's Shakespeare page, 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 (115), plays (24)

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

Grades
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 (93), baseball (31), civil war (127), comics and cartoons (44), dance (23), folktales (32), greece (24), habitats (78), immigration (58), literature (220), mexico (28), musical instruments (42), myths and legends (21), native americans (82), painting (51), 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 do themselves 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.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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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 (11)

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 (285)

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 (92)

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 Living Playbook - Randy Dixon

Grades
2 to 12
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In essence, this is a long PDF full of ideas for different games-- long ones and short ones-- to enhance classroom activities. This site is especially good for teaching ...more
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In essence, this is a long PDF full of ideas for different games-- long ones and short ones-- to enhance classroom activities. This site is especially good for teaching students basic scene-playing in drama classes or English classes where acting out scripts or scenarios is part of the curriculum. It is also helpful for loosening students up into relaxing a bit with the group or with cooperative learning classes where working with different levels is important.

One of the useful things about this site is the list of terms at the beginning of it, which give you and your students a common vocabulary when acting out scenes or plays. The site is actually a simple --and very long-- scrollable page (plain vanilla by today's standards). The games start with the title "The Playbook" about a tenth of the way down the page. This site also solicits more games as you think of them, so it is a way for students to get involved in thinking of new ones to play and, therefore, send to the creator of the site.

tag(s): acting (18)

In the Classroom

Try a game a day or offer these as idea-generators for students giving classroom presentations during your drama unit. Give extra credit for those who write their own ideas for submission to the site. Your "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" fans will want you to share this link on your teacher web page for them to use at home, as well. Parents would appreciate the link for creative ideas for birthday parties with the younger set. If you run a drama club, this site will keep you busy for years!

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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 (32)

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 (15), speech (68)

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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Aaron Shepard - Aaron Shepard

Grades
1 to 8
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Author's On Line homepage for Aaron Shepard is a site that provides lots of info and resources for using reader's theater in conjunction with plays, manuscripts, and folktales; appropriate...more
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Author's On Line homepage for Aaron Shepard is a site that provides lots of info and resources for using reader's theater in conjunction with plays, manuscripts, and folktales; appropriate for all elementary grade levels. On this page you'll find loads of resources and treats (printable posters, music etc.) for teachers, librarians, storytellers, children's writers, parents, and young people -- all from award-winning children's author Aaron Shepard. His specialty is retold folktales. You'll also find information on Aaron, his books, and his author visits. 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): folktales (32), plays (24), readers theater (11), stories and storytelling (34), writing (285)

In the Classroom

Click on Aaron's RT Page to find scripts for plays and tales you can use 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.

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