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The Arts In Every Classroom: A Video Library K-5

Teaching Theatre Activities and Discussion

A fifth-grade student’s mask reveals an inner vision of herself, at Barney Ford Elementary School in Denver, Colorado.

Suggested Activities and Discussion

Consider the following additional questions for reflection:

  • How can you adapt the “Sorry, I Must Be Leaving” lesson within your classroom and for other subject areas?
  • How can theatre be incorporated into the curriculum to teach other subject areas, including other art forms?
  • How can you encourage students to recognize the importance of asking questions to extend their learning?
  • How does theatre provide a forum for student inquiry that can enhance learning?

Improving Practice
Here are some additional ways you can build on the ideas in this program in a variety of school and community settings:

Professional Development for Teachers

  • Consider ways you can incorporate theatre-based lessons in your class. How would you plan the material? What resources would you use? How do you think the students would benefit?
  • Think of ways that you can use theatre to help make your teaching more effective; for example, to bridge language barriers or developmental gaps.
  • Consider how theatre might encourage students to express their ideas or feelings. What would be necessary to develop a basic expression of feelings into a complete work of art?
  • Attend a play as a group. Reflect on how the experience affected you. How was the experience different from watching a movie?

Curriculum-Planning Sessions

  • Include a theatre specialist teacher in your planning session. Invite the specialist to help develop a themed unit that includes theatre education.
  • Invite an actor, playwright, or director to a curriculum-planning session. Together, identify theatre-based activities that would make the curriculum unit stronger.
  • Explore educational outreach opportunities offered by a local theatre company. Do they provide visiting artists or special programs to schools?

Community Outreach

  • Invite a theatre specialist teacher from your district to talk about how he or she teaches theatre.
  • Invite a representative of a theatre organization that provides outreach programs to explain how theatre can enhance learning at your school.
  • Invite community members to attend a theatre performance by students.
  • Present reflections by older students on how working with theatre has enhanced their readiness to learn or their academic achievement.
  • Invite parents or board members to reflect on their own experiences with theatre. How did these experiences enhance their learning?