This book is a resource for classroom teachers with little to no drama experience, teaching artists, homeschoolers, parents, community arts organizations that partner with schools, and others with a strong interest in engaging students, U.S. grades 5-8 (ages 10-13), in a 40-minute production of Othello, Henry V, Hamlet, or Julius Caesar.
Acting Tools for grades 3-4 and 4-5 (ages 8-10) are in development.
Professional Development Guide for Teachers contains:
Vocabulary coined by Shakespeare, fun facts about actor and audience, and actor troupe roles and responsibilities are succinctly described.
Why Acting for Students?
Ever wonder why children ages 8-12½ love to act out… anything? This chapter explores the major developmental themes for students at these ages and why acting is an excellent gateway into learning. Themes of justice, fairness, honesty, trust, and adventure are described along with some classroom strategies that represent them.
Three field-tested lesson plans with embedded assessment instruments focus on conveying information through stillness. Archetype pose, tableau vivant, and focal point are skills essential to presenting 40-minutes of Shakespeare to school communities.
The Rehearsal Process
Rehearsal is a cyclical process of practice, feedback, and more practice. This chapter includes an extensive discussion on noting stage movement (stage directions), in-school presentation options, casting in choral character teams, coaching phrases, learning lines, fairness strategies, and dress rehearsal for a successful school play.
The Culminating Performance
It’s show time! An appropriate performance of some kind is integral to the process of theater making and is encouraged regardless of grade level. Topics include identifying the audience, program outline, prepping the performance space, audience take-a-ways, student modeling of key concepts and narration.
Reflection and Inquiry
Albert Einstein once said, “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” Doing without understanding can result in an
exhilarating experience with little to no meaning behind it. Reprinted from an article that appeared in the peer reviewed,
Teaching Artist Journal (Routledge), this chapter explores key concepts of the process of asking questions and reflecting on activity to build understanding. Metacognition, kinds of reflection, relationship to assessment, what to listen for, and sample questions using Othello as an example are among the topics.