The Classroom

Drama One Curriculum Choice Boards

What if you are working on the Drama One Curriculum and you have an unexpected absence? We’ve put together Choice Board Activities for each unit in the Curriculum. • The choice board is a tic tac toe grid (three rows of three activities) of independent drama activities. • Each square of the grid has a different title of an activity. Each activity comes with an instruction sheet. • There are activities that can be completed in the classroom or at home without internet access. There are a few activities that require access to materials (but are pretty flexible with that definition) or internet access for research. Some activities have a presentation as their final product.

Acting in Shakespeare and Classical Plays

This one page handout is a great guide for students to keep in mind when performing the Bard and other classical works.

Acting: Playing it Straight

Use this movie moment to teach students about how important it is to play comedy straight and never “wink” to the audience.

Active Verb List

This 3 page list of active verbs will help to get action out of your actors in a scene. Encourage the actors to play both physically and vocally with the verb.

Adapt, Observe, Engage: Re-Imagining the Drama Classroom

You know how to run a traditional classroom. The virtual classroom is going to be a whole new learning experience. Theatres have been shut down many times over the centuries and have always returned. Theatre thrives with people who are flexible, excellent problem solvers, and creative thinkers. Theatre teachers, you will survive this! We hope this guide will help you adapt, observe, and engage with your students.

Backward Critical Thinking Exercise

Instead of having students answer questions, what happens when they have to devise the questions? Give students 20 answers. Divide students into groups and have them come up with the questions that would result in the provided answers.

Black Theatre Artists: Quote Reflection and Expression

Students will review quotes from a variety of Black Theatre Professionals, write out their first impressions and reflect on the quote, and then create a one minute theatrical expression. The focus here is time management and self management. How will students use their time to complete their expression and present in the same period?

Building and Rebuilding the Foundations of Your Drama Classroom: A Back to School Toolkit

Are you stepping into the classroom for the first time? Are you stepping into the classroom for your 20th year? Both have their joys and obstacles. This resource anticipates the challenges you will have, or you have faced in the drama classroom. It is designed to provide materials that will help you claim or reclaim a functioning teaching environment, your curriculum and relationships with your students. So whether you are a seasoned teacher or a brand new teacher, use this book to rethink your practices and see your spaces in the best light possible. Start the school year off right!

Character Bio

Students create a bio on the character they know best – themselves.

Character Maps

Use these character maps to help students delve deeper into character analysis.

Class Routines - Warm-up Sequence

Use this warm-up sequence with your students as they prepare for class. The teacher or student leader leads the sequence by calling out the name of the exercise.

Competition Do's and Don'ts

Actors who are about the same age and level tend to have the same challenges. Allison Williams has created this guide to do’s and don’t when competing with a monologue or scene.

Create an Anti-Slur Policy

This resource offers guidance on working with your students to create an anti-slur policy. Included are two additional resources - Start With One Thing, and Social Awareness documents.

Designing Your Virtual Classroom

When teaching classes via video conferencing, it’s good to think about what’s going on behind you. This doesn’t mean pets walking through your virtual classroom or visible piles of laundry in view of your camera, although those should probably be kept out of view as much as possible! Having an interesting and creative background can grab students’ attention, be a conversation starter, or make them laugh. It’s also fun to switch things up and create a fresh atmosphere for your virtual classroom.

Dialogue Prompts

Use these dialogue prompts for improvisation work. Includes characters, location, want, and a first line for each prompt.

Distance Ensemble Experiences for Students and Educators

The experiences detailed here can be used during online sessions for Warm-ups, Collaboration, Cool Downs. Students experience the 21st Century Skills-Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Communication and Collaboration (by distance).

Distance Learning: Thought of the Day

A distance learning adaptation for the 'Thought of the Day' exercise from the Empathy Project. Options for sending home printed packet, or using an online platform. Students relate personal experience to the thought of the date quotes provided.

Drama Teacher School Year Calendar 2019-2020

Inspired by our members with inspirational quotes right from drama teachers in the DTA. There are 2 versions of the Drama Teacher School Year calendar. One is a monthly calendar with an inspirational quote and image per month; the second is a portrait-layout booklet version that can be customized to any school year.

End of Semester: Fill the Gap Ideas

A complication of ideas from DTA members - how to fill the gap at the end of the semester.

Engaging Students to Work Together

This handout will help you answer the question: How can you get your students to engage with each other, work with each other and include everyone?

Engaging the Non-Theatre Student

The non-theatre student is a fact of our world. Students find their way to us by accident, or by force. How do we engage them and help them find success?

Ensemble Experiences: Large Group

Each ensemble experience includes the title, a list of objectives you can choose from, the goal, guidelines, and instructions.

Ensemble Experiences: Small Group

Each experience includes the title, a list of objectives you can choose from, the goal, guidelines, and instructions.

Example of Student and Parent Contract

This is a template and example you can use with your student actors to ensure commitment and a clear understanding of expectations across all aspects of a high school production. There is also an example parent/guardian contract included, to ensure their understanding regarding production commitments, including attendance, participation fees, and parent volunteer opportunities. These are both designed to help you communicate with your student actors and parents in order to set your cast and families up for a successful production.

FlipGrid & EdPuzzle - Links

Links to FlipGrid & EdPuzzle, along with extensions on how to use these tools in the drama classroom.

Idea for the Last Weeks of School

Compiled from the DTA Facebook group members - a list of activities and ideas for the final weeks of school - to end your year off with your drama class.

Improvising Your Monologue Exercise

Use this exercise in the middle of a monologue project, to get students to the heart of the monologue, using improvisation techniques.

Inclusion in the Drama Classroom

Recorded at the DTA Virtual Conference in July 2019, Kerry Hishon discusses her experience with inclusion in the drama classroom.

Laban's Eight Efforts

Rudolf Laban was a choreographer and a dancer. He defined human movement into eight efforts. Each movement has four component parts (direction, speed, weight, flow). Those four component parts have two elements to them (direct/indirect, quick/sustained, heavy/light, bound/ free). Use these “efforts” to give your students specific choices when it comes to character's physicalization. Choose an effort that defines how they move.

Last Minute Sub Solutions

What do you do when you have to be unexpectedly absent from class? DTA members to the rescue with their ideas.

Latinx Plays and Playwrights

This spreadsheet provides plays, playwrights, cast sizes, descriptions and more for Latinx plays and playwrights. CAUTION: not all of these plays are going to be suitable for all classrooms. Anything to be aware of is marked and plays should be reviewed before sharing with students.

Memorization Tips, Tricks and Techniques

It’s a question that comes up time and time again - How do I get my students to memorize their lines. What strategies do you use? Here are 7 strategies for students to use both on their own, and in rehearsal.

New Drama Teacher Toolkit

In this toolkit you’ll find exercises, activities, and information that will help you get you through your first days, build your classroom management skills, and articulate the importance of your program.

One Question and a Rubric: 21st Century Skills

Have students demonstrate their 21st century skills knowledge with these worksheets.

One Question and a Rubric: Close Reading

Have students demonstrate their close reading skills with these worksheets.

Permission Slip: Why I'm Saying No

This tongue in cheek 'permission slip' gives the teacher a checklist of reasons he or she might have to say 'no'.

Permission to Say No

A tongue in cheek 'permission slip' that entitles you to say 'no' without having to explain.

Positivity Tunnel

A game to encourage team building and positivity with your students.

Poster: 10 Things that Require Zero Talent

Print this poster out to hang in your classroom - it's a list of 10 things students can do that require ZERO talent.

Poster: No Drama Llamas

A poster for the drama classroom 'No Drama Llamas'. We are an ensemble. Diva behaviour will not be tolerated. We work as one.

Poster: Structural Elements of a Script

Printable poster for the classroom "What are the Structural Elements of a Script?"

Poster: The Benefits of Drama

Poster for the classroom outlining the ways in which drama can benefit students outside the classroom.

Poster: The Show will Open

A poster for the classroom or backstage, reminding everyone that the show WILL open.

Poster: Theatre Audience Etiquette

A printable poster for your classroom or theatre - a few simple rules for theatre audience etiquette!

Poster: Theatre Is...

Poster for the classroom: "theatre is not just what happens onstage, but what happens offstage."

Poster: This Class Will Help (11x17)

Inspire your students with this poster showing how drama class develops their skills. 11 x 17 size.

Poster: This Class Will Help (8.5x11)

Inspire your students with this poster showing how drama class develops their skills. 8.5 x 11 size.

Poster: Tools Beyond the Drama Classroom

Use this poster for your classroom - inspire students with the skills they are learning in the drama classroom.

Poster: What is Theatre Good For

A poster for your classroom for students to reflect on the skills they are learning in the drama classroom.

Poster: Where do I start with a play?

A poster for your classroom that shows the visual progression from character to play.

Posters: Quote a Day - Part 1 (Days 1-20)

20 theatre-related quotes on posters and slide presentation, for the drama classroom. Part 1 of an 8-part series to complete 'one quote a day' for the school year. You have the option to use a printable version, or access the slide deck presentation link. Be sure to access the 'Guiding Questions and Reflections' that accompany these quotes.

Posters: The Basics of Theatrical Performance (set of 11)

This poster series highlights the 10 Basics of Theatrical Performance and then has a set of individual posters for each basic element.

Production Situation Analysis

This production situation analysis allows a class to determine their needs, before they start a production class.

Reflection Sheets

A set of six reflection worksheets to use in rehearsals, group activities, and performance.

Research Project: Acting Teachers

In groups, students will research a well known acting teacher, give a presentation and teach an exercise.

School Year Calendar 2020-2021

There are 2 versions of the Drama Teacher School Year calendar. One is a monthly calendar with an inspirational quote and image per month; the second is a portrait-layout booklet version that can be customized to any school year.

School Year Calendar 2021-2022

There are 2 versions of the Drama Teacher School Year calendar. One is a monthly calendar with an inspirational quote and image per month; the second is a portrait-layout booklet version that can be customized to any school year.

School Year Calendar 2022-2023

A school year calendar focused on the theme of Self-Care, with inspirational quotes from theatre educator Gai Jones.

School Year Calendar 2023-2024

Inspirational quotes for a new school year. Printable calendar to customize for any school year.

Script Analysis For Actors: Action Words

This exercise looks at exploring your script through action words. The idea is to find the “action” in your dialogue. I’m not talking about blocking. I’m talking about visualizing action, injecting movement and life into your performance.

Self Care Bingo

Use this fun bingo card to give yourself some love over the holidays, or whenever you need a break!

Self-Care Posters

A set of 9 posters focused on self-care, for teachers and students. A Spanish version is also included.

Separating School Life and Home Life

A checklist to help you separate your school and home life, while teaching remotely.

Shakespeare and Race Resource

During Shakespearean times, the roles William Shakespeare wrote were played by white men and performed for a typically white audience. Nowadays, Shakespearean plays are being modernized as companies put on productions that utilize color-conscious casting. Color-conscious casting specifically takes into consideration an actor’s skin color and ethnicity. And you can go further to include consideration of an actor’s gender, shape, mobility, etc. Through this resource students will be able to: • Explore what it means to have BIPOC actors perform Shakespeare. • Analyze and perform Shakespearean texts as they look at the stories through a color-conscious lens. • Critically think about how we can adapt Shakespeare to reflect today’s society. With this resource, students will be able to take ownership of the text and use Shakespeare to tell the stories they want to tell.

Social Emotional Learning Through Game Play

Looking to implement Social and Emotional Learning into your program? This resource contains SEL connections to specific games and activities that are commonly played in the drama classroom, and the underlying actions, skills, or outcomes affiliated with those components. Use the provided SEL Component Worksheets to identify SEL connections to other games and activities you use. Lastly, use the Reflection questions to reflect on your personal thoughts and experiences using SEL in the drama classroom.

Soft Skills: The Tangible Value of the Drama Curriculum Workbook

In this workbook, teachers will identify soft skills, identify where we find them in the theatre curriculum, and identify the games, activities and assignments you already utilize in your classroom that use soft skills.

Song in a Box

Based on their analysis of an approved song, students will use their knowledge of line, shape, color, theme and mood to design and create a single abstract miniature set in a shoebox. Students will also give an oral presentation to explain and defend their design ideas.

Ten Traditional Activities Adapted for the Virtual Classroom

10 traditional drama activities, adapted for the virtual/online classroom.

The Act of Effective Discussion

Teaching students the act of effective discussion, either as a full class or in a small group, is teaching students a lifelong skill. The ability to listen and engage and learn in conversation is something that will serve them way after they leave your classroom. Effective discussion may not come naturally for a great many of your students. This resource shares best practices for setting up effective discussions in your classroom.

The Black Arts Movement

Students will read, annotate, and reflect on an article about the Black Arts Movement. By participating in the annotation exercise, students will obtain background knowledge which will lead to a mini research project and presentation.

The Open/Close Circle

This handout describes the open/close circle, with a list of circle questions to use with your class to start and end each class.

The Secret Scene Partner

Teach students how to create a secret scene partner when they perform a monologue.

Theatre History Choice Boards

A choice board offers students a variety of activities on a topic. With this document you can create your own board for the various units in the DTA Theatre History curriculum. Mix and match activities to fit your situation and your students!

Theatre Terms Handout

A comprehensive list of theatre terms, listed by general, personnel, types of theatre, styles of theatre, acting, ancient greek theatre, Shakespeare, improv, costume, stage management, lighting, sound, and makeup.

Theatre Terms Handout - Spanish

A comprehensive list of theatre terms, listed by general, personnel, types of theatre, styles of theatre, acting, ancient greek theatre, Shakespeare, improv, costume, stage management, lighting, sound, and makeup. Translated to Spanish.

There are no small parts, only small choices

How can we keep every actor engaged? Give them something to explore, even if they only have one line. Do this exercise with your class or with your cast. Every actor can benefit from learning how to approach a single line.

This Class is too Big!

Try these strategies and games when dealing with a large class size.

This Class is too Small!

Strategies and tips for dealing with a small class size.

Thought of the Day

Use this list of 45 quotes for a 'thought of the day' activity with any drama class.

Traditional Dramatic Structure

This handout explains traditional dramatic structure and includes a visual guide.

Using Multiple Tactics

This resource provides a video example of multiple tactics to spark a discussion with your students.

Using Social Media to Promote Your Drama Program

Tips from social media expert Stephanie Anderson on how to start promoting your drama program using social media.

Uta Hagen's 9 Questions

In Respect for Acting, Uta identified 9 questions an actor should ask themselves as they prepare. It’s all about being as specific as possible. Introduce the 9 questions to your students, and use the included worksheet and reflection.

Virtual Body Language

The goal of this distance learning exercise is to help students become more aware of their body language in the virtual classroom (both conscious and unconscious) and how it makes others perceive them. Students have to turn their cameras on to participate, but it is fairly low-risk as they will complete the movement portion as a group, and they don’t need to have their microphones on.

What are the Structural Elements of a Script

This handout names and describes the structural elements of a script: character, objective, obstacle, tactics, and resolution.
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