Units

UNIT

Ancient Greek Theatre

by Lindsay Price

In studying Ancient Greece, we’re looking at the foundations of theatre as we know it today. Without the Ancient Greek Era, we do not get actors, theatres, plays, and the definitions of tragedy and comedy.

The issue with studying theatre history, or anything historical is that it can become an exercise in memorizing dates and reciting facts. When the truth of the matter is no one in the 21st century benefits from learning by rote. This is especially true when studying history in the framework of a drama classroom. We need exercises that bring history to life, instead of having students plot dates on a timeline.

To that end, this unit does not focus on dates and data. The essential question for the unit is how can we connect the past to the present and this question is explored through the theatricalization of information. Students will access all four 21st century skills, critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration and communication as they explore this amazing world.

Reflections, exit slips, and rubrics are included throughout the unit as well as a mid assignment evaluation for the culminating project.

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UNIT

Voice

by Karen Loftus

This unit focuses specifically on the technical aspects of vocal production. By understanding how voice is created, students will be more aware of how to improve their vocal production. Students will explore posture and breathing exercises, as well as how to use the diaphragm, projection, and articulation.

The final project will test students’ ability to properly project and articulate a joke across a large space. A rubric is included for the project as long as journal prompts and exit slips. Please refer to the Pacing Guide for more details and ways to supplement with other DTA materials.

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UNIT

Ancient Greek Theatre

by Karen Loftus

This unit on Ancient Greek Theatre focuses on the function of the chorus, the choral ode, and the details of the theatre space. It touches on plays and playwrights of the era, culminating in a final project of a modern version of Medea that includes a choral ode.

A rubric is included for the project as long as journal prompts and exit slips. Please refer to the Pacing Guide for more details and ways to supplement with other DTA materials.

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UNIT

Agatha Rex and Ancient Greek Theatre

by Angel Borths

Help…It’s all Greek to me! Join Angel Borths in this unit that uses a modern adaptation of the Ancient Greek play Antigone to introduce Middle School students to Ancient Greek Theatre.

Have your students read Percy Jackson and want to find out more about Ancient Greece? Then, this unit is for you. This unit is designed for middle and high school students and will take you through the basics of classical Greek theatre and pairs it with a modern adaptation of the story of Antigone called Agatha Rex by Lindsay Price. Students will learn vocabulary, design, and basic theory surrounding classical Greek theatre. Students will also enjoy the mask building component of this unit, as they learn to disappear into the character of a mask, like the first actors did on a Greek stage thousands of years ago.

The unit culminates in a scene performance with masks.

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Lesson Plans

LESSON PLAN

The Ancient Greeks

by Lindsay Price

The Ancient Greek Theatre is the birth of the modern theatre. We can look at the production of theatre in that time and see similarities to how we present theatre today. But where do we start? And how do we make theatre history more than the collection of data? It’s hard for students to conceptualize an era that happened so long ago as populated with real people. This lesson plan encourages discussion, application, and reflection on the Ancient Greeks.

Be sure to check out the Ancient Greek Theatre handout as an accompaniment to this lesson. A powerpoint link is also included that is ready to use in your classroom!

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LESSON PLAN

The Ancient Greeks - Handout

by Lindsay Price

This handout is designed as an accompaniment to The Ancient Greeks lesson plan. The two-page handout includes visuals and a description of who the ancient greeks were, including democracy/slavery, the role of women, war/culture, competition, and the Gods.

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LESSON PLAN

Who is Thespis?

by Lindsay Price

Thespis is often stated as being the first actor because he stepped away from the chorus. But who is he? What do we know as fact and what has been assumed as his origin story? What happens when unreliable evidence is recorded as historical fact? Does it matter?

In this lesson, students will draw their own conclusions about the validity of Thespis as a reliable figure in theatre history. They will also write a monologue from the perspective of a character who shares their viewpoint.

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LESSON PLAN

Who is Thespis? Project Version

by Lindsay Price

Thespis is often stated as being the first actor because he stepped away from the chorus. But who is he? What do we know as fact and what has been assumed as his origin story? What happens when unreliable evidence is recorded as historical fact? Does it matter?

In this lesson, students will research, present and draw their own conclusions about the validity of Thespis as a reliable figure in theatre history. They will then write and present a scene that showcases their viewpoint.

*This lesson requires internet accessibility (for students to research for the project) either during class time or afterward as assigned homework.

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LESSON PLAN

The 21st Century Story

by Lindsay Price

Theatre is about communication. A story is presented to an audience. Storytelling was one of the earliest forms of entertainment that we continue to use today. Even though the method for delivering the story has changed, the form itself has stayed the same for thousands of years.

In this lesson, students will create their version of the 21st century story. What stories do we tell today? How do we tell them? Who do we tell them to?

You can use this lesson as an intro to studying modern theatre, especially for students who don’t have a theatre background. You can also use this lesson as an intro for Ancient Greek Theatre. Start by examining stories in a modern context, then shift to the Ancient Greek era.

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LESSON PLAN

Introduction

by Karen Loftus

Students discuss myths, explore group movement and combine movement with choral speaking in a choral ode.

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LESSON PLAN

The Theatre

by Karen Loftus

Students are introduced to aspects of Ancient Greek Theatre and the performing space. The session culminates in students creating their own choral ode in groups.

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LESSON PLAN

The Theatre Space

by Karen Loftus

Students label parts of an Ancient Greek Amphitheatre and apply their knowledge in an exercise.

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LESSON PLAN

Unit Project

by Karen Loftus

The final project for this unit will be a modern version of Medea. Students are exposed to the plot and characters, then create their own version to perform which includes a choral ode. A unit reflection and rubric are included.

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LESSON PLAN

Emergency Lesson Plan: Compare and Contrast (Ancient Greek)

by Lindsay Price

In this ELP, students will read and discuss a scene from an Ancient Greek theatrical text and a modern adaptation of that text: The Libation Bearers by Aeschylus (translated by H.W. Smyth) and The Exile and the Onion Girl by Lindsay Price.

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LESSON PLAN

Introduction to Antigone and Agatha Rex

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to summarize the plot of a story from Ancient Greek Theatre using a description of a classical Greek tragedy.

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LESSON PLAN

Ancient Greek Theatre Vocabulary Research Activity

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to identify elements of Ancient Greek Theatre through a group research activity.

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LESSON PLAN

Parts of the Ancient Greek Stage

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to identify the parts of an Ancient Greek Stage and explain the function of each element.

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LESSON PLAN

Aristotle's 6 Elements of Drama

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to identify Aristotle’s 6 Elements of Drama and analyze their application to modern theatre and media.

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LESSON PLAN

Skene Sketching & Vocabulary Activity

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to use their knowledge of Greek theatre to predict matching definitions and terms.

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LESSON PLAN

Vocabulary Quiz

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to complete a formal assessment of their knowledge of Ancient Greek Theatre.

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LESSON PLAN

Post-Reading Reflection & Mask Activity

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to design and build a Greek Theatre mask in the traditional style for a character in Agatha Rex.

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LESSON PLAN

Mask Making & Skene Backdrop Activity

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to design and build a Greek Theatre mask in the traditional style for a character in Agatha Rex. Students will be able to design and build a skene backdrop.

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LESSON PLAN

Scene Rehearsal

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to stage and rehearse an adaptation of a classical greek play, using theatrical masks as a group.

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LESSON PLAN

Performance & Reflection

by Angel Borths

Students will be able to perform an adaptation of a classical greek play, using theatrical masks as a group.

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LESSON PLAN

Ancient Greek Theatre: It's All Greek to Me

by Lea Marshall

This hyperdoc unit is designed to have students independently discover Ancient Greek Theatre. The unit is broken down into nine sections with multiple activities and includes a culminating activity.

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Resources

RESOURCE

Ancient Greek Theatre: Agamemnon

This resource includes a guide to Agamemnon including Characters, Synopsis, Themes, Questions and Activities.

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RESOURCE

Ancient Greek Theatre: Medea

This resource for Medea includes Characters, Synopsis, Themes, Questions and Activities

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RESOURCE

Ancient Greek Theatre: Oedipus Rex

This resource for Oedipus Rex includes Characters, Synopsis, Themes, Questions and Activities.

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