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.
The overview includes information the unit, a list of the 7 lesson plans, materials needed and bonus material included, objectives, and assessment tools.
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?
Greek Theatre is the ancestor of the Modern Theatre. It is the birth of the actor stepping away from a chorus of unison speakers. The building of theatres. 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 just the collection of data?
In this lesson plan, students will explore the connection between the way they tell stories in the 21st century and the way that the Ancient Greeks told stories. Students will also explore Ancient Greek vases and Homer’s The Iliad.
In this lesson, students trace the journey from ancient storytelling to modern day theatre thousands of years later. One of the main reason theatre evolved like it did was because of performance opportunities during City Dionysus festivals in tribute to Dionysus. The performance framework moved from one person telling a story to a group, to a choral group performing, to one person stepping out in front of the chorus as an actor and so on. It’s interesting for students to see that the more you perform a form, the more that form evolves.
The Greek Theatre is the ancestor of the modern theatre. It is the birth of the actor stepping away from a chorus of unison speakers, as well as the catalyst that triggered the practice of building theatres. 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?
In this lesson plan, students will explore the connection between the past and present by asking the question, “Does the “where” affect performance?” Students will compare and contrast the modern stage with the Ancient Greek Amphitheatre.
The Greek Theatre is the birth of the modern theatre. It is the birth of the actor stepping away from a chorus of unison speakers, as well as the catalyst that triggered the building of theatres. 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?
In this lesson plan, students will explore the connection between “what” of Ancient Greek Theatre: tragedy, satyr, and comedy.
This is the project section of the Ancient Greek Theatre unit. Divide students into groups, then give them an information sheet on their subject. Their job is to present the information in a theatrical manner to the class, create an activity that the class can do as a whole, and write a reflection/exit slip for the class to complete.
Within this unit students are given three to four class periods to work on their presentations. Instruct each group to divide up tasks evenly within their group, so that they can meet the deadline. You can certainly give them more time, or establish that students must spend time working on the project outside of class. Depending on the size of your class, it may take one or two classes to complete the presentations.
In this lesson, students present their topics, lead the class through an activity, and provide a reflection. They also self-evaluate the process.
Ten ideas for further class work and activities for Ancient Greek Theatre.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1 - Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.4 - Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.4 - Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.2 - Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
Prof.TH:Cr2.a - Explore the function of history and culture in the development of a dramatic concept through a critical analysis of original ideas in drama/theatre works from western or non-western theatre traditions.
Acc.TH:Cr2.a - Refine a dramatic concept to demonstrate a critical understanding of historical and cultural influences of original ideas applied to a drama/theatre in western or non-western theatre traditions.
TH.912.H.2.1 - Research the correlations between theatrical forms and the social, cultural, historical, and political climates from which they emerged, to form an understanding of the influences that have shaped theatre.
Research, describe, interpret and evaluate how artists (dancers, actors, musicians, and visual artists) use processes, materials, movements, technologies, tools, techniques, and environments in the arts
Describe, interpret and evaluate how artists (dancers, actors, musicians, and visual artists) use processes, materials, movements, technologies, tools, techniques, and environments to create and communicate ideas
C.3.1 - identify and follow safe and ethical practices in drama activities (e.g., exhibit safe use of sound and lighting boards; follow procedures for the environmentally responsible use of materials and energy; prepare an individual or group seminar report on the nature and purpose of one or more of the following: copyright protection, royalties, public domain, intellectual property rights)
C.3.2 - identify and apply the skills and attitudes needed to perform various tasks and responsibilities in producing drama works (e.g., use active listening and cooperative problem-solving skills; practise punctuality; use tact in suggesting changes and improvements; demonstrate willingness to accept criticism and build consensus)
C.3.3 - demonstrate an understanding of theatre and audience etiquette, in both classroom and formal performance contexts (e.g., as a performer: show willingness to take direction and behave appropriately towards other actors; as a viewer: demonstrate respect for performers and other audience members by paying attention, not interrupting or talking, and applauding when appropriate)
C.2.1 - identify ways in which dramatic expression and performance reflect communities and cultures, past and present (e.g., the prominence of socially and/or politically powerful characters in the drama of pre-industrial societies; the use of boy actors for female roles in Shakespearean theatre; the emphasis on religious themes in the drama of many cultures in different eras)
B.2.4 - identify ways in which dramatic exploration contributes to their understanding of diverse cultures and traditions (e.g., identify insights they gained through exploring the role of ritual in Greek theatre and/or Aboriginal ceremonies)
A.3.2 - use a variety of voice and movement techniques to support the creation of character or atmosphere during rehearsal (e.g., use voice and movement to suggest an airport, circus, or factory environment)
A.1.3 - use role play and characterization to explore personal and social issues (e.g., with a partner, create or assume a role that explores an issue such as bullying; create a scenario that reveals details about a character’s motivation)