Created by Lea Marshall
Aristotle was a huge fan of the theatre. He philosophically believed in it and argued with other great thinkers at the time about the necessity and good results of theatrical pursuits. This makes him a great topic for a drama classroom unit.
Aristotle identified six elements that needed to be in a play for it to be worthy: plot, thought, character, diction, spectacle, and sound. This unit by Lea Marshall focuses on and offers exercises for each of Aristotle’s elements - from using fairy tales to examine plot, to re-imagining movie trailers to explore music.
National Core Arts Standards
Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 6
Perceive and analyze artistic work - Grade HS Advanced
Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade 6
Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade 7
Organize and develop artistic ideas and work - Grade 8
Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work - Grade 6
Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work - Grade 7
Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade 7
Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work - Grade HS Proficient
Speaking and Listening
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.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.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.3 - Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.9-10.3 - Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
California VAPA Standards (2019)
6.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.
Adv.TH:Re7 Perceive and analyze artistic work.
6.TH:Cn11.1 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
7.TH:Cn11.1 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
8.TH:Cr2 Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
6.TH:Re9 Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
7.TH:Re9 Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
7.TH:Cn11.2 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
Prof.TH:Re9 Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
Florida Sunshine State Standards
Critical Thinking & Reflection
Historical & Global Connections
Skills, Techniques & Processes
Georgia Performance Standards - Theatre Arts
Grade 6 - Creating
TA6.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Identify artistic choices, utilize theatre vocabulary, and demonstrate non-verbal communication skills in the rehearsal process.
b. Interpret a character’s motivation by understanding the relationship between their background and their behavior.
c. Identify the variety of relationships between characters.
d. Identify, define, and classify character traits.
e. Recognize and demonstrate the roles, responsibilities, and skills associated with collaborative performance.
f. Use resources to identify and create technical elements of theatre.
TA6.CR.2 - Develop scripts through theatrical techniques.
a. Identify the elements of a story.
b. Identify the theme and structure of a play.
c. Articulate creative ideas in oral and written forms.
d. Use the dramatic writing process to generate a script.
e. Demonstrate the conventions of dialogue and stage directions.
Grade 6 - Responding
TA6.RE.1 - Engage actively and appropriately as an audience member.
a. Identify the role of the audience in different environments.
b. Analyze the relationship between an audience and a performer.
c. Create guidelines for behaviors appropriate to a theatre experience.
d. Model appropriate audience behaviors.
Grade 6 - Connecting
TA6.CN.2 - Examine the role of theatre in a societal, cultural, and historical context.
a. Describe the origins of theatre.
b. Identify and analyze ways in which theatre influences and reflects the culture of a society.
c. Utilize a multi-disciplinary approach to research, create, and support artistic choices.
d. Examine the relevance of cultural and historical context.
Grade 7 - Creating
TA7.CR.2 - Develop scripts through theatrical techniques.
a. Create ideas for stories.
b. Analyze the theme and structure of a play.
c. Use the dramatic writing process to generate a script.
d. Utilize dramatic conventions in the scriptwriting process (e.g. stage directions, dialogue, scenes).
Grades 9-12 - ADVANCED DRAMA LEVELS I-IV -Creating
TAHSAD.CR.1 - Organize, design, and refine theatrical work.
a. Examine various theories of dramatic structure.
b. Engage in and apply meaningful cultural, literary, and historical research to create acting choices or directorial concepts.
Grades 9-12 - FUNDAMENTALS OF THEATRE LEVELS I-IV - Responding
TAHSFT.RE.1 - Engage actively and appropriately as an audience member.
a. Articulate why the relationship between the audience and performers is critical to the success of the production and demonstrate appropriate audience behavior.
b. State and support aesthetic judgments through experience in diverse styles and genres of theatre.
Grades 9-12 - FUNDAMENTALS OF THEATRE LEVELS I-IV - Connecting
TAHSFT.CN.1 - Explore how theatre connects to life experiences, careers, and other content.
a. Examine how theatre reflects real life.
b. Analyze how theatre employs aspects of other art forms and disciplines to effectively communicate with a live audience.
c. Demonstrate awareness of the discipline, knowledge, skills, and education required for careers in theatre.
d. Explore various careers in the theatre arts (e.g. performance, design, production, administrative, education, promotion).
Grades 9-12 - THEATRE HISTORY AND LITERATURE I AND II - Creating
TAHSTL.CR.1 - Develop original theatre literature.
a. Compare and summarize theatre literature from various historical periods, cultures, and styles.
b. Examine and outline the steps and conventions involved in the creation of a theatre text.
c. Develop original texts using theatre techniques (e.g. improvisation, adapting non-theatre literature, playwriting exercises).
North Carolina Essential Standards
Beginning High School Standards - Communication
Beginning High School Standards - Analysis
Beginning High School Standards - Aesthetics
Beginning High School Standards - Culture
Intermediate High School Standards - Analysis
Proficient High School Standards - Analysis
Advanced High School Standards - Culture
Tennessee Theatre Curriculum Standards
Tennessee Theatre standards (2018) standards were built using the framework of the NCAS which is built on four key domains: Creating, Performing/Presenting/Producing, Connecting, and Responding. Within each of these domains are foundations and standards to support the development of curriculum, programs, and learning.
(source: Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Academic Standards for Fine Arts, Summer 2018)
Please refer to National Core Arts Standards to determine the standard that best suits your needs.
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Theatre Arts
MS 117.211 LI - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding
MS 117.211 LI - Critical evaluation and response
MS 117.212 LII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding
MS 117.212 LII - Creative Expression: production
MS 117.212 LII - Critical evaluation and response
MS 117.213 LIII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding
MS 117.213 LIII - Creative Expression: production
HS 117.315 LI - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding
HS 117.316 LII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding
HS 117.317 LIII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding
HS 117.317 LIII - Creative Expression: production
HS 117.317 LIII - Historical and cultural relevance
HS 117.318 LIV - Creative Expression: performance
HS 117.318 LIV - Critical evaluation and response
Improvisation Drama 10
Theatre Studies Drama 10 (Greek, Medieval or Elizabethan, and Canadian)
Theatre Studies Drama 30 (Early or Middle or Late drama)
Technical Theatre/Design 10-20-30 - Management - Sound
Improvisation/Acting Level I - Beginning
Improvisation/Acting Level II - Intermediate
Junior Goal I Objectives
Theatre Studies Level II - Intermediate (Theatre History)
Theatre Studies Level III - Advanced (The script)
Senior Goal I Objectives
Orientation Drama 10
British Columbia (2018)
GRADE 6 - ARTS - Exploring and creating
GRADE 6 - ARTS - Reasoning and reflecting
GRADE 6 - ARTS - Communicating and documenting
GRADE 7 - ARTS - Exploring and creating
GRADE 7 - ARTS - Communicating and documenting
GRADE 8 - ARTS - Exploring and creating
GRADE 8 - ARTS - Reasoning and reflecting
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
GRADE 8 - ARTS - Communicating and documenting
GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Exploring and creating
GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Reasoning and reflecting
GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Connecting and expanding
GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Explore and Create
GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect
GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Connect and expand
GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Explore and Create
GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect
GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Connect and expand
GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Explore and Create
GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect
GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Connect and expand
Grade 6 - Reflecting, Responding and Analyzing
Grade 6 - Creating and Presenting
Grade 7 - Reflecting, Responding and Analyzing
Grade 7 - Creating and Presenting
Grade 8 - Creating and Presenting
Grades 9 & 10 - Foundations - Responsible Practices
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)
Grades 9 & 10 - Creating and Presenting - Presentation Techniques & Technologies
Grade 11 - Reflecting, Responding and Analyzing - The Critical Analysis Process
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