Methods of Teaching Secondary Theatre Arts

This course engages students in designing curriculum and effective instruction for theatre courses in secondary schools.  Through readings,
activities, and field experiences, you will explore approaches to teaching secondary students the art and craft of theatre, addressing such
areas as acting (including extracurricular plays), directing, designing, play writing, reading and interpreting plays, attending and critiquing
performances, and studying theatre history.

You will have the opportunity to teach using research-based instructional approaches as well as to create practical curricular documents that
display your skill at planning for instruction.  You will also investigate topics related to the duties and challenges that theatre teachers face.

If you are concurrently engaged in a 7-12 field experience, then you also will apply what you're learning in this course while observing or
teaching in an area secondary theatre arts classroom.
General Resources for the Course

course schedule

course syllabus

Edmodo for checking grades, exchanging messages
with me, and interacting with one another in an
online classroom environment (Group Code:

LiveText for submitting course projects

policy on expectations for formal
communication (in written and spoken work)
Materials for the Units in the Course

UNIT 1 -- Theatre Standards and American Arts Instruction

National Core Arts Standards

book options from Stoxen Library:
  • Acting, Learning, and Change: Creating Original Plays with Adolescents by Jan
    Mandell and Jennifer Lynn Wolf
  • Learning to Teach Drama: A Case Narrative Approach by Joe Norris, Laura
    McCammon, and Carole Miller
  • Organizing and Managing the High School Theatre Program by James Opelt
  • Secondary Stages: Revitalizing High School Theatre by
  • Stuff I Wish I'd Known: A Practical Guide for High School Speech and Drama
    Teachers by Toby Heathcotte

"The Effects of Theatre Education"

UNIT 2 -- Planning: Think Forward, Plan Backward

(resources still to come)

UNIT 3 -- The Teacher in the Classroom: Getting Started

(resources still to come)

UNIT 4 -- Assessment: Finding Out What They Know

Theatre Education Assessment Models from Theatre Communications Group --
The blue sidebar to the left shows subtopics for you to explore.  When you click
on them, note the orange words at the top of each subpage; they are
hyperlinks to more information.  (For example, if you click on "Assessment
Models" in the sidebar, you'll see "Observation," "Performance Task," "Portfolio,"
and "Survey" appear in orange at the top of the "Assessment Models" page.)

Compendium of Teacher Learning and Exploration in Arts Assessment from CA
County Superintendents Educational Services Association -- Note particularly
these sections: "Introduction to Arts Assessment" (p. 7), "Formative and
Summative Assessment" (p. 9), "Classroom Assessment Tools" (p. 10),
"Resources" (p. 13), and "Theatre/Drama Assessment" (p. 21).  Those last two
sections contain hyperlinks to several sites of possible interest to you.

MD Fine Arts Education Instructional Tool Kit -- On the thin blue bar at the top of
the page, click "General Audience" to see submenus about types of
assessments.  On that blue bar, click "Theatre" to see additional pages
particular to theatre arts.

Performance Assessments for the Arts from WA Office of Superintendent of Public
Instruction -- Peruse the theatre-specific lesson plans and scoring rubrics
provided as models for theatre arts teachers at the elementary, middle, and
secondary school levels.

2008 Arts Education Assessment Framework from National Assessment of
Educational Progress -- Note particularly these sections: "The Content and
Processes of the Arts" (p. 9), "Content Specific to . . . Theatre" (p. 17), "Desired
Attributes of the Assessment" (p. 23), "Issues and Strategies Specific to . . .
Theatre" (p. 32), "Desired Emphasis for . . . Theatre" (p. 36), "Preliminary
Achievement Level Descriptions for Theater" (p. 49), and "Theatre Content
Outline" (p. 85).

Assessing Theater Education, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love
Grading" (Wyckham Avery, 2013 Nov. 17)

Theatre Arts Participation Rubric

UNIT 5 -- Integrated Teaching across the Curriculum: Assisting Discovery

Authentic Connections: Interdisciplinary Work in the Arts from Consortium of
National Arts Education Associations

Theatre Education Database from Brigham Young University

Integrated Units Theatre Arts/ELA from TeachArts

Creating an Arts Integration School from Arts Every Day

Arts Integration in the Public Schools from Chicago Public Schools Arts

UNIT 6 -- The Teacher and School Productions--Philosophical
Considerations: Building Bridges

Theatrecrafts -- entertainment technology resources

UNIT 7 -- The Teacher and School Productions--Practical Considerations:
Doing the Job

"5 Tech Tools Every Director in the Musical Theatre Industry Should Be Using"
(2014 Jan. 31) --
Theatrical Rights Worldwide

UNIT 8 -- Resources for the Theatre Teacher: Discovering the Possible

Classroom Materials

Ed Tech 4 Theatre -- advice/resources for new theatre teachers

International Baccalaureate Program -- theatre arts

LiveBinders sites -- on
theatre history and other topics; on theatre theorists and

play publishers and licensing agents:
Anchorage Press Plays, Contemporary
Drama Service, Dramatic Publishing, Dramatists Play Service, Eldridge Plays and
Musicals, Heuer Publishing, Meriwether Publishing, Music Theatre International,
Pioneer Drama Service, Playscripts, R & H Theatricals, Samuel French, Tams-
Witmark Music Library,

recorded play performances:

school sites: Clarkstown High School North (New City, NY) course site and
LiveBinders site; Myers Park High School (Charlotte, NC) course wiki

teacher sites: Krista Price, Nina Lynn,

textbook publishers:
Glencoe/McGraw Hill, Macmillan, Pearson/Prentice Hall, and
recommendations via
Drama Teacher's Network

Professional Organizations

American Alliance for Theatre and Education

Communication, Speech, and Theatre Association of North Dakota

Educational Theatre Association

Theatre Communications Group

Theatre for Young Audiences

Books, Journals, and Related Sources

American Theatre

Applause Theatre and Cinema Books

Arizona State University Libraries -- Child Drama Collection

Around the World in 21 Plays edited by Lowell Swortzell (1997)

Drama Book Shop


Education Portal

Heinemann Publishing -- use its search box and terms like "theatre," "theater,"
or "drama



Seven Best Apps for High School Theatre Teachers

Smith and Kraus Publishers

Stage Directing by Jim Patterson (2003)

Stoxen Library:
journal article databases for theatre and books in Stoxen and
other NDUS libraries

Structuring Drama Work by Jonothan Neelands and Tony Goode (2000)

Teachers Talk

Teaching Theatre

theatre games

Theatre Games for the Classroom by Viola Spolin (2003)

Top 5 Best Apps for Drama and Theatre

TYA Today

"Want to Teach Theatre?  Here's Some Advice for You"

Youth Theatre Journal

Community Resources

American Association of Community Theatre -- and its list of related arts
organizations and agencies

local colleagues

local sources for materials and supplies

local theaters and theatre professionals

North Dakota Council on the Arts -- arts groups, resources, and opportunities

UNIT 9 -- Putting the Pieces Together: Communication, Collaboration, and

(resources still to come)
Theatre Arts News and Resources

American Alliance for Theatre and Education --
co-creator (with EdTA) of the
1994 National
Standards for Theatre Education

ArtsEdge -- lesson plans and resources from the
Kennedy Center for the Arts

Association for Theatre in Higher Education --
producing new knowledge about theatre and
performance-related disciplines

CCSSI -- Common Core State Standards Initiative

Ed Tech 4 Theater

EDSITEment -- lesson plan ideas from the National
Endowment for the Humanities

Educational Theatre Association -- "Shaping lives
through theatre education"

National Core Arts Standards

National Coalition for Core Arts Standards -- a
partnership to revise the 1994 National Standards
for Arts Education

National Communication Association -- promotes the
appreciation and application of all forms, modes, and
media of communication as a discipline

ReadWriteThink -- resources for lessons

Stoxen Library:
Education Resources

Stoxen Library: Theatre, Communication, and Arts

United State Institute for Theatre Technology --
provides resources for the design, production, and
technology professionals in the performing arts and
entertainment industry

Recommended books:

Aimes, Raina --
A High School Theatre Teacher's
Survival Guide

Bennett, Jeff -- Secondary Stages: Revitalizing High
School Theatre

Heathcotte, Toby -- Program Building: A Practical Guide
for High School Speech and Drama Teachers

Kohl, Herbert -- Making Theater: Developing Plays with
Young People

Lewis, Martin -- Teaching Classroom Drama and
Theatre: Practical Projects for Secondary Schools

Mandell, Jan -- Acting, Learning, and Change: Creating
Original Plays with Adolescents

Opelt, James -- Organizing and Managing the High
School Theatre Program

Patterson, Jim, Donna McKenna-Crook, and Melissa
Swick --
Theatre in the Secondary School Classroom:
Methods and Strategies for the Beginning Teacher

Swados, Elizabeth -- At Play: Teaching Teenagers

Taylor, Robert -- Theatre: Art in Action

Zimmerman, Suzi -- Introduction to Theatre Arts: A
36-Week Action Handbook

Zimmerman, Suzi -- Introduction to Theatre Arts 2: An
Action Handbook for Middle Grade and High School
Students and Teachers