“The arts have always served as the distinctive vehicle for discovering who we are. Providing ways of thinking as disciplined as science or math and as disparate as philosophy or literature, the arts are used by and have shaped every culture and individual on earth. They continue to infuse our lives on nearly all levels—generating a significant part of the creative and intellectual capital that drives our economy. The fact that the arts provide important touchstones confirms their value to the development of every human being. Nurturing our children, then, necessarily means that we must provide all of them—not just those identified as “talented”—with a well-rounded education that includes the arts. By doing so, we are fulfilling the college and career readiness needs of our students, laying the foundation for the success of our schools, and ultimately, the success of our nation.”
The National Core Arts Standards emphasize the process-oriented nature of the arts and arts learning that guide the continuous and systematic operations of instructional improvement. These standards, developed by theatre educators across the country, were designed to include Pre-Kindergarten instruction. The standards aim to teach creative practices that emphasize imagination as the bridge for the application of the Artistic Processes across all learning.
NCAS ARTISTC PROCESSES
- CREATE: Conceive and Develop new artistic ideas and work
- PERFORM: Realize artistic ideas and work through interpretation and presentation
- RESPOND: Understand and evaluate how the arts convey meaning.
- CONNECT: Relate artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context
In Drama, we will be learning:
- Theatre processes: you will have opportunities explore your own experiences and create imagined solutions to real-life problems.
- Theatre skills: These tools help us to meaningfully explore and effectively share our ideas with others
- Professional ethics: skills that are necessary for creating a safe and nurturing artistic environment.
Theatre Arts Curriculum, Grades K-2
The K-2 Theatre Arts Curriculum aims to reinforce literacy readiness by using dramatic play to help students respond empathetically, analytically, critically, and conceptually to story elements. In addition, by engaging students in Drama Processes—unscripted activities designed to engage students in a wide range of real and imagined issues—the curriculum aims to empower students to develop ease with making artistic choices and engaging in artistic processes (creating, performing, responding, connecting) that can be applied across the academic curriculum. Because students engage collaboratively in these artistic processes, they develop essential 21st Century leaning skills: collaboration, communication, and growth mindset
Grades K-2 Theatre Arts Standards/Skills
The Kindergarten Theatre Arts Curriculum encourages self-expression and constructive interaction with peers. Students learn communication, intrapersonal, and collaboration skills that enable them to actively engage and respond to dramatic play. Students invent and inhabit imaginary elsewheres, use voice and sound in dramatic play, use non-representational materials to create props, puppets, and costume pieces, and—through these means—express original ideas and tell stories. The curriculum encourages literacy readiness by ensuring that students create stories by successfully identifying story elements (character, setting, plot); in addition, students develop analysis skills by identifying similarities and differences between characters, comparing characters with themselves, and comparing and contrasting stories.
The Grade 1 Theatre Arts Curriculum aims to help students build self-awareness and empathy by encouraging the conscious integration of emotion and cognition. In order to more deeply understand and connect with story elements, students use personal experiences and preferences to identify character emotions, compare and contrast the experiences of characters, analyze character motivation, create a variety of potential outcomes for characters, and describe how their own personal emotions and choices compare to the emotions and choices of characters in plays and stories. Collaboration and literacy skills enable students to engage in group decision making: students collaborate to conceptualize technical elements, to tell stories, to use physical action to tell stories, and to identify and engage in dialogue.
In Grade 2 Theatre Arts, students begin to propose potential new details to plot and story in a guided drama experiences. They collaborate with peers to conceptualize scenery, create meaningful dialogue, interpret story elements, and contribute ideas and make decisions as a group to advance dramatic action in dramatic play. By relating characters’ experiences to personal experiences, students identify causes and consequences of character actions, describe how characters respond to challenges, and learn to use props, costumes, and vocal, physical, and technical choices to expand and articulate nuances of a character.
Grade 3 Theatre Arts Curriculum
The Grade 3 Theatre Arts Curriculum stresses the role of imagination in generating, articulating, and realizing artistic ideas. By learning that there are multiple valid solutions to any artistic problem, students learn that creative thinking is a vital component of predicting, determining, and investigating. By exploring the idea that there are multiple valid solutions to any artistic problem, students participate in methods of investigation to devise original ideas, compare ideas with peers to make selections that will enhance and deepen group work, and collaborate to revise, refine, and adapt ideas.
Grade 4 and 5 Theatre Arts Curriculum
Students in Grade 4 explore physical and psychological character choices in order to compare the drama/theatre conventions of a given time period with present conventions and investigate cross-cultural approaches to storytelling in drama/theatre works. To support these examinations, Grade 4 students explore global and historical folklore and story telling, collaborate to create imagined worlds, and investigate how technical elements may support a problem, theme, or idea in a drama/theatre work. Students apply formal drama skills and 21st century learning skills to these examinations by collaborating to devise original ideas, rehearse, revise and refine, by asking questions about characters and plots, by articulating visual details, and by visualizing and designing technical elements to support created and curated stories.
Grade 5 Theatre Arts Curriculum
In 5th Grade Theatre, we will work collaboratively to understand how professional actors analyze and articulate a character’s thoughts, motivations, and objectives. How do actors discover and embody a character’s psychological, vocal, and physiological traits? How can this knowledge be applied to other areas of our lives? How can design be used to reinforce and enhance a message? We will apply these skills to our Grade 5 Benchmark assessment preparation and to creating works for our mid-year “Day of Justice,” a program designed to empower our fifth graders to use theatre to teach our younger students about positive and negative social interactions. We will end the year by cracking open the world and works of William Shakespeare! Grade 5 students will also have an opportunity to apply and investigate drama skills and synthesize their understanding of theatre terminology, processes, and conventions by participating in the ASB Spring Musical.
In 6th Grade Theatre, we will explore how theatre artists adapt stories into dramatic presentations. What are the components of dramatic action? How do playwrights create dialogue and movement from narrative? By immersing ourselves in the world of Greek theatre, in which theatre was both sacred ritual and political forum, we’ll expand our understanding of theatre’s ability to communicate and transform. In order to inhabit the worlds of our Greek plays, we will explore how actors use carefully chosen physical, vocal, and psychological choices to communicate character.
7th Grade Drama, designed in to meet 7th grade National Core Arts Standards in Theatre, is dedicated to the study of Shakespeare’s world and work. After acquainting ourselves with Shakespeare’s stories, we will use a variety of discussion formats to examine the structure and components of Shakespeare’s language. We will use context and inference to decode verse, examine how meaning is embedded in meter, interpret and use Elizabethan stage directions, explore Elizabethan movement and manners, and discover how punctuation and structure reveal the logic in Shakespeare’s speeches. The goal of 7th grade drama is to ensure fluency in reading and understanding Shakespeare’s language.
In 8th Grade Theatre, students work collaboratively to integrate previously learned theatre and presentation skills to refine, enhance, and magnify ease and execution of public speaking skills. Using strengths and interests as a basis for generating both choice and material, students examine how rhetorical practices can be applied to all of 8th grade leadership tasks. The goal of our work is to equip us all with the oral presentation skills required by this exciting 8th grade year and to prepare students for success in high school as speakers and presenters.