Arts ESU2
Performing Arts, English Language Arts
Material Type:
High School
  • Character Arc
  • MTA
  • NE Art
  • Nebraska Department of Education
  • Symbolism
  • Theatre
  • ne-art
  • theatre
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    Education Standards

    School House Rock Analysis

    School House Rock Analysis


    This resource was created by Jason Smith, in collaboration with Lynn Bowder, as part of ESU2's Mastering the Arts project. This project is a four year initiative focused on integrating arts into the core curriculum through teacher education and experiential learning.

    Lesson Title: School House Rock Analysis

    Grade Level: 9-12

    Core Subject Area: Language Arts        Fine Arts Subject Area: Theater

    Standards Alignment

    Content Area Standard(s):

    LA 12.1.6 Comprehension: Students will construct meaning by applying prior knowledge, using text information, and monitoring comprehension while reading increasingly complex grade-level literary and informational text.

    LA 12.1.6.b Analyze and evaluate the relationships between elements of literary text (e.g., characterization, setting, plot development, internal and external conflict, inferred and recurring themes, point of view, tone, mood).

    LA 12.1.6.c Analyze the function and critique the effects of the author‘s use of literary devices (e.g., allusion, symbolism, metaphor, personification, epiphany, oxymoron, dialect, tone, mood)

    Fine Arts Standard(s):

    FA 12.5.1.f Plan and rehearse an invented, historical or fictional character (glossary) using posture, movement, facial expression (glossary), gestures (glossary), vocal choice, costume, make-up, hair, props, and space.

    FA 12.5.2.c Rehearse, refine, and perform a scripted play incorporating a designed environment (glossary) and audience arrangement.

    Core Subject Vocabulary:

    Dialogue, Symbolism, Plot

    Fine Arts Vocabulary:

    Script Analysis, Character Arc, Costuming.

    Core Subject Learning Objectives:

    Students will use their script reading to help defend the choices they are making for their characters.

    Students will analyze the given and implied character elements to make their choices.

    Fine Arts Learning Objectives:

    Students will do a script analysis of Schoolhouse Rock LIVE! in order to better understand the musical as a whole.



    Lesson -Teaching Sequence

    Our high school musical this year is Schoolhouse Rock LIVE!, so having students analyze the script is the perfect activity as they prepare to perform in April.



    Each character of Schoolhouse Rock LIVE! will have at least two students assigned to complete a character analysis. The students will have a notebook and pencil available to take notes over their assigned character as we go through our read through. They will have the following question prompts (adapted from the text Fundamentals of Theatrical Design) in mind as we read through the script together.

    1. How do you imagine your character? What do they look like?

    2. Where does the action take place?

    3. When does this story take place? Year, month, time of day?

    4. What does your character want? Is he/she successful?

    5. How does your character change as the story progresses?

    6. What happens to the characters after the play ends? (Brewster & Shafer, 2011, pp. 36-37).


    Following the read through, we will give the students time to reflect and discuss their answers to the prompts.


    In a group discussion, students will defend their character choices by citing lines from the script. Students can discuss the choices and help determine the appropriateness of their choices.


    After students discuss character elements, they will use art supplies to sketch out basic costuming of their characters.




    Brewster, K., & Shafer, M. (2011). Fundamentals of theatrical design: A guide to the basics of scenic, costume, and lighting design. New York: Allworth Press.



    Assessment and Reflection

    Content Assessment:

    Formative: Instructor evaluation of post-reading discussion.

    Summative: Students will turn in their observation sheets for assessment.

    Arts Assessment:

    Formative: Instructor evaluation of post-reading discussion.

    Summative: Students will turn in their observation sheets for assessment. Students will be given time outside of class to finish their costume sketch.

    Student Reaction (Engagement):

    Teacher Reflection: