Arts ESU2
Performing Arts, English Language Arts
Material Type:
High School
  • Acting
  • Antagonist
  • Art
  • Body Language
  • MTA
  • NE Art
  • Nebraska Department of Education
  • Protagonist
  • acting
  • art
  • ne-art
  • theatre
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

    Education Standards

    Expression Through Theatre

    Expression Through Theatre


    This resource was created by Wendie Meyer, 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: Expression Through Theater                           Grade Level: 9-12


    Subject Area: FCS, Interpersonal Relationships Common Core: English Language Arts

    Fine Arts Subject Area: Theater

    Standards Alignment

    Content Area Standard(s): FCS

    HSE.HS.1.14.f Employs organizational development skills to foster positive working relationships and accomplish goals. HSE.HS.1.17Analyze ethical behaviors essential for working within human services careers

    Common Core: ELS

    LA 2.1.4 Fluency: Students will develop accuracy, phrasing, and expression while reading a variety of grade- level print/digital text to support comprehension.

    Fine Arts Standard(s):FA 12.5.3.c Evaluate how choices of the actor(s) impact audience understanding of a performance (e.g., Hamlet (Mel Gibson, Kenneth Branagh), multiple versions of Romeo & Juliet).

    Core Subject Vocabulary:

    Verbal communications clarifying

    Nonverbal communication reflecting

    Facial expression tone of voice

    Body language encoding

    Context decoding

    Fine Arts Vocabulary:

    Script analysis Genre Character analysis Protagonist Stage direction Antagonist

    Character analysis Plot

    Monaloguage Theme

    Reader’s theater climax

    Core Subject Learning Objectives:

    Students will:

    • Identify how children at different developmental stages express feelings and emotions.

    • Cooperate with others to brainstorm and problem solve on a project.

    • Explore their own feelings and attitudes about interpersonal relationships, including family, romantic, and community.

    Fine Arts Learning Objectives:

    Students will:

    • Analyze a script and complete a character analysis of an assigned part.

    • Create a puppet for their character.

    • Present a reader’s theater script: The Hidden One; story and script by Aaron Shepard, 2002

    Language Arts

    Students will:

    • Recognize content vocabulary and theatrical terms in order to understand the process of analyzing a script, develop characters, and reflect on the artistic expression of characteristics of interpersonal relationships.

    • Develop a speaking part for a theatrical presentation of a readers theater script.


    NOTE: Project based assessments are used in UNPS FCS classrooms. The rubrics used for project based curriculum are attached at the end of this lesson plan.



    Day 1: Bell ringer - List at least five types of nonverbal communications (Text: Interpersonal Relationships; G-W Publishing; 2018) Lesson 1.1: The Communication Process (pgs. 155-158) Instruction: The Communication Process - Types of Communication (focus on nonverbal) “The use of

      can vary according to people’s cultural background. The amount of , the   gestures may have, and the of certain gestures may vary.” (pg. 156)


    Terms to Know: vocabulary for subject area and arts area. Foldable study guide using google slides and textbook website.


    Introduction to readers theater: Explain the What and the Why this is a method to learn about communication. Make a list of the nonverbal communication seen in the video (flip chart paper)

    • Review the voice terms from Acting for Life, Chapter 5; pgs. 45-46 using the diagram on page 45.

    • Connect parts of “The Vocal Instrument” (p. 45) to the tasks they are essential to (eating, speaking, and breathing.

    • Brainstorm ways that voice is essential to the communication process and practice pronouncing specific words using tone, volume, pitch, and projection using Exercise:Projecting your voice to a partner. (pg. 53)


    Introduce Art Terms to Know: Add to study guide. (Notes will be used for a quiz tomorrow) Closure: Exit ticket - What do you think about doing a reader’s theater production in our class?

    Day 2: Bell ringer - Every script has its own theme and genre. refers to a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter. (


    Review Day 1: Exercise: Gaining Vocal Variety; Acting for Life pg. 54

    • Encourage students to experiment with changing their voice using pitch, tone, or volumn.


    Instruction: Script Analysis - foundation/

    1. Read through information on the website or use the handouts.

    2. Google slides to go with the reading.

    3. Handouts can be found on the can download them.

    4. Use sections from the monologues included with the handouts for practice: pair share after marking your section. Compare your markings with your partners. Identify the differences and discuss the why you had different marks.

      1. Show examples of marked scripts

      2. Use unmarked monologue for practice

    5. Introduce the script analysis worksheet. Review all the sections. Work through a sample script with students as a class (use actual form on board).


    Closure: Journal Entry: Now that you have an idea about how reader’s theater works, how do you feel about participating in an actual reading?


    Day 3: Individual Script Analysis: Using the actual script for the class reading.

    Bell ringer - According the script for The Hidden One A Native American Legend; Told by Aaron Shepard; Reader’s Theater Edition #12, what is the genre, culture, and theme? (Student’s will have a copy of the script in their folders.)



    • Review questions students should ask when completing a script analysis (Google Slides)

    • Introduce the graphic organizer for the assignment. Go over the different sections and review relevant vocabulary.

    • Class will read the script aloud and complete the Plot Graphic Organizer together.

    • Students will work with their assigned partner to complete the questions assignment Closure: Exit Ticket - which character(s) would you like to perform?B


    Day 4 Puppetry

    Bell Ringer: “Puppets provide a gentle way of hiding oneself -- the ultimate disguise -- so they are well suited to act as go-betweens in a communication between therapists and patient.” The Complete Book of Puppetry, pg. 24 How could puppets help in situations of conflict between people?


    Building a puppet: Instructional video by Ari Lifshitz maker of The Shmuppets. Watch the entire video all the way through. Show students

    • Students will gather supplies and return to their table. Click on the link in our Google Class folder and use the video on your Chromebook to follow the directions for making your own puppet.

    • Take one step at a time and help each other at your table.


    Clean up and Closure: Return all supplies and clean up your area. Store your work in a tote on the back counter. Share with someone who was NOT at your table what you want your puppet to look like when you are done.


    NOTE: This activity will probably take two or three days. Allow flexibility and have students who finish first help those who are still working. This is a good way to accommodate the needs of all students.


    Extending the Lesson

    • Have students create a set for the puppet presentation of the reader’s theater selection.

    • Have students rehearse and critique each other.

    • Arrange for the production to be presented to another class.

    • Invite an elementary class to come make puppets with the high school students.

    • Perform the puppet show for a community group; Head Start, Preschool, nursing home or adult service organization.


    Assessment and Reflection

    Content Assessment:

    **Reading Comprehension Check (pg. 162 textbook)

    **Vocabulary Quiz

    **Presentation/Performance Rubric

    Arts Assessment:

    **Plot Graphic Organizer

    **Script Analysis Questions

    Student Reaction (Engagement):

    **Self-Evaluation Speaking Rubric

    **Teamwork Rubric

    Teacher Reflection:

    **Comments on Rubrics

    **Grades in gradebook, based on rubrics



    Frakes, Jack. Acting for Life, A textbook on Acting. Meriwether Publishing. 2005 Johnson, L. Interpersonal Relationships. Goodheart-Wilcox Publishing. 2018

    Bafile, Cara; WETA Reading Rockets; Reader's Theater: Giving Students a Reason to Read Aloud


    Lifshitz, Ari; How to Make a Puppet in 8 Easy Steps;


    Thomas, James. Script Analysis for Actors, Directors, and Designers. , Elsevier Inc. 2009


    Project Based Grading Rubrics (The only way I could load these is with the ur.


    Presentation: Rubric-Non-CCSS.pdf


    Creativity & Innovation: Creativity-Innovation-Rubric-Non-CCSS.pdf


    Readers Theater Project Rubric


    Name: Class:

















    Voice was loud and clear; words were easily understood


    Student spoke clearly but it was difficult to understand some of the script; could’ve been louder.


    Voice and language was not very clear; could’ve been much louder.


    Could not understand what was being said due to unclear and low speech.




    Excellent description of personality, interpretation of voice, and conviction of character.


    Good Blocking Notation, Beat Notation, and Director’s Notes Notation


    Satisfactory Blocking Notation, Beat Notation, and Director’s Notes Notation


    Non-Satisfactory Blocking Notation, Beat Notation, and Director’s Notes Notation





    Script was fully memorized, and lines were delivered without prompts.


    Script was almost fully memorized - student needed very few line prompts.


    Script was partially memorized - student needed some line prompts.


    Script was not at all memorized; most lines needed prompts.






    Great use of puppet to express emotion and convey the character.


    Maintained puppet character while delivering lines.


    Needed more conviction of character in puppet.


    Contained little to no expression of character.





    Committed, cooperated & concentrated-




    Semi-committed, concentrated & cooperative-




    Almost committed, cooperative & concentrated-




    No commitment, cooperation or concentration





    Final Grade:   Comments: