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Mythical Gods Writing Myths

Writing Myths

Students will explore how myths provide explanations for nature and science. They will read and analyze the Native American myth "Giants and Mosquitoes."

The Starry Night Who Has Seen the Wind?

Who Has Seen the Wind?

In this lesson students are introduced to and encouraged to explore characteristics of the wind through poetry and van Gogh’s paintings

Davy Crockett What a Character

What a Character

In this lesson, students analyze how a character's personality traits, actions and motives influence the plot of a story

Whales The Whale Trail

The Whale Trail

In this lesson students will explore the world of gray whales

word art A Way With Words or Say What?

A Way With Words or Say What?

Many words and phrases that we use every day were coined by Shakespeare. He is credited with inventing over 2,000 words and expressive phrases.

Constitution of the United States Utopian Visions

Utopian Visions

Students are introduced to the idea of a "utopia"—an idealized society. Students read Sir Thomas More's Utopia and examine the concepts behind his vision of an ideal society.

Scene from Eugene O'Neill's 'The Hairy Ape' Uncivil Civilization in The Hairy Ape

Uncivil Civilization in The Hairy Ape

Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape presents a disheartening assessment of the impact of living in the industrialized society of the early 20th century.

Tom Sawyer Twain: Tom Sawyer—Mythic Adventurer

Twain: Tom Sawyer—Mythic Adventurer

Learn about the source for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Read, and analyze the novel, with attention to character and style.

Mark Twain Twain: Icon and Iconoclast

Twain: Icon and Iconoclast

This lesson asks students to examine samples of Twain’s work in the context of pre- and post-Civil War America

Mark Twain Twain: An American Humorist

Twain: An American Humorist

Students will analyze humor and the American character, developing a definition of “American humor”

Women and Men Tolerance: Gender Issues

Tolerance: Gender Issues

In this lesson, students research how professions such as nursing, clerking, and teaching have changed gender dominance over the past 150 years in the United States.

Hip-hop poet The Poetics of Hip-Hop

The Poetics of Hip-Hop

Students will analyze form in Shakespearean sonnets and hip-hop music

Scene from 'The Glass Menagerie' The Memory Play in American Drama

The Memory Play in American Drama

This lesson explores structural and technical devices of the "memory" play by focusing on a Tennessee Williams' masterpiece, The Glass Menagerie

Paul Bunyon Tall Tales Today

Tall Tales Today

In this lesson, students are introduced to the genre of American tall tales and will create an original tall tale featuring a "larger-than life" main character.

Mali Mask Sundiata, Mali’s Lion King

Sundiata, Mali’s Lion King

This lesson introduces the legendary Malian king Sundiata Keita, known as the Lion King of Mali, by using elements of traditional Malian festivals.

Scene from Southern Puritanism and Tennessee Williams

Southern Puritanism and Tennessee Williams

This lesson continues the exploration of "Puritanism" as an influence on the development of modern American drama in works by Tennessee Williams.

Snowy London Setting the Story

Setting the Story

Students examine setting as a significant element of fiction. They learn devices for creating a realistic setting, and use the methods in works of their own

The African Slave Trade Reliving History Through Slave Narratives

Reliving History Through Slave Narratives

After reading narratives from former slaves that were recorded in the 1930's as part of the Federal Writers' Project, students will research slavery

Performance of Shakespeare's A Question of Style

A Question of Style

Students will explore the nature of comedy by informally staging the opening scenes in Shakespeare's As You Like It

Shadow Puppets Puppets on the Move: China and the Silk Road

Puppets on the Move: China and the Silk Road

Through map-making, research, and class discussions, students will gain an understanding of the dynamics of trade in China along the Silk Road

Fiction book Plotting the Story

Plotting the Story

Students examine plot as a significant element of fiction. They distinguish plot from narrative to gain a firm understanding of a plot’s function within a story

Scene from Twelfth Night Playing with Puns

Playing with Puns

This theater and language arts lesson offers intellectual, creative and interpretive opportunities. Students will analyze and compare the puns and word play in selected scenes

Pioneers Pioneer America: Pioneer Living

Pioneer America: Pioneer Living

In this lesson, students will learn about what life was like for early American pioneers

Annie Oakley Pioneer America: Legendary Westerners

Pioneer America: Legendary Westerners

In this lesson, students will work in pairs to research legendary westerners

American Pioneers Pioneer America: Journey West

Pioneer America: Journey West

In this lesson, students will learn about the early pioneers in America and their motivations for moving West

Romeo and Juliet Performance Essay

Performance Essay

By investigating Shakespeare through both an analytical and theatrical lens, students achieve a much deeper understanding of his work.

The American Flag Oh, Say Can You See…

Oh, Say Can You See…

Students will learn about the history behind the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Noh Character Dancing Noh Theater

Noh Theater

In learning about the history, theatrical elements, music, dance, and costuming, of Noh Plays students are also comparing and contrasting these to the other theater elements

Grimm's Fairy Tales book Moving Tales

Moving Tales

Students practice using their bodies to communicate through movement, improvisation, and pantomime games. Groups then read and interpret an assigned Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale

Mountains Mountain Creation: A Drama Exploration

Mountain Creation: A Drama Exploration

Students examine a poem about mountain creation from a Native American perspective and watching a scientifically-accurate film about mountain formation

Storyteller Figure by Michelle Paisano, Laguna Pueblo A Listening Doll

A Listening Doll

Create a listening doll in the tradition of the Native American storyteller dolls

Appomattox Court-House A Light in the Storm: A Personal Look at the Civil War

A Light in the Storm: A Personal Look at the Civil War

Create a historical timeline and personal event timeline based on the historical fiction book and play A Light in the Storm and its main character, Amelia Martin.

King Arthur King Arthur: Man or Legend

King Arthur: Man or Legend

In this lesson, students will learn about the legend of King Arthur as depicted in stories, poems, and artwork

Hecuba Blinding Polynestor It's All in the Translation

It's All in the Translation

In this lesson students will examine the important role translation plays in interpreting the dramatic literature and theater of the ancient Greeks.

Inspired by Muses Inspired by Muses, Graces and Fates

Inspired by Muses, Graces and Fates

Muses of ancient Greece inspired poets, playwrights, dancers, actors, musicians, and scientists. Graces added life to a party and the Fates determined a life’s destiny.

Landing at Ellis Island Immigrating to America

Immigrating to America

Students will learn what it was like for new immigrants to come through Ellis Island—a symbolic heart of American immigration—at the turn of the 20th century

Harriet Tubman Harriet Tubman: Dancing on the Freedom Trail

Harriet Tubman: Dancing on the Freedom Trail

In this lesson, students are introduced to the emotional struggles Tubman faced as she helped slaves escape and travel north along the Underground Railroad.

Children in a Japanese Internment Camp Giving Voice to History

Giving Voice to History

Students will understand a somber period in American history. During World War II, the U.S. government ordered more than 120,000 Japanese Americans to detainment camps.

recycle Get Dramatic: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Get Dramatic: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

In this lesson students will explore the concepts behind the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle slogan through theater

Scene from 'A Streetcar Named Desire' Fractured Families in American Drama

Fractured Families in American Drama

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Long Day's Journey into Night, explore the tension, tragedy, heartbreak, and love within flawed and fractured families.

frog prince Finding Your Own Frog Prince

Finding Your Own Frog Prince

Students will use a traditional tale, “The Frog Prince,” and Jon Scieszka’s variation of it, The Frog Prince Continued, to create improvised scenes and then a book for a mini-musical.

Fencers Fancy Fencing

Fancy Fencing

Stage-fighting, and especially sword-fighting, is important to the plot of many Shakespearean plays. In theatre, fights are based on precise choreography.

Russian Church Exploring Russian Folktales

Exploring Russian Folktales

Students are introduced to the genre of folktales and engage in a study of several Russian folktales. They are asked to read the tales aloud, and then to fill in a chart about each one.

Paul Bunyon and his Big Blue Ox, Babe Exploring American Tall Tales

Exploring American Tall Tales

Students will explore the common elements of folktales and tall tales while learning how these tales built the spirit of the American people

Eugene O'Neill Eugene O'Neill on Page and Stage

Eugene O'Neill on Page and Stage

Continue the exploration of "Puritanism" as an influence on the development of modern American drama by focusing on elements of narrative, theme and characterization.

Crow Drinking Counting Crows

Counting Crows

Students will learn the meaning of Aesop's fable, "The Crow and the Pitcher," blending math and art with literature and film

Civil War Letters Civil War Letters

Civil War Letters

Using letters written during the Civil War students develop an understanding of the message of the letters. They will create a dramatic reading based on their letter.

Chivalry and Courtly Love Chivalry and Courtly Love

Chivalry and Courtly Love

Explore the Arthurian codes of chivalry and courtly love in art, modern films, books, and poetry. Examine the way in which these ideals have influenced modern concepts.

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