Thursday, February 19, 2015

3 Free Theatre Arts Integration Strategies that Work

My school is great! My principal has really embraced the idea of arts integration throughout our entire building. She really wants to make sure that all teachers have the tools they need to be able to integrate the fine arts into the core Curriculum. She has even brought in professional artists in each area to give professional development. It's great. What's not so great, the advice i always hear from the theatre pd. For some reason every professional development i attend that talks about integrating theatre into classroom falls back on one vocab word: tableaux.

I hate tableaux! There I said it. For those that don't know a tableaux is a frozen stage picture. Students can create a picture of anything, a scene from a play, the food chain, a land-form, a story, a moment in history. It's all very helpful, but I am one of the few theatre teachers who cannot stand tableaux. I realize that if you are a core teacher, making the kids freeze is a lot less scary then letting them move. But really isn't moving part of the fun?

Since I hate tableaux so much, it makes me so sad to see professional development that only encourages teachers to have the students freeze. I decided I had to do something about it. So I now present to you: 

3 Theatre Arts Integration Strategies that Work

Story Time Freeze

This is for the teacher that loves tableaux, who is scared to let the students move much. Every story has a beginning, middle, and end. Whether that story is a moment in History or the food chain. Have students create a frozen picture of the beginning middle and end of their story. This not only gets students thinking about the order of a story but also has them work on transitions and how characters and things change throughout en event.


If you don't like noise, but don't mind a little chaos, pantomime is for you! Pantomime or mime is when you act without words. Having students try to convey a topic without using their voice takes a lot of creativity. For example, how could you act out the signing of the deceleration of independence without words, how could you show the parts of a cell and their jobs without words? This activity is great. You can always have the students explain their performance afterward (or they could write about it). I love pantomime as a well to demonstrate knowledge.

Press Conference

This is a great differentiation strategy. Choose a few of your advanced students to be your character (parts of a plant, planets, members of parliament). These students will answers all the questions in character. All of your other students will be the reporters that interview your guests. You can either have the students submit their questions or let them ad-lib their questions. Your interviewers should ask their questions. You can then have them write a newspaper article about the interview. 

Download my free lesson plan guide with more information on these strategies. Don't forget to follow my blog and TeachersPayTeachers site for more awesome freebies.

Download for FREE HERE

If you liked this download (or see any issues or corrections that need to be made), please let me know. I appreciate all the support!

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