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Impact II: Projects & Lesson Plans: The Play's the Thing

The Play’s The Thing!

HOW I T WORKS
This program taps into a part of New York City cultural life—namely, live theatre. The students learn how to do work for the theatre, research and study plays that are currently on the boards, attend live performances, and reflect on their experiences. The base of the program is built on the relationships between the school and the resources of other public institutions in the community. Together, both sectors are enriched by the participation of the teenagers through their class-work and extracurricular activities. 

English Language Arts standards are addressed through cooperative projects, such as creating scenes for the stage. The historical background of the classical plays connects to Social Studies. School-to-career subjects are explored while the students interview professional theatre artists. Technological competencies are addressed by recording the program with a digital camera, and via web-based research and electronic publication. Art and music are also incorporated in the preparation of theatre pieces.

An overview of the program would not be complete without mentioning that by cooperating with the education department of the Roundabout Theatre, some of these students, who would not otherwise have the immediate opportunity to attend a live Broadway performance, do so. One of the objectives is to develop theatre appreciation from an early age so the seed is sown for a lifetime of theatre-going pleasure. 

THE STUDENTS
We are in our second season. In the first year, approximately 25 students participated in the program. This year we are happy to be joined by 17 new ESL students. The theatre performances will greatly enliven the language experience of our ESL students. It is expected that the totality of the theatre experience with its music, lighting, décor, acting, and so on, will add elements to English Language Arts appreciation for these children. It will also enrich their knowledge of American culture. In total, our second-year number will be about 35 students. The level of achievement varies. Last year about 50% of the students who registered in the class participated fully, taking an active role in the class work, theatre performances, web writing activities, etc. The other 50% acted in parts of the program. The students’ technical skills vary too. Some are very adept and others have little experience.  All participants this year have at least one computer skills class that meets as a regular classroom and computer lab. Our school is a total-inclusion school, so our classes range from learning-disabled to honors students. 

THE STAFF
Julie Vitulano has been teaching for eleven years. This is the second year she been faculty advisor to this program. The material developed for this class has been shared at several staff development workshops she has participated in. 

WHAT YOU NEED
Lessons on writing for the theatre, tickets to performances, a computer lab with Internet access (ideally with one computer for each student), a tape recorder, digital camera, and a TV with VCR are all needed to proceed with this project. Ideally, the students’ performances will be taped digitally and put on a web site. 

OVERALL VALUE
Through this program students enhance their verbal and writing skills, and develop an appreciation for the theatre and a possible career skill. They also become more familiar with the various uses of technology, and produce a creative work while simultaneously improving their self-esteem. 

View the Curriculum Unit/Dissemination Packet

CURRICULUM AREAS
Language Arts
Social Studies
Art
Music
Business Education
Technology

GRADES
Grade 9-12

MORE INFORMATION

Julie Vitulano
University Neighborhood
High School
200 Monroe St.
New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 962-4341
Fax: (212) 267-5611
jvitulano@aol.com
Principal: 
Rosa Riccio

 

IMPACT II Catalog 2001-2002

 

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