|Theatre for Teenagers in New York City
Purpose of the project:
The Theatre for Teenagers in New York City is part of an inter-high
school project called Virtual New York. ESL teachers from various high
schools in New York City are leading their students through the research,
design, and writing of a virtual travel guide to the City prepared
specifically for teenagers.
My students are working on the Theatre in New York City. It so happens
that we are actively studying drama in our class with representatives from
the program "Page to Stage", so we have a happy mingling of
lessons; theatre trips; electronic publishing all rolled together.
How it works:
1. Teacher attends workshop to become familiar with the plays to be attended. A lesson to be
used in class is also reviewed. The first one was an elementary acting lesson.
2. A guest artist visits the class once a week.
These visits are designed to prepare the students for attending the plays. This semester we will
be going to "Arms and the Man" and "Uncle Vanya". Some of the students have also gone
to NYU's production of "West Side Story". Lastly, we will go to see
"The Bombity of Errors". This last trip will be independent of the
Page to Stage Program. Another goal of the visiting guest artist is to have the students write a one-scene drama;
work on it with professional actors; and have the actors perform the piece.
3. The writing the students do in association with this program will be published on a dedicated
web page. We have a digital camera and will incorporate photos as well.
4. The students will e-mail writing to their teacher and the visiting
artist; conduct research on the Internet in preparation for their trips; publish their own
work on the website.
English language arts: Students will respond to theatrical
performances and readings using interpretive, critical, and evaluative
processes; make inferences and draw conclusions about events, characters,
themes, settings, and styles; explain the effects of point of view; and
produce written work in the form of essay, dialogue, report.
Technology: Students will use computer technology to create,
manipulate, and edit text; use the conventions of electronic mail; use
both primary and secondary sources of information for research; analyze and integrate data, facts, and ideas to communicate
Internet access, word processing program, e-mail accounts, digital
The students were ninth graders in a mixed-ability classroom.
This project can be adapted for students in any grade in high school.
Using the Internet to research the plays we were planning to attend,
and working with the guest artist from "Page to Stage", helped
motivate the students and generate enthusiasm for our trips. I
designed a web page that showcases the student writing and documents our
project with photos. The students had the opportunity to
experience Broadway theatre for the first time, which also deepened their
cultural knowledge of their city.
These lessons can be adapted to suit any play you may be able to
attend in your own city. The scavenger hunt lesson is great for
helping students become familiar with navigating the web for the first
time. You will need additional time to set up e-mail accounts for
them. If you have access to a full computer lab, students can learn
web design and create a class website for the project.
About The Teacher
Julie Vitulano is a High School ESL and English teacher at University
Neighborhood High School. She has been teaching for ten years, and has
used computer assisted instruction from the beginning of her teaching
career. She has been acknowledged with her co-teacher Carla Huck by
AOL; Pioneering Partners; Datamations; and Impact II.
Email Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 2-3 class periods for each
web lesson, additional time allotted for attending plays and working with
Beginning Grade Level: 9
Ending Grade Level: 12