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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans
Theatre for Teenagers in New York City

Project URL:  http://teachersnetwork.org/teachnet-lab/unhs/scavenger.htm


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.

Standards addressed:

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 information; 

Computer Applications:
Internet access, word processing program, e-mail accounts, digital camera

The Students:
The students were ninth graders in a mixed-ability classroom.  This project can be adapted for students in any grade in high school.

Overall Value:
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: jmvitulano@yahoo.com 

Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 2-3 class periods for each web lesson, additional time allotted for attending plays and working with guest artist

Theatre Arts

Beginning Grade Level: 9

Ending Grade Level: 12



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