Teach “Real World Skills” with Theater Activities
November 09, 2012
I use theater to help my students develop teamwork and presentation skills, a truly age appropriate subject matter for my middle school students.
In a 9-week curriculum (my class is part of an “exploratory wheel” elective), my students work in 3 different groups to create skits that tell stories and advocate for positive behavior. I start out the syllabus by teaching basic pantomime skills, because I don’t want the expense or hassle of props, scenery or costumes.
The skit writing begins with each student individually creating a short story from a prompt I furnish. Then when the students are grouped together, they select the best story to be the starting point for their skit and write the scripts together. The rubric for the skits get increasingly more challenging as the students become more comfortable standing up in front of the class. For their culminating presentations we invite free staff members and adult family members to be a special audience, adding the challenge of presenting to new people.
Because most students would not have chosen to be in drama, I emphasize how the teamwork and presentation skills are truly life skills that will help them get ahead in other classes and life in general.