5 Theater Habits that Support ELA Standards

Kids Acting

Theater is a Language experience that is academically linked to Literature and Humanities studies. There are many ways that youth theater activities support CCSS reading habits and 21st Century precepts.

1- Interaction Between Readers

The theater experience challenges participants to be accountable for a written work, particularly the text and stage directions that pertain to his or her assigned character.  Students are dependent upon one another to deliver and respond to the text accurately and from memory.

2- Close Reading and Comprehension

Theater participants must identify and understand the given circumstances and chronology of events in a play and make inferences about these events as they relate to human behavior, particularly that of their assigned character.

3- Comparison & Contrast of Characters

To achieve a well-rounded understanding of their assigned character, theater participants must consider the similarities and differences between characters in a play.  They must also examine how the characters interact and draw conclusions about subtextual feelings and attitudes that may be only subtly implied in the text.

4- Attention to Phonetics

A successful performance is dependent upon effective verbal communication.  It is essential for theater participants to learn and execute good diction, pronunciation, volume, phrasing and inflection in order for their story to be heard and understood by an audience.   

5- Reading with Expression

The thoughtful expression and execution of a play or musical has the potential to foster human empathy and understanding.  Theater assembles a community in order to tell a story, to share an experience and, hopefully, to enlighten, however, in the words of musical theater lyricist Fred Ebb, “If you don’t make it entertaining, no one will listen”.

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