Welcome to Dramatic Learning. This site pairs standards-based content with dramatic readings of plays to teach classroom material in a way that appeals to educators and students alike. Let’s take a look at what this creative site has to offer.
Plays can be searched by title grade level, the number of characters, or subject area. The grade levels are separated into three distinct groups: 1-4, 4-8, and 6-12. Plays in Dramatic Learning can be adjusted to suit your grade level vocabulary, sentence structure, and points of emphasis. Some of the subject areas in Dramatic Learning include reading and writing, geography, mathematics, and art. These subject areas are all listed in the right-hand column with their corresponding play titles in the left-hand column.
Each play has its own home page. On the home page, you’ll find a listing of content related to the play, including a play script. All this information also can be found in the index column of any of the pages related to a play unit. The play scripts are split into separate scenes for easy browsing and reading. You can click on any link in the upper section of the index column to go directly to the scene of your choosing. The scripts are also available as a Word document download beneath the scene links.
In the Teach with Theater spotlight, you’ll find a section titled How to use this site. This includes information on how to use Dramatic Learning in the classroom, why use Dramatic Learning, building critical thinking skills, FAQs, and the online tutorial. Each of the first four pages contains videos that you can play, either as a standard size or as an expandable video, which will fill the page. These videos contain insight from 4th grade students who piloted the program, as well as their teacher Heather Korman and two of the site’s authors Dr. David Almeida and Douglas Love.
Also in the Teach with Theater spotlight, under the teaching tool section, are links to the site’s curriculum correlations, lesson plans, mini inquiry projects, assessment rubric, and play starters. Let’s take a look at the curriculum correlations.
Each play is correlated to curriculum standards. On the site’s curriculum correlations page, you’ll find a drop-down menu that will take you to your state or province’s content standards. The curriculum correlations also appear on each of the play script’s scene pages, as well as each play unit’s home page.
Dramatic Learning also offers lesson plans. The lesson plans are grouped by play title for quick, easy access and span of a variety of subject areas including math, science, vocabulary building, writing, and more. Many of the lesson plans contain a student page that provides a graphic organizer for student work. These are available as a downloadable Word document.
The site also includes mini inquiry projects, which are designed to engage students in conducting research beyond the scope of the play’s content. These projects involve student research and presentation. Most of the mini inquiry projects include a student page with a graphic organizer. Again, these are available as a downloadable Word document. Every mini inquiry project also includes a student self-assessment rubric, which is available as a PDF download.
The site also includes an assessment rubric that can be used across the site’s content. The rubric details 21 areas of assessment and provides a column for creating a plan for student progression. It is available as a downloadable PDF.
Additionally, the site features a page of play starters. Links to the play starters page are included in the teacher section, “Teach with Theater,” and the student section, Actor’s Corner, off the homepage. The educator’s page contains an additional element, an assessment rubric. This is available as a downloadable PDF for use in evaluating your students’ work. Play starters are designed to get students writing their own mini-scripts. Each play starter contains a simple set of guidelines for a play script that normally is about 2-4 pages long. The play starters are described briefly on their homepage and each has a downloadable Word document for students to print out and bring home if they wish. Both the educator and student pages contain a link to the downloadable Word documents for students.
From Page to Stage contains tools to take your play to the next level- performance! In How to Put on a Play, World Book walks you through how to create a simple set and costumes, and provides stage direction tips for putting on a production that can be as involved or as simple as you’d like. You also can access a video that shows how Dramatic Learning reintroduces movement into the classroom and why that’s important for today’s learners.
Dramatic Learning also includes a printable poster and program for every play on the site. Each poster is available as a PDF download that can be edited to add your class name and the date, time, and location of the performance. The programs are available as an editable Word document download.
In the Actor’s Corner, or student section, are activities, monologues, skits, and play starters. The activities encourage students’ growth and the content of the play. These activities can be saved to students’ My Research account for future work, if a student so chooses. The monologues and skits tie to the play’s content and provide a script for students to practice individually or in small groups. Both are grouped by play title. Each monologue and skit is available as a downloadable Word document. These pages also can be saved to a student’s individual My Research account for quick reference and easy access.
Finally, learn more about the creative minds who brought Dramatic Learning to life in our About the Author section. Douglas Love, Dr. David Almeida, and Professor Albert Cullum all contributed their creative works to the site and have a wealth of experience in implementing the Dramatic Learning reading method, in and out of the classroom. You can also find more information about three contributing playwrights to the site in the “More” section.
Dramatic Learning answers the calls of educators around the world to find a way to engage students actively with a method that promotes standards-based learning, improves reading fluency, helps struggling readers, and solidifies positive behavior trends, in and out of the classroom. Students will enjoy bringing their character to life and educators will return time and again to a proven teaching method and easily accessible resources on which they can rely.