General Question

punkrockworld's avatar

How do I teach kids the vocabulary of theatre, such as plot, scene,sets, conflict, script,and audience, to decribe theatrical experiences?

Asked by punkrockworld (949 points ) September 30th, 2010

I’m substituting as a teacher tomorrow and I need help!
Any examples are welcome, because I don’t want to look like a fool in front of those kids!

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3 Answers

kissmesoftly's avatar

I was a peer tutor in high school :D

Plot: The central storyline of the production
Scene: a small story involving one or more people and can be a short story or part of a bigger one
Set: the surroundings on the stage that lend some type of realism or visual aspect to the scene
conflict: the problem in the plot

Ask the children what they think the definitions are and correct them where they are wrong, and explain what the right answer is. You can be surprised how much children will know on their own.

Children are also forgiving and will most likely help you if you get lost. One or two will actually be interested in the class (if not, then they wont care if you look like an idiot, they will be more interested in their own conversations).

muppetish's avatar

I think it would be best to give them an example.

First ask whether anyone in the class can provide a definition (it feels good when you know the answer, or at least something close to it!) and then flesh out the details as necessary. Then give them an example… like, a short skit for a story everyone would know (such as Little Red Riding Hood) and ask them to help you identify the parts.

At least, this is the kind of lesson I would have enjoyed as a kid. It’s dry when a teacher just reads from the text and doesn’t give examples. Application of concepts, such as actively identifying the portions of theater, is enjoyable and better for memory.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@muppetish‘s idea is great. Have the class act out Little Red Riding Hood. Bring in props, construction paper to make make sets, stick figures. They have three sets – the woods and grandma’s house. Scene 1 is walking through the woods and meeting wolf, Scene 2 is in grandma’s house, Scene 3 is the huntsman rescuing the LRRH.
Sets- woods with trees grandma’s house inside and out – talk about flat sets, dimensional. Role of technicians to change sets
Costuming – LRRH, wolf suit, grandma outfit, huntsman. Role of costumer
Props – basket, axe for huntsman

Plot is easy to explain, because everyone knows the story
Because everyone knows it, explain difference between improvisation and scripted performances where actors memorize lines and act according to the directions in the script.

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