Covering Greek mythology can be very confusing. For one thing, the family tree for the Greek gods makes the family situations on Jerry Springer and The Maury Show look normal and tame. Mythology is not my strong suit, and the end of the year is not necessarily the time to cover topics that you are not completely confident with. So when I stumbled across a Greek mythology reader's theater book, I was ecstatic. Read on to find out how to incorporate this activity into your classroom.
Photo: One student made a cake for the "God and Goddess Bake Off" play. This was a great way to celebrate the day!
After we read the play, I choose half of the class to work on acting it out. The remaining half of the class will act out another play from the book.
The reader's theater plays in my class run a five day course. In general, it goes something like this:
Monday Students are given the script. They read the script independently, look up a few vocabulary words, and write a brief summary of the play. A director is chosen to direct each play. They are given a list of students who are in the play and assign roles.
The director is a highly sought-after position, but it is not an easy one. Many disagreements can occur in the production process and the director must be able to keep the group moving forward. This position is great for students you would like to help develop leadership skills.
Tuesday The director tells the students their roles. They do a read-through and generate ideas for staging, props, costumes, music, and backdrops. The director will finalize the vision in his/her mind, assign extra tasks, and ask me for certain supplies, props, or music.
Wednesday Students begin to bring in their supplies or props from home. They rehearse a few times. At the end of the day, the director spends time going over "gems and ops," or what is going well in the play and opportunities for improvement.
Gems and ops are important in order to maintain focus; to practice reflective, critical thinking; and to keep all team members on the same page.
Friday Showtime. Each cast will present to the classmates that are not in their play. Each play takes about 20 minutes. During the play, the audience members critique the play by writing down gems and ops.
Sample Friday Play Schedule:
Photos: On the left, Pandora's Box. On the right, you get to see the actors hiding in the box.
On the left, Zeus and wife judged the bake off. On the right, the cast and crew. Each god/goddess dressed in a memorable way. They loved doing these plays!
THE VALUE AND THE SKILLS
2i2 is a trademark of Mr. Vasicek's classroom. It promotes a life of integrity and doing your best.