Open Forum

Theatre K-5 Curriculum

  • 1.  Theatre K-5 Curriculum

    Posted 06-22-2021 21:25

    We are expanding our Theatre program at Lipscomb Academy this next year to include our younger students from PreK-5th grade. I'm so excited to bring creative dramatics to these children, but also a bit overwhelmed. Any ideas or advice on curriculum, scope and sequence, plays & musicals that have worked well with certain ages, and any other information you can add would be very appreciated! You are welcome to email me personally. 

    Thank you,
    Suzanne "Mama" Craig
    suzanne.craig@lipscomb.edu



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    Suzanne "Mama" Craig
    MS/HS Theatre/Speech
    Lipscomb Academy
    Nashville, TN
    Suzanne.Craig@Lipscomb.Edu
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  • 2.  RE: Theatre K-5 Curriculum

    Posted 06-25-2021 15:54
    Hi Suzanne! I'd recommend using the search function in the blue navigation bar above and searching past threads for the word "elementary," there are a good number of past threads on this topic. I know Reader'sTheatre has been very popular with this age group. I'd also try searching by "camp" (quite a few schools offer theatre summer camps for younger children as a fundraiser for their program). Anyone else have experience with this age group?

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    Ginny Butsch
    Community Engagement Manager
    Educational Theatre Association
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  • 3.  RE: Theatre K-5 Curriculum

    Posted 06-28-2021 13:34
    Hi, Suzanne:

    I was director of a summer children's theatre program for 4 years in Louisiana and 4 years in Haines, Alaska. We had anywhere from 20-50 children each time. In Louisiana, we had help from interns from the local college theatre program. One student taught the music, another dance, and another did the technical work. We also enlisted parents to help. I used only musical plays from Pioneer Drama Service. The plays were all taken from famous tales or from history. These musicals were no longer than an hour and a half. Some were only one hour long. They were quite appropriate for the ages of the children. We rehearsed 5 days a week for 4 or 5 weeks. And we worked from 9 am - 3 pm most days. You could lengthen the number of weeks and reduce the time each day. I have some information about the fees for attending, as well as some ideas for rules and rehearsal schedules that I can send if you'd like.

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    Stanley Coleman
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  • 4.  RE: Theatre K-5 Curriculum

    Posted 06-29-2021 07:38
    Mr. Coleman, I too have been charged with starting a summer theater camp for children. I would really appreciate any documents you could share with me. My email is drfrieda.gebert@gmail.com 
    If you need a physical address,  just email me and let me know. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience. 





  • 5.  RE: Theatre K-5 Curriculum

    Posted 07-02-2021 11:21

    Hi Suzanne!

    I made a separate post about this, but I know from experience that finding sequenced, developmentally appropriate theatre curriculum, tied to standards is difficult, especially for K-5.  This is why my husband, (an elementary school theatre teacher), and I (high school and university theatre teacher) have started curriculum development for educational use in theatre companies, classrooms, and community arts organizations and would love to enlist collaborators! We are working to build a progression of topics each lasting for 8 classes while also looking at them collectively over the year to ensure that national/state standards are being covered. Our goal is to create offerings that allow students to continually be taking classes but still allow for new enrollments at any time (no prereqs). We've divided the plan into 4 age levels.  In the lower grades, the classes cover broader topics that repeat with fun themes added to them for differentiation. As students get older, classes cover more specialized topics.
    Want to help and share in the result?
    Check out the live view file at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/138Loo69sfo6_cG4rKocEX4E5SZ-wf-6-bp9pfoC4GV4/edit?usp=sharing to see the current progress. If there is a class you'd like to detail out into an 8-week breakdown, email us at contact@whirligigstage.com to claim it and we'll add your name to the sheet. During the last week of July, we will have virtual team meetings to review initial planning and plugin standards



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    Elana Kepner
    Theatre Instructor
    The Oakwood School
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