Nick’s Picks: Enhancing ELA’s Drama Studies with Multimedia Resources

This post was originally published in Nick Glass’ monthly column for Curriculum Connections, an e-newsletter published by School Library Journal in partnership with TeachingBooks.net. Subscribe to this free newsletter here.

In this month’s post, TeachingBooks.net highlights a variety of strategies and resources to encourage the infusion of multimedia into drama studies in secondary schools. These online audio, video, and written materials will enhance classroom readings and conversations about great plays and playwrights.

Use professionally narrated audio performances to give students an opportunity to hear the spoken word.

Pique students’ interest in William Shakespeare with an excerpt from the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet (from Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 1, produced by Full Cast Audio, 2004).

Hear an excerpt from Laura Amy Schlitz’s Newbery award winner, Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village (Candlewick Press, 2007, audio produced by Recorded Books, 2008).

Use recordings of playwrights to explore writers’ inspirations.

MiracleWorker(Original Import)

Listen to William Gibson in this 2004 National Public Radio interview as he reveals the origins of his play The Miracle Worker (1957).

Mousetrap(Original Import)

Consider these British Broadcasting Company recordings in which Agatha Christie talks about writing and reflects on the 10th anniversary of the 1952 premiere of The Mousetrap.

YoungGiftedBlack(Original Import)
Share playwright Lorraine Hansberry’s thoughts on art as she introduces To Be Young, Gifted and Black (1969), followed by an audio performance of the play by James Earl Jones and others.

Use online lesson plans to expand conversations and insights into a classic American drama.

DeathOfaSalesman(Original Import)

Peruse Michael J. Cummings’s thorough overview of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman (1949), which also offers a list of study questions.

Fences(Original Import)

Study August Wilson’s Fences (1983) using a comprehensive lesson plan from Shmoop.

Use videos to enliven classroom discussions.

OurTown(Original Import)

Incorporate this CBS video from a website devoted to Thornton Wilder into your lessons to highlight the relevance of Our Town (1938) for contemporary audiences.

Posted by Nick Glass, Founder & Executive Director of TeachingBooks.net

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