Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Career and College Prep in Middle School Theatre

I don't know about you, but I am feeling the pressure to include more obvious college and career prep lessons in my curriculum lately.  Administration and parents love to hear that children are being offered this kind of instruction and support these days, but they do not realize they are already receiving it in their Fine Arts electives.  It's not in an obvious way, but the skills we teach in theatre directly pertain to college and life skills.

In Texas, the standards require that we teach theatre careers to older grades.  This year I had my advanced class (7th and 8th grade) create a theatre resume and I took a "headshot" (they ended up calling them mugshots) and laminated it to put on the wall next to their resumes.  This is something I saw my  high school director do with his advanced kids as they prepared for college, prep school, or a career.  Since schools are forcing kids to think about their future as early as 6th grade (!) I figured my kids could do their resumes, too.  My advanced kids participate in every production in some shape or form and are required to attend our speech contests, so they had plenty to put on their resumes.  I checked out a cart of chromebooks and had them do the assignment in Google Docs in a shared folder.  I can monitor their progress, give them feedback, and print the final product.  Easy.  This three days, starting with an interactive notebook lesson on jobs in theatre.

The next project I had them do was partner up and research a job in theatre, using local theatres as an example.  They had a week to research, analyze, and create a poster to present to the class on their career.  The poster had to be sturdy enough to be displayed to my other classes, and they did an assignment on this "Career Fair" while I had a sub.

Here's the finished Career Fair! (as you can see, one group didn't realize they were under a deadline...)

I've included the lesson plan, rubric, and PowerPoint for this lesson on my TeachersPayTeachers store for FREE!  It won't be free for long, though! Click HERE for Careers in Theatre Unit!


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