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IMGALTTAG Volume II: Integrating Musical Theater into the Curriculum


Leaflet Productions Present: CHLOROPLAST!
“A musical that take light production to another level”
Theodora R. Bennett 

This curriculum unit was developed to aid in teaching Photosynthesis to high school level students. This curriculum unit can also be modified to teach middle school students as well. This unit compliments the teaching of Photosynthesis in a way that enhances comprehension of the complex content and vocabulary associated with the photosynthetic process. Students will be engaged in the learning process through music, dance, and drama. This unit teaches the concept of Photosynthesis based on two components of The Multiple Intelligence Theory: Bodily Kinesthetic Intelligence and Musical Intelligence. This theory offers ample opportunities for creative expression from both teachers and students.


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Let’s put on a Show
By Doris Braun
Mifflin School 

The purpose of my unit is to acquaint fifth graders with the history and elements of musicals. The elements include the book, the lyrics, the score, dance, and set design. The students will have the opportunity to view and review musicals, and finally write their own musical. I also plan to make the students aware of the famous Pittsburgh composer, Stephen Foster because his music is easy to sing, and it is of particular significance to me because both by father and son have performed Stephen Foster songs.

I am currently teaching communications to grade 5 at Mifflin Elementary School. I feel that this unit will enable the students to meet the portfolio requirements of a personal narrative, a persuasive essay, a response to literature, and a report. Each student will research a person related to musicals and in the process, read a biography, which would be a part of the twenty-five book requirement of the Pittsburgh Public Schools. As a personal narrative, they would write a compare and contrast piece as suggested in the Harcourt reading text that I am doing the unit with. Each student will also review a video of a musical, and then write a persuasive paragraph convincing you to watch or not watch the musical. They will also have the opportunity to enhance their dictionary skills by defining terms that are related to musicals. Finally, as a culminating event, the class will write and perform its own musical. These activities will help the students meet all of the communication standards.


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Musical Theater and You – A Closer Look
Ellen Connelly
Mifflin School 

The object of this curriculum unit is to teach students about the history of musical theater and to explore how this unique art form can be used to communicate themes and issues that are important to society. The unit will also explore the lives of famous people who have been associated with musical theater and will examine the component elements that that make musicals entertaining and informative. The discussion of themes will specifically address the issue of social injustice and how this concept has been addressed by musicals. While this unit could be used at any grade level, it is designed for middle school students and primarily targeted for sixth grade English Language Arts students.


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Integrating Musical Theatre into the United States History Classroom
JoAnne Freed
Taylor-Allderdice High School

Through the course Integrating Musical Theatre into the Curriculum, I developed a curriculum unit exposing students to the richness of historical themes found within American musical theatre. The unit is specifically for United States History teachers. The lessons are teacher friendly and lend themselves to modification.

There are two major components to this unit. The first part is where the teacher uses the musical 1776 to teach the events surrounding the Second Continental Congress and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. After being exposed to history through musical theatre, students will then use this experience to develop their own mini-musical project, where students become experts on a decade from 20th century American history.


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Costumes for the Stage
Who, What, Why, When and How
Patricia Gordon 

This unit is written for teachers of students, middle through high school level, who desire to understand the procedure for properly addressing the dressing of a school, or community production. The researching of information for this unit will encourage students to engage in activities that raise their levels of reading comprehension and analytical proficiency. The resultant end task skills will carry over into other educational disciplines.


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APPLAUSE MUSICAL THEATRE IN REVUE
Stephanie Johnson
Vann Elementary School

This curriculum reviews all of the components of Musical Theatre. The early childhood student enjoys creative activities. You will find this curriculum to be very creative. It also challenges the student to get involve with their classmates through the movement and improvisation part of the lessons. It also incorporates skills from several of the standards and has the ability to be adapted to any of the early childhood grade levels. Although this curriculum is written for second graders you will see how flexible it is, and all students and their abilities have been taken into account. The curriculum explores literacy and movement. It has key vocabulary and small quizzes included. Teachers will be provided with Internet resources that will assist them with this curriculum. Parentinvolvement has been included. The lessons are fun and I think any student would enjoy doing this curriculum.


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The Diabetes Dilemma
Elyse L. Karpa
Westinghouse High School

In this unit health education teams up with theatrics in the hopes of educating students about the debilitating disease called Type 2 Diabetes, and its dilemmas. It provides the instructor with valuable information about the disease as well as valuable resource information. This unit gives the students a chance to test their own knowledge and the knowledge of the folks at home. It provides for more peer interaction and teacher interaction. There is individualized analysis as well as group discussion analysis. The students can involve their parents and/or guardians at home by questioning family traditions and having them participate in various lessons throughout the unit.

The primary goal of this unit is to spread preventative information about Type 2 Diabetes. The recent statistics in this area are staggering. The unit provides for a lot of creativity and imagination. It will be creative, witty and informative for your students. As always this unit can be used in its entirety or pieces can be extracted as needed.


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Cosmetic Algebra and Geometric Stagecraft
Esther Liston

Cosmetic Algebra and Geometric Stagecraft is a mathematics unit targeted for sixth and eighth grade students interested in the creative and performing arts. Lessons are appropriate for any student interested in the theater, or as an extension for any class using the Connected Mathematics series of textbooks. Sample lessons include problems related to the theater with algebraic and geometric solutions. Students determine linear growth for production costs and revenue in order to determine profit. Students determine common multiple and greatest common factor for distribution of prizes among cast members or among an audience. Students calculate percent by comparing parts of an audience to a whole audience. Students calculate area through auditorium seating. Students calculate compound interest investigating compound interest by looking at production costs for Broadway shows. Students solve problems involving splitting up an auditorium. The student predicts percent of population based on sample size. The student determines permutations and probability of event occurrence (2 possibilities for n events) by choosing from 2 colors for each of 1, 2, 3, or n lights. The student applies the Pythagorean theorem to staging. The unit’s author Esther Liston teachers at Rogers Creative and Performing Arts School, part of the Pittsburgh Public Schools.


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Changing a Folk Tale and/or Fairy Tale into Magic
Camille E. Smith

This curriculum has an enormous amount of activities related to Musical Theater for the early childhood student. You will find this curriculum to be adaptive to any learning style. The curriculum explores all of the aspects of Musical Theater, from characters, design and costumes. Investigative properties are explored through a story and musical instruments. The students will also build characters through using citizenship skills. The materials can be made in class and parent involvement is provided. You will find this curriculum to be interesting and magical.


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Bridging the Gap Between Arts and Academics: Engaging Students in the Study of Life Through Musical Theater
By Elouise E. White-Beck
Taylor Allderdice High School

This unit will encompass six weeks of lessons which will be outlined in the Lesson Plans section and will use the playscripts of Pygmalion and My Fair Lady (which are available in one volume and are part of the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ tenth-grade curriculum), the black and white film of Pygmalion and the color film of the stage play My Fair Lady, as well as the London cast recording of My Fair Lady. Students will be exposed to background information surrounding the time period of the play followed by reading aloud and discussion of the plays. After each play is read, students will watch the film and respond in writing to teacher-generated questions. The unit will include several writing assignments which will fulfill the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ portfolio requirements. Facsimiles of these portfolio documents are included in appendices at the end of this unit and can easily be adapted to other districts’ curricula. The unit will culminate with oral presentations of prepared essay/discussion topics.


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Chatham University
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IMGALTTAG Pittsburgh Teachers Institute
Jointly sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University and the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
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