February 29, 2012

Project Based Curriculum Unit

Posted in My Portfolio tagged , at 3:47 am by izzatrinbago

Name of Project:  Giving voice to students Broadway Theatre Reviews through Podcasting

Grade Level: 6-8

Time Allotment:
4 – 60 minutes

Theatre Arts I



Students have never been to a Broadway Musical, so they will be introduced to their first musical by attending a live Broadway performance. After they will create a review of the performance and create a an podcast of their review. They will be divided into groups to research different musical styles and utilize what they have learned to create their original music piece to accompany their podcast. Students create original content instead of using content created by others. Students will then present their recordings to the class which will be posted on the schools website in the students’ entertainment review section and in the schools newsletter.


Driving Question:  How can students get their voice heard and create an original podcast that will showcase students’ review of a Broadway Musical that will be useful / helpful for peers, teachers and parents?



  1. Students will understand the different aspects of a Broadway Musical.
  2. Students will develop their literacy skills by researching musical genres and writing a review of the performance
  3. Students will develop their listening  and speaking skills as they present their podcast and research  to the class
  4. Students will improve their team work skills as they collaborate in groups to develop their podcast
  5. Students will be able to define the major roles of those involved in creating a musical.
  6. Students will write a script for their podcasts
  7. Students will develop a personal response to theatre being an integral part of their lives.
  8. Students attend a Broadway performance to enrich their theatrical experience.
  9. Students will develop their ICT skills and become proficient utilizing audio software to produce their audio recording mp3
  10. students will define what a podcast is
  11. Student  will upload their mp3 files to the website



  • Computer with connection to a screen or television on which to project the Web-based video clips, or computer stations where students can watch the clips or a Smartboard
  • Google docs account
  • Computer with  same software installed as students
  • Garageband/Audacity
  • itunes
  • internet
  • Microphone
  • Announcing TDF’s Theatre 101
  • Parents’ permission slips( for posting of podcast)
  • Creating a Podcast Rubric


  • Creating Podcasts Handout(Rubric)
  • Permission slips


  • Internet
  • Google Docs
  • Computers / internet
  • Microphone
  • Garageband/Audacity
  • Itunes
  • Creating a Podcast Podcast Rubric


The Arts:

  • Students demonstrate a capacity for deep personal connection to theater and a realization of the meaning and messages in theater
  • Students gain an appreciation of the range of performance opportunities available to them through ongoing experiences with theater in New York City
  • As theatregoers, students research options for attending theatre independently and in small groups.
  • Students reflect upon and communicate their experiences to peers, families, and professionals.

 Language Art:

  • Students locates gathers  and uses information  to research different lesson topics
  • Student
  • Students use vocabulary that is authentic and integral to theatre
  • Students integrate an understanding of dramatic text and theatre history in their response to live performance
  • Students fine-tune their use of written, and spoken to communicate efficiently with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • Students apply various language conventions and structure media techniques to create there review.


  • Students analyze, listen and describe music
  • Students evaluate music performances

Students will access, generate, process and transfer information using appropriate technologies.

21st Century Skills:

These lessons enable students to be active in their learning process, use higher levels of thinking, Collaboration, communication, information media and technology skill, creativity as well as problem solving skills.

  • Students work in groups to create their Podcast and to create original content for It. The also work together to research and create an original musical piece that will be a part of their podcast
  • Students brainstorm to gather and articulate thoughts and ideas that will provide a clear and thoughtful review of the performance they experience for anyone who listens to their audio recording.
  • Students select the audio program to use for their project. Students will research on the internet their music genre and styles in order to develop a music piece that will be incorporated in their podcasts. Students are able to delve deeply into content, and write their reviews prior to creating their podcast
  • Students use media to communicate  their review information
  • Students will utilize the internet, Google Docs and audio recording program, while addressing content areas of English Language Arts, Music, Arts, and Technology to express other methods to students learning process.  In addition, podcasts helps students see a more inclusive view of the topic they are studying, and students will utilize technology for new learning to transpire.



  • Tell students after viewing the Musical they will create Podcast reviews of the performance that will be uploaded to the school’s website, so another students can decide if this is a performance to see


Divide the class into three (3) groups and have each group conduct research for the show:

Handout understanding Musical Worksheet

Guided Questions:

Group 1:

  • What theatre the show is showing at and the price of the tickets?
  • Who wrote it? Additional writers or composers
  • Performance history-including did the show open and how long has it been playing , and revisions

Group 2:

  • List the main characters and give a brief synopsis of the plot and the characters role.
  • List 4 or five songs that will be featured in the production.
  • Is the performance conducive to a particular style? If so, describe it.

Group 3:

  • Did the show win any awards? If so, what they are and when were they won?
  • After Reviewing the Arts section in the NY Times or other, what do critics think of the show?
  • Why do you think this is a good show for the class to see?

The groups can begin their research using the following sample Web sites:

Links to Online Resources:

  • Playbill-www.playbill.com
    • This site provides substantial reviews of Broadway and off Broadway shows and has detail information about the different productions
    • Broadway. Com http://ppc.broadway.com/
      • The site also contains the most complete editorial coverage of theater on the web, including the latest news, interviews with actors and playwrights, opening-night coverage, original theater reviews and video features. Broadway.com also offers current box office results, show synopses, credits and biographies and in-depth Tony Awards coverage
      • New York Times-http://www.nytimes.com/pages/theater/index.html


  • Students watch the clip on “Announcing TDF’s Theatre 101″
  • Teacher and students discuss clip
  • Students break up into groups to begin projects
  • Each group decide on what each person in the group will research based on their tasks
  • Students/groups will use Google docs to record, collaborate and share with each other
  • Each group  submit their work and present their findings to the class


  Discuss the protocol for talking into the Microphone to record scripts

  • Speak slowly and clearly, so that your words will be understood
  • Do not have the microphone too close to the mouth as this might cause voices to be distorted
  • Start to speak only when you’re in front of the microphone
  • Try not to make unnecessary noises as this might cause the recording to be not valid
  • Tell students about voice inflection and expression as it makes podcast more interesting to listeners




Teacher welcomes students and reviews the prior lesson 

  • Give each student a copy of creating Podcast handout rubric and discuss\review
  • Discuss any questions students may have and the equipment and software the class will be using to create the podcast
  • Explain that you will create a sample podcast and the teacher and students will create a sample before starting their projects
  • Divide class into 3 groups and assign group tasks

Groups write their original reviews script of the Broadway show for their podcast based on the following outline:

Group 1:

  • Information of the show, e.g. actors, director etc.
  • How well the script is written, how solid it is and the audience reaction
  • The  story line (engaging, compelling, interesting, believable, thought provoking)
  •  Comment on  the show’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Briefly describe the plot/subject

Group 2:

  • The performance  style
  • How well the music enhanced the story portrayed
  • The music used in the performance
  • The different lyrics of the songs and the role it played in telling the story
  • Did the actors deliver the songs well and any outstanding performance that was the highlight of the show

Group 3:

  • Influences and ideas of other playwrights and/or directors, designers and performers used in this show
  • The technical  and design element of the show i.e. the set , costumes make-up, lighting, etc
    • Memorable scenes
    • Possible Improvements


  • Students will break up into groups to begin projects
  • Each group will decide on what each person in the group tasks will be
  • Groups will use Google docs to record, collaborate and share with each other
  • Groups begin to rehearse their scripts and teacher moves from group to group providing feedback
  • Groups will submit their scripts to teacher for review\feedback before creating their  podcast
  • After a lesson on Garage Band and Audacity, Teacher walks students through the process of making a sample recording
  • student will practice creating  sample podcast
  • After students get the “hang of it” groups will begin to work on their podcast
  • Teacher moves from group to group to help students with problems or podcast issues
  • Students edit their podcasts
  • Allow for students to make mistakes and for students to re-do their work before groups are satisfy with their  recordings


The purpose of this lesson is for the groups to research the different styles of music and for each group to produce an original piece, which reflects the musical style that will be used be incorporated as part of their podcast.

Discuss with the class the different styles of music that was a part of the performance.

  1. The  same groups  select a musical style to conduct research  i.e.
    1. Classical
    2. Pop
    3. Jazz
    4. Rock
    5. Rock and Roll
    6. Jazz
    7. The groups select either Garage band or Audacity and create an original piece of that style that will be a part of their Podcast.


  • Each group will research the genre of music assigned and each group member will be responsible for an aspect of the research
  • Teacher will demonstrate how to incorporate a song in their Podcast
  • Students begin to create different sounds  using audio software to reflect  the musical style
  • Each group incorporates their original pieces into their Podcasts
  • Each group member submit their research in writing

The purpose of this lesson is for the groups to present their podcast to the class and to provide reviews to other students

  • It’s Podcast day!
  • Set up all the necessary equipment needed for groups to share their podcast


  • Groups present their podcast to class
  • Groups  give an oral presentation of their music genre topic
  • Podcasts are uploaded to schools website for others to listen to by parents, students, and teachers and the review will be printed in the school’s newsletter. The podcast  are also available to anyone with access via the internet
  • students provide feedback on each other presentations  and asks questions about what went into creating their podcast, which will be a part of their final grade

Assessment/ Refection

The teacher will assess students work as a group and how well the group followed directions. Individually, students will be assessed on their individual research and each student must type and submit this. The teacher will informally access students based on their presentation, class participation, and all other submissions. The teacher will observe students as they collaborate in their groups and facilitate team effort and utilize the “creating a podcast” Rubric to evaluate students. Students will have the opportunity to ask how each group created the musical portion to their podcast.

Students write a one page reflection based on the following guided questions. 

  1. What other topics you would like to add to podcast in the future?
  2. What was your experience working on this project with your group and why?
  3. What are some revisions or changes you would make to the project and why?
  4. What was the most enjoyable part of your project and why?
  5. Did working on this podcast motivate you to listen to or create podcast more in the future?
  6. What did you learn from this Podcast lesson?