Date of Graduation

Spring 2008


Master of Arts in Theatre


Theatre and Dance

Committee Chair

Cynthia Winstead


theatre education, theatre curriculum, middle school, lesson plans, theatre textbooks

Subject Categories

Theatre and Performance Studies


Middle level theatre educators, those teaching grades six through eight, often have difficulty finding resources that connect to adolescent interests and needs, that are age and ability appropriate, and that align with state educational goals and standards. This thesis explores the writing and designing of age appropriate middle level theatre lesson plans, a proposed middle level theatre curriculum aligned with the Missouri Show-Me Standards and the analysis of available theatre education resources. I developed a survey for middle school speech/theatre teachers that included questions concerning course offerings, curriculum development, and student productions. Using the results of this survey, I compared the North Kansas City School District's middle school theatre program to programs across the state. I discovered that while the North Kansas City School District already had a strong middle school theatre program in the areas of teacher certification, course offerings, and play productions, it lacked a strong Missouri Show-Me Standards based written curriculum. Based on these survey findings, I was able to justify my goal of writing a standards based middle school theatre curriculum for the North Kansas City School District. Another goal of my research was to analyze theatre textbooks and select one that was most appropriate for middle school theatre. I analyzed four textbooks with two textbook review tools. These textbook review tools included items such as readability, alignment with the speech/theatre curriculum, graphics, and tie into the Missouri Assessment Program test. After evaluating each text, I ranked the textbooks and choose one to recommend to my district. This research project incited a much-needed change in the teaching practices and instructional content in the speech/theatre program of the North Kansas City School District. Further research could be done to encourage reform at the state level to provide stronger support for arts education.


© Carol A. Toney

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