As we look ahead to 2024, we take a look at the scene-stealing free resources, blogs, and webinars that supported and inspired theatre teachers throughout the year! Covering big topics like improv, tech theatre, and Shakespeare, and helping with lesson planning, professional development, and student engagement, it’s not too late to catch up on the top 6 (because there were too many to fit into a top 5) free theatre resources of 2023!
1. Free "Spotlight On" videos
In 2023 we gave theatre teachers unlimited free access to engaging e-learning videos on many big topics. This includes five videos on Shakespeare: The Globe, William Shakespeare, tragedies, comedies, and Shakespeare’s language. Plus, a further nine videos covering world theatre, the production team, and foundational topics like types of stages, dramatic structure, and evaluation.
Teachers used these videos throughout the year to set up topics, as homework, and in subplans. You can continue to use these videos in 2024, completely free of charge, and check out this blog on the best ways to use these videos in your lessons!
2. Inspired by Improv webinar
This year, professional development opportunities for theatre teachers were plentiful! One of the standouts was Inspired by Improv, a live webinar from an expert panel of improv actors, theatre makers, and teachers that gave teachers innovative tips for engaging students regardless of ability or confidence level, ideas for moving from improv warm-up games to using improv as a devising tool, and guidance on how to allay students' fears about experimenting with improv.
3. Career readiness and life skills blogs
There is an ever-increasing pressure on teachers to incorporate life skills into their lessons, which, and while we all agree that this is important, it can also be time-consuming and distracting from ongoing classroom goals. But it doesn’t have to! Blogs like 5 ways to enhance career readiness skills (without changing your lesson objectives) and 5 tips for bringing life skills into your classroom support educators to incorporate the teaching of these vital skills into their existing lessons which not only saves teachers time but goes a long way in preparing students for beyond high school!
4. Lesson planning
Lesson planning is such a time-consuming part of a teacher's day, and this year we aimed to support teachers with ready-to-use tools to implement in the classroom. Customers benefited from the launch of our daily lesson plans, and there were plenty of free resources to support this too, including two outstanding blogs, 7 Series to Simplify Theatre Lesson Planning and Curriculum Design, and A Guide to Class Starters, both designed to shorten lesson planning and increase engagement.
5. "More Aha Moments" on-demand session
Especially when working with younger students, creating those "aha" moments that really click with students can feel like a daunting task but middle school theatre teacher, Elizabeth “Nikki” Andrews brings an exciting on-demand session that provides warm-up ideas to get students motivated from the moment class begins, exercises to prepare students' bodies, voices, and minds, and examples of resources to save time and create powerful lessons.
6. Technical Theatre professional learning experience
Technical Theatre can be one of the most challenging parts of a theatre teacher's role, requiring you to be a specialist, without the years of training required. However, in this on-demand professional development session, we heard from seasoned tech theatre teachers on how you can empower your students to lead the tech team for productions, as well as ideas on how to create high-quality, creative set designs, lighting, costumes (and more) on a shoestring budget.
Well, what a year it’s been (and we’re just scratching the surface here!) If you are looking for innovative resources to support your lessons in 2024 then why not book a 5-minute tour of Digital Theatre+ to see how our engaging lesson plans, e-learning videos, class activities, productions and so much more can transform your lessons (and save you a bunch of time in the process)!
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