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February 2009 issue of the NJEA Review

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Make the classics relevant for your students.

The approach suggested in Acting It Out reaches students through all learning modalities. Performance activities utilize most of the “multiple intelligences” as described by educational psychologist Howard Gardner. They demand that students focus, process and retain information in order to respond creatively. They’re engaging and fun, and at the same time employ linguistic, logical, musical, spatial, interpersonal and kinesthetic learning. Students might use the podcasts as models for student production, with improv as the rehearsal process, to understand and internalize the texts. Then, you may extend this study with any final product you, as the instructor, care to assign. Or, they may be used as ends in themselves solely to increase student comprehension and appreciation.

It is the ultimate reading response, encouraging higher order thinking skills. Not only do the students need to summarize or retell the plot, they must also make connections to their own lives, formulate opinions about the theme, interpret and react to the author’s point of view, predict outcomes and personally reflect on what they have experienced.

It demands total involvement, and makes use of a favorite student technology – the mp3 player. The twist is that it’s an active rather than a passive way to learn.

Additionally, it helps you fulfill the requirements of the National Standards for Academic Disciplines not only in English/Language Arts, but in the Performing Arts as well.

If you have a literature title you would like to have created as an Acting It Out podcast for use in your classroom, we can produce a high quality, customized podcast for use in your school district, tailored to your curriculum. For more information/pricing on this option, contact us at: