Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans

Our original lesson plans are developed by Thirteen Ed Online Master Teachers. Starting with tried-and-true lessons that work in the classroom, our Web-savvy teachers have built Web-based activities that use the rich resources of Thirteen/WNET New York and the Internet.

Each month, we will create new lessons based upon outstanding PBS series and around outstanding Web resources.

Grades 9-12

Musical theatre book writers, lyricists, and composers have long looked to literature for inspiration and material. In this lesson, students will compare and contrast literary works and the musicals they inspired. Utilizing video clips and Web sites, students will compare specific passages from original texts to moments in Broadway musicals based on the texts, and analyze similarities and differences between the two. As a culminating activity, students will try their hand at adapting and performing a non-dramatic narrative, either as a straight play or as a musical number.

Grades 9-12

Itís not uncommon for secondary school students to study the ups and downs of the stock market, but in this lesson, students will examine the economic roller coaster involved in the production of a Broadway musical. As an introduction to the lesson, students will read a series of online articles to investigate the similarities and differences between non-profit theatre production and Broadway, or commercial, theatre production. Students will view excerpts from BROADWAY: THE AMERICAN MUSICAL, to determine how the costs of producing on Broadway have changed over time, and to understand the economic gamble involved in the production of a recent Broadway musical. As a culmination of the lesson, students will write a persuasive letter describing the benefits and pitfalls of investing in either non-profit or commercial theatre.

Grades 5-8

In this unique performance documentary, DANCE IN AMERICA travels home with Jose Manuel CarreĖo (Cuba), Angel Corella (Spain), Vladimir Malakhov (Ukraine), and Ethan Stiefel (America), exploring the dancers’ personal backgrounds and formal training. Viewers are treated to a work specially created for the four dancers by acclaimed choreographer Mark Morris, set to music by Robert Schumann. Using Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences to explore the behind-the-scenes glimpses of the dancers' rehearsal process and the culminating performance of the work in its entirety, this lesson helps middle school aged students appreciate the discipline, craft, and intricacies of elite male dancing in America.

Grades 3-5

PBS' film series REEL NEW YORK features the New York stories of several documentary film makers. In this lesson students try their hands at moviemaking by analyzing how images in selected movie clips are used to tell a visual story. Students collaborate to tell their own visual stories that they share in a classroom screening.

Grades 9-12

This lesson, inspired by PBS' film series, REEL NY, allows students to explore the art of film editing. Students will learn about common film editing techniques and gain hands-on experience using these techniques in an in-camera class activity.

Grades 4-6

Whatís opera? Most people, including children, think opera is about actors in strange costumes singing in foreign languages about stories we donít understand. But opera is much moreÖthe stories express many of the same desires, angers, and hopes experienced in our own lives. In this lesson, students will use the GREAT PERFORMANCES and other Web sites to learn about operaís dramatic and musical elements, and discover the similarities and differences between opera stories and students' own lives. All the exploration will culminate in the creation and performance of an original one-act opera, written, scored, and performed by students.

Grades 7-12

This multimedia art lesson gives students the opportunity to explore a Japanese scroll painting depicting the classic TALE OF GENJI, a story about aristocratic life during the Heian period (794-1195) in Japan. After examining the scroll's narrative and formal elements, students create and publish their own scrolls about contemporary "aristocrats" with the help of digital media.

Grades 5-8

In this lesson plan, students exercise their critical thinking skills while learning about the job of a museum curator. Examine how collections can be organized around a theme by looking at on-line examples. Ultimately, the students become curators themselves and produce a museum-style exhibition that they present to the class.

Grades 9-12

In the EGG THE ARTS SHOW episode: WHATíS THE BIG IDEA? artists and art historians get together to explore what conceptual art means to them. In this lesson, students investigate conceptual artís place in art history by studying the works and ideas of conceptual artists, and coming up with a working definition of conceptual art. Finally, students create and exhibit conceptual art pieces.

Grades 9-12

In this lesson, students reflect on this question through discussion, writing and art. Students are asked to first define "identity" and consider who they are and what they value. Then they explore the work of two photographers featured on an upcoming episode of Thirteen/WNET New York's series EGG THE ARTS SHOW to see how they have dealt with the issue of identity. As a culminating activity, students respond to the question "Who am I?" using photography, paint, clay or collage. Students can further their exploration into identity through a journalism extension activity.