Using tableaux to strengthen students’ literary analysis skills

All Grades, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

On October 25 and November 1, Meg O’Brien and I will together share a theater strategy that can help students deeply analyze and understand complex texts and ideas: tableaux. Meg, who is Interim Co-Director of Education and the Access Coordinator at the Huntington Theatre Company teaches with me in our ninth grade Humanities class, encouraging students to use tableaux to literally embody ideas and pieces of literature. This seemingly simple structure helps them explore nuances of meaning, literary techniques, multiple perspectives, symbolism, and more. Working together on tableaux can also help students build social and emotional competencies. The best part? It’s not just for theater classes. Even students (and teachers!) with no background in acting or theater can be successful using this strategy.

On October 25th, we’ll introduce this strategy in a free, one-hour workshop. You’ll have opportunities to participate in some basic theater exercises, see and discuss student work, analyze how bringing tableaux into your class could address Common Core State Standards for ELA, and reflect on how you might incorporate these ideas into your own practice. By the time you leave, you’ll have concrete resources to help you get started with this technique in your own classroom.

On November 1st, we’ll reconvene to share ideas, debrief how it went, and help fine-tune everyone’s approach to this new strategy.

Register for this TeachingPartners Live Workshop now, and TeachingPartners will immediately send you an appointment you can drop right in your online calendar. You’ll also get a reminder closer to October 25th to make sure you’re ready.

Sydney Chaffee

Sydney Chaffee is the 2017 National Teacher of the Year and a Humanities teacher, instructional coach, and department chair at Codman Academy Charter Public School in Boston, MA. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and holds a B.A. from Sara... Full Bio