10th Grade Greek Theatre History Lesson Plan Example (Theatre)

Topic: History of Greek Theatre

Objectives & Outcomes

  • Students will be able to explain the development of Greek theatre from its earliest roots to its peak during the Classical period.


  • Handouts with information about the history of Greek theatre
  • Pictures of Greek theatre masks and costumes
  • Maps showing the locations of key Greek cities and theatres


  • Ask the students if they have ever attended a play or a performance at a theatre.
  • Ask them to describe what the theatre looked like and how the performance was organized.
  • Introduce the topic of the class by saying that today they will be learning about the history of Greek theatre, which was a form of live performance that was popular in ancient Greece for over a thousand years.

Direct Instruction

  • Begin by explaining that the first known theatres in Greece were built in the 6th century BCE and were made out of wood.
  • Explain that these theatres were located outside in open spaces, such as on the edges of cities or on hillsides, and could hold hundreds or even thousands of people.
  • Explain that the performances were organized in a very specific way. The actors would enter the stage from the side and perform their parts in the center. The chorus, which was a group of dancers and singers, would also enter the stage from the side and perform their parts in the center or on the edges of the stage. The audience would sit on stone benches or tiers of seats that surrounded the stage.
  • Explain that the plays that were performed were usually based on myths or historical events and were filled with action, drama, and tragedy.
  • Introduce the primary sources that you will be using in the class, such as pictures, drawings, or models of Greek theatres.

Guided Practice

  • Have students work in small groups to create a visual representation of a Greek theatre, using the primary sources and the information that was discussed in the direct instruction.
  • Each group should create a drawing or model of a Greek theatre, including a detailed plan of where the actors, chorus, and audience would sit.
  • Have each group present their model or drawing to the class, explaining where they placed each element of the theatre and why.

Independent Practice

  • Have students choose one of the ancient Greek plays that have survived to the present day, and complete a project analyzing the play in terms of the themes and the techniques used by the writer.
  • Students can use a variety of techniques, including reading and analyzing the text of the play, researching the historical context, and studying the use of dramatic techniques.
  • Have students present their findings to the class, either through a written report, a presentation, or another format of the students' choice.


  • Review the main points of the lesson, highlighting the main themes and techniques of Greek drama as well as the significance of Greek theatre to Western civilization.
  • Ask students to reflect on what they have learned and how it relates to their own lives and experiences.


  • Observe student participation in class discussions and presentations.
  • Evaluate student written reports for understanding of the topic and presentation of key points.

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