Acting Elements


Students will demonstrate an understanding of the elements and vocabulary of acting in theatre by participating in a Theatre Jeopardy game and filling out the definitions of the terms on the Acting Terms worksheet.


**This lesson can be used in a beginning theatre class with new-to-acting students or as a review at the start of a school year/semester for students.  The documents included here are meant to serve as suggestions of what you could do; teachers will need to create their own personalized term list and Jeopardy questions/answers.**


Materials Needed


Lesson Directions

Have TV set up in front of the room with the desks in a semicircle in front of it. When the students come in and are settled, turn off the lights and start clip of “Our Town.” Recommended scenes – Choir Practice or The Funeral Scene.


Instruction: Ask the students what was going on during this scene. Try to get them to be specific. Explain that there are a lot more elements involved that are not usually noticeable. Give them the list of terms and have them write the definitions as you explain them. Try to get them to give what they think is the definitions. Use video clip again for elements they have question for and specifically point them out in the clip.


Character: a “person” in a play, as performed by an actor.

Blocking: the specific staging of a play’s movements, usually given by the director.

Objective: the basic goals or intentions of a character.

Motivation: the reason behind objectives, “why did my character do that?”

Diction: the articulation of speech and it clear pronunciation.

Projection: the ability to direct one’s voice so as to be heard clearly at a distance.

Voice: the ability of uttering sounds through the mouth by the controlled expulsion of air.

Characterization: the creating and convincing of attributes of a character.


Transition: Explain that the comprehension of these terms will help them as actors or ask them why they think it’s important to know these terms.


Assessment: The Acting Jeopardy Game – Take on the role as a TV host (jacket and maybe a tie.) Explain the rules and the prize to the winner. Bring the board out and being the game.


Closure: Reiterate again the importance of knowing these terms. Explain that we will be discussing these terms more in depth later.



Collect the terms sheet at the end of class. Remember to hand them back so the student may use them for their future performances in class.