Lesson plans for Our Town
From Our Town to Our Time
In this lesson, students read a review of a current production of Thornton Wilder's Our Town and a portion of the play, then write a scene inspired by the play's timely and timeless aspects and later perform the scenes as readers' theater. Along the way, they reflect on the "precious and ordinary" in their own lives.
This lesson focuses on the second half of Act I. Students explore the author's style, techniques, and the ways in which he experiments with the conventions of the drama. They also identify and examine the emerging themes of this play.
Analysis: plot summary, themes, more.
This resource from PBS's Masterpiece Theatre series includes a Teacher's Guide. The guide lists discussion questions, suggestions for a variety of followup activities, and more.
Our Town Imaginary Maps
Students draw a map of the town from the description given by the Stage Manager in the beginning of Act I.
Our Town: Producing a Documentary Film Spotlighting the Everyday Sights and Sounds of a School
A possible follow-up to the play. Students "identify hubs of activity in their school and produce documentary films and/or photographs that highlight the sights and sounds of those areas."
Suggestions for Pairing Contemporary Music and Canonical Literature
A list of songs that were inspired by reading literature. Organized by the last name of the author (e.g. Chinua Achebe, William Butler Yeats), the list includes song title, performer, year of release, and more. The list includes 5 titles inspired by Our Town.
Thornton Wilder's Our Town: the Reader as Writer
Students pause at various intervals in their study of Thornton Wilder's Our Town to develop their own settings, characters, and conflicts.
Vocabulary from Our Town
On the "definitions" tab, each word is defined, a link to pronunciation is available, and the word is shown in current use. On the "Words Only" tab, the list of all 34 words.
When Wilder died, he left an unfinished memoir that includes this piece. It describes the privileged life of Westerners living in China and offers a character sketch of a classmate. Nonfiction, informational text, autobiography.
Introduction/commentary and text of the story. Available in both PDF and Google Docs format.