1. Begin the lesson by asking students if they have attended a rock concert or other kind of large concert. Ask those that have to describe the experience—Who were the artists? How many people were there? How long did it last? Did you have to travel to attend? How far?etc.
2. Then, divide the class into four groups, assigning each group to explore one of the vaudeville websites below. As they explore, they should be taking notes on as many aspects of vaudeville as they can find. Students can, of course, use additional websites and print materials. When that research is completed, students should be brought together to share their findings, coming to agreement on the most important characteristics of vaudeville.
3. Re-divide the class into five groups, assigning each group to explore one of the 21st century entertainment websites, below. Again, students should be encouraged to use additional websites or print materials. And again, student should take good notes on what they find. When that is done, student groups should share their findings.
4. To conclude the lesson, each students should write a 4-5 page paper comparing vaudeville with one (or more) of the 21st century kinds of entertainment, paying particular attention to similarities and differences, and ending with some speculation about the future of these forms of entertainment.
History of Vaudeville
The American Vaudeville Museum
Musicals 101.com -- Vaudeville
Vaudeville on Wikipedia
21st Century Entertainment
Video Game Concerts
This lesson was developed by Averil McClelland, Kent State University.