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Theatre in Motion Leslie Fanelli Special
Theatre in Motion Leslie Fanelli Profess
Leslie Fanelli Special Needs Programs
Leslie Fanelli Special Needs Programs

This self-paced, online Professional Development course is intended for teachers and educational staff, as well as parents and administrators who work with populations with special needs, ages 4 years through adulthood.  In addition, people from other career circles may find this course useful, including theatre artists and civil rights/disability rights advocates.  Online participants will acquire skills in conducting creative drama and music activities that improve students' communication, self-esteem, cooperation, sense of fun, and academic content.  


Highlights include Universal Design for Learning,

Multiple Intelligences, National Core Arts Standards, lesson plans, quizzes, and ongoing communication with your online instructor via the assignments.  This course was crafted by Leslie Fanelli, Executive Director of the Arts Education Company, Theatre in Motion, honored by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and part of the Tony Award-winning team at the Paper Mill Playhouse as Master Teacher of the Creative Drama classes for Special Needs populations. 



  • 5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) ... Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion.  For 5 CEUs, participants will complete and turn in all 14 assignments.

  • 3 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) ... Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion.  For 3 CEUs, participants will complete and turn in 9 assignments, although there is full access to the course in entirety.

  • Non-Credit ... Participants taking the course as Non-Credit have full access to the course and are welcome to do the assignments, but will not turn them in to the instructor and will not receive a certificate.  

What is Creative Drama?

A definition:  It is comprised of many theatre activities that do not require a formal script and memorizing lines.  Music is often included.  


Multiple Intelligences

Study of The Theory of Multiple Intelligences and how it relates to creative drama and music. 


Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Overview

A synopsis of UDL and glossary of theatre terms that will appear in an ensuing UDL Chart.  

UDL Checklist Chart 

Detailed strategy options, applicable to the three brain networks of UDL construct: Recognition, Strategic, Affective.  National Core Arts Standards included.


Project One: Examine Your Own Learning

Self examination of cognition via the UDL Networks and Multiple Intelligences.


Suggested Stories for Creative Drama 

Several enduring tales that lend themselves to creative drama and music activities.  

Lesson Plan I: A Theatrical Poetic Sign Performance

An inspired sign performance that utilizes American Sign Language with broad, dynamic, theatrical expression.  

Lesson Plan II: “Stone Soup”

The traditional story “Stone Soup” with tangible food props, plus a few imaginary items.  

Lesson Plan III: “Abiyoyo”

The story “Abiyoyo” with all intangible, imaginary props.  Based on the story by legendary folk singer Pete Seeger.  

Lesson Plan IV: The Magic Clay

With pretend clay (sometimes augmented with sounds, music, or art), everyone creates characters, animals, machines, or scenarios.  

Lesson Plan V: Acrostic Poetry

Creation of poetry that features a vertical line of words derived from the first letters of a person's name, followed by derivative visual art.  Creative Drama tableaux ensue.  

Lesson Plan VI: The Geology Machine Improvisation

The geology of the New Jersey/New York City area (Northeastern United States) from 550,000,000 years ago to the present.  Other scientific "stories" also work for this Machine Improvisation.

Final Assignment, Project Two: Create Lesson Plans

The previous lesson plans serve as templates.

Resources, 4 Quizzes, and an Assessment Rubric

Included are a collection of resources, as well as four self-graded quizzes, and a Rubric Assessment to be used for assignment evaluations.

To pay, you will need a GMAIL ADDRESS.  You can pay by credit card or PayPal.  


If you wish, you can contact instructor Leslie Fanelli at  Please

write "Online Drama Interest" in the Subject Line.   

2 Special Needs Professional Development
Leslie Fanelli Theatre in Motion Special
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Theatre in Motion Leslie Fanelli Special
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