Drama Education Network


Drama Education Network provides standards-based curriculum products, teacher training services, and school residencies in arts and literacy for grades PreK-12. Our mission is to empower educators to use creative drama and theatre arts to create an optimal learning environment in any classroom. We specialize in theatre education, literacy development, and arts integration across the curriculum.

Our curriculum program, Drama Works! Teaching System (formerly known as The Drama Game File), is used by teachers all over the world and has been adopted by public school districts such as Los Angeles, Burbank, Sacramento, San Diego, New York City, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Louisville. Drama Works! has been reviewed and approved as standards-aligned in both theatre and ELA for K-12 students by the California Learning Resources Network (clrn.org) and was recently approved by the Texas State Board of Education for adoption as the new theatre textbook for grades K-12 (it was the only approved text in grades K-8). It includes digital and print components such as the Creativity Cards.

Our curriculum and teacher training services are developed and led by Mr. Jonas Basom, winner of the Bravo Award for Outstanding Arts Specialist of California. Mr. Basom has developed his pedagogy over 23 years teaching in CA private and public schools, including 9 years in the LAUSD as a traveling theatre specialist, where he developed and taught 12 model lessons for grades K-6 integrating drama and literacy while coaching teachers and leading staff development. He is now a consultant presenter for school districts, arts organizations, and educational conferences across the USA and internationally. He has trained thousands of teachers and students in more than 30 states and 10 countries. Mr. Basom currently instructs teachers in arts education and classroom management as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University and the University of Phoenix.

Student Programming:

Our most popular residency program, “Literacy Comes Alive With Drama!” is a series of model integrated lessons that teach drama and develop literacy using state standards for theatre (VAPA) and Common Core (ELA). Teachers and students learn creative drama activities that use theatre techniques such as pantomime, improvisation, tableaux, and storytelling to develop literacy concepts and skills in SPEAKING (projection, articulation, expression, dialogue), LISTENING (oral language, communication, collaboration), READING (visualization, vocabulary, sequencing, story recall), and WRITING (character, setting, plot, details, grammar). Lesson Titles include Actor’s Tools, Cooperation, Speaking on Stage, Character, Setting, Plot, and Story Dramatization. Includes strategies designed for students with special needs (ELL, GATE, learning disabilities) and integrates with ELA programs such as Treasures or Open Court.

We also do customized residencies to integrate with social studies, science, math, or the other arts.

Our programs are designed and led in person by Mr. Jonas Basom, author, professor, consultant, performer, and master teacher. Residencies can be part of a PD plan for teacher training (see our professional development offerings).

Teachers actively participate in each session, receive written lesson plans, and learn how to continue integrating drama on their own after the completion of the residency.

Program Options
#1: 9 lessons of 60 minutes (no culminating performance)
#2: 12 lessons of 60 minutes (includes culminating performance–not a full theatre production)
Flexible scheduling to fit your calendar and budget (can customize the number of lessons)
Max of 4 lessons per day (no combining classes for larger group size)
Student journals to document learning (template and guidance provided)
Drama Works! Teaching System curriculum materials for teachers (additional cost)
Available in greater Los Angeles area only

Professional Development:

Our PD services prepare teachers to integrate drama across the curriculum, improve literacy, develop 21st Century skills, build classroom community, reach ELL and GATE students, and meet the VAPA and Common Core ELA standards for CA. We offer a range of topics and delivery methods to create a flexible, customized program to fit your objectives, schedule, and budget. Teachers increase their knowledge, confidence, and motivation to teach with drama by participating in activities, creating, connecting, and reflecting. Our methods incorporate constructivism, brain-based learning, Bloom’s Taxonomy, social and emotional learning, multiple intelligences, and cooperative learning.

Core Topics

  1. classroom management system for creative expression (rules & consequences, routines & procedures, partnering & grouping, signals & cues, teacher talk, space, pace, and modifications)
  2. literacy (ELL strategies, Common Core, story dramatization, using drama with your adopted reading program)
  3. C-R-E-A-T-E method for arts integration (six ways of using drama for educational and social purposes: Clarify concepts, Review information, Enliven content, Acquire skills, Think deeply, and Explore topics)
  4. model lesson plan elements for effective arts integration (state standards, objectives, vocabulary, activities, sequence, quality questions, reflection, assessment, and modifications)

PD Services

  1. teacher workshops (2hr, half-day, full-day, series)
  2. model demonstration lessons with students (teachers observe)
  3. video conferencing follow-ups (individuals, grade level groups, or entire staff)
  4. coaching days (we observe lessons led by teachers and provide 1-on-1 feedback)

Our published curriculum, Drama Works! Teaching System, can be part of your PD plan (additional cost). Teachers can earn 3 graduate credits through University of the Pacific for using our trainings and/or curriculum