Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

Annie (Classic), Annie 2014, and Annie Documentary

Subject Area

Arts Education




This lesson will meet the needs of analyzing two different versions of the same drama/theatre story. By creating a Venn diagram, the students will determine the visual and aural differences and similarities of Annie (1982) and Annie (2014).

This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit.

    Arts Education (2017) Grade(s): 6 - Theatre


    Research and analyze two different versions of the same drama/theatre story to determine differences and similarities in the visual and aural world of each version.

    Unpacked Content



    Skills Assessed
    • Through theatre history research, a student can articulate connections between past theatre practices and their contemporary counterparts.

    • Students will use the knowledge of the relationships between historical elements of theatre and contemporary theatre practice can inform and influence a production concept.

    Essential Questions

    EU: Theatre artists critically inquire into the ways others have thought about and created drama processes and productions to inform their own work.
    EQ: In what ways can research into theatre histories, theories, literature, and performances alter the way a drama process or production is understood?

    Skills Examples

    • Students explore dramatizations and scenes from a variety of historical periods and cultures.
    • Specific examples of theatrical productions stimulate understanding of the impact of society on theatre, and theatre's impact on society.
    Resources for Research and Analysis Using History to Compare
    • Students will demonstrate their understanding of the historical practice of commedia dell 'arte by preparing a short presentation to include: Aspects of commedia dell 'arte: lazzi, scenarios, plot, specific stances and mannerisms of commedia dell 'arte characters. Character examples with their identified commedia dell 'arte counterparts: straight (young lovers); exaggerated (masters (Pantalone, Dottore, Capitano) and servants (Harlequin, Pulcinello, Brighella) Basic beginning, middle, end storyline of scene. Students will then apply the stock characters and scenarios to their favorite TV show or a well-known nursery rhyme. Students will complete both a written script and oral performance.

    Anchor Standards

    Anchor Standard 11: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    The students will create a Venn diagram to compare and contrast two different versions of Annie.

    Activity Details

    The students will watch segments of the original Annie (1982) and segments of the contemporary Annie (2014). Using these two different versions of the same musical, the students will analyze and compare and contrast the aural and visual similarities and differences by creating a Venn diagram.

    Have students take notes on the visual and aural qualities they notice while watching teacher selected clips of the two versions of "Annie".

    I recommend searching for these musical numbers from the original Annie (1982) and the contemporary Annie (2014): "Hard Knock Life", "Tomorrow", and "Maybe".

    To create the Venn diagram the students will work with a partner or with a small group (three to four students) and determine the aural and visual similarities and differences in the two versions, using the notes they took while watching the clips. With the group/a partner, the students should create a Venn diagram to turn in. Each group or pair of partners should turn in one Venn diagram.

    The digital tool provided is for an extension of this activity. The instructor may wish to show the documentary after completing this assignment. The documentary shows Broadway's revival of Annie from script to stage.

    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    Students can share aloud (informal assessment) and/or turn in to the teacher for formal assessment.

    Is the Venn Diagram completed neatly and with clarity?

    Does each section of the Venn diagram list at least five items, visual or aural? 

    Variation Tips

    Also, through the link provided in digital resources or through your own research, look up It's the Hard Knock Life documentary created by PBS. It takes the viewer from auditions to the opening night of Annie on Broadway. 

    Students quickly get enthralled with this staged version of the classic musical.

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    Preview all clips before showing them to your students. 

    These clips are available on YouTube.

    Some suggested clips from each version of Annie are:

    • "Hard Knock Life"
    • "Tomorrow"
    • "Maybe"

    Digital Tools / Resources