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Write Your Own Play Lesson Plan

Standards
CCSS.W.9-10.3b: Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and
multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
CCSS.W.9-10.6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or
shared writing products, taking advantage of technologys capacity to link to other information and to
display information flexibly and dynamically.
VA 2.0 Creative Expression: 2.2 Write dialogues and scenes, applying basic dramatic structure:
exposition, complication, conflict, crises, climax, and resolution.
VA 2.0 Creative Expression: 2.3 Design, produce, or perform scenes or plays from a variety of
theatrical periods and styles, including Shakespearean and contemporary realism.
Lesson Objectives

Students will be able to use narrative techniques to write a short play.

Students will be able to take their play and transfer the story of the play to a multimedia
format.

Students will use basic dramatic structure to create their short play.

Students will choose and study a theatrical style and period to model their short play
after.
Teach
Anticipatory Set: Students will be asked to think about the last really good story they heard.
Was it on television? A movie? A book? Or did a friend tell it between classes? Students will then be
asked to think critically about the following question: What makes these great stories great? The
class will then brainstorm what makes these stories great. The class will then be asked, What do all
these great stories have in common? The students will work on trying to answer this question before
being guided (if needed) to the answer, which is all stories, no matter what format they come in (TV,
movie, book, short story, etc.) all have a solid structure that begins with an introduction, followed by
rising action that leads to problems, a climax, then a resolution. Students will then be shown a
PowerPoint presentation featuring a variety of stories that are well known (Star Wars, Little Red Riding
Hood, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, etc.) and ask the students to recall the plot. As the students go
through the plot, each feature of the story will be presented to show how this format is a part of every
good story anywhere.
Direct Instruction: Students will get in pairs or threes and asked the following questions: What
would happen if one of those steps were left out of story? and Why is it important to have each of
these steps in a story? Students will discuss and report their answers to the class. Then groups will be
assigned a well-known story and then they will pick a feature of the story out of a hat. Whatever feature
they pick will be what they exclude from their assigned story as they re-write the story. Groups will
then re-write their stories and then report back to the class when completed. This practice in the direct
instruction portion of the lesson will reinforce the idea of each feature of a great story is incredibly
important and is necessary for a story to be successful.
Practice
This lesson comes at the end of the drama unit, so understanding different theatrical periods and
styles should be understood at this point. The goal of this lesson is not to teach theatrical periods and
styles.
At this point, students will retreat back to their individual desks and will write a one-act play
about anything that they want (school appropriate). The only things that they must think about is that

they must choose one theatrical period and style that we studied in class and make their play fit that
style, they must ensure that their play includes all of the features of a great story, and they must tell a
solid story including multiple characters. The goal of this practice is not to find the next William
Shakespeare, but instead for students to practice the idea of telling a solid story and focusing on a
particular time in the theater.
Apply
Instead of being done with the lesson, students will now be able to apply what they have learned
through their one-act play by re-telling the story in the digital storytelling format. Students have done
this before in class and should be up to speed on either Photostory or iMovie, depending on the format
of the computer that they are using. The best part about having already written their play, students
already have their narrative, which is the first step of creating a digital story. Students will be instructed
to create a script, telling the story of the play from the protagonists point of view. Then the students
will continue the steps of creating the digital story. Using this format will most enrich the lesson for the
students by helping the students get into the head of the protagonist of the play that they just wrote and
re-tell the story, focusing upon those same features of a great story that have been reinforced
throughout the lesson.
More importantly, the apply portion of this assignment is creative and develops imagination. A
student simply cannot complete this portion of the assignment without using intense creativity. The
imagination of a student will be tested because they are not simply writing, they are taking that story
and expanding it.
Students will finish the lesson by presenting their digital stories to the class. If they were
successful in showing the pieces of a great story and picking a time period and style to tell their story
from, then it was clear that this assignment helped students show that they understand the concepts that
have been taught in the lesson.
Differentiation
There are several opportunities for differentiation in this lesson. First of all, when students are
originally placed in small groups, they can be placed strategically with a high achiever and low
achiever, or in groups of three with high, medium, and low achievers. This will enrich the lesson for the
high achievers and help bring the low achievers to higher levels. In addition, students who struggle
with technology or writing can be placed together in groups to complete the assignment. The students
can help each other in completion instead of struggling and giving up on their own.