Writing Stage Directions to Create a Mood

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Students will be able to use precise words, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture a particular mood.

Big Idea

Students apply knowledge of word choice to write their own set of stage directions.

Daily Grammar

15 minutes

 Today we see a quote and we discuss how one punctuates said quote.  The second quotation mark goes after the punctuation mark.  I like to tell students that punctuation is so tiny, sometimes it falls off the end.  That's the only reason why there aren't as many periods at the ends of sentences, right?  When you have a quotation mark, it holds the end punctuation in place.

We also see a semicolon in today's paragraph.  Semicolons are used to combine two simple sentences that are about the same thing.  You can't just combine any two sentences. They have to be directly connected.  

Writing Workshop: Applying Knowledge of Word Choice on Mood

25 minutes

Once students have analyzed the setting and drawn conclusions about the setting based on character interactions, it's time for them to apply their knowledge.  They're applying their knowledge by writing a short set of stage directions that takes place in between Act 1 and Act 2. Act 1.5, if you will. 

In Act 1.5, the sun is setting.  It's twilight.  This is where students write a set of stage directions that show the middle ground--how the characters act after the sun starts going down, but before darkness descends on Maple Street.

We had a short discussion of what the mood would likely be--not comfortable, but not suspicious yet. 

Then I gave students about twenty minutes to write their set of stage directions.


Sharing Our Stage Directions

10 minutes

After the writing workshop, I asked students to share their writing in their groups.  I gave them about eight minutes to share within their groups, and then asked them to choose one person's to read aloud to the whole class. In my smallest class, I have five different groups.  If a student takes two minutes to read their directions, then that's twenty-five minutes.  While it would be nice to have every student read their stage directions to the whole class, there simply isn't time.  But by asking students to read their writing to a small group and then asking each group to choose one?  They have to evaluate each other's writing to select the one that should be read to the whole group.

Lesson Resources

Today's lesson image is a picture I took of the picture in our literature book.