Introduction to Drama

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SWBAT analyze the structure of drama by learning drama-specific terms to use when comparing and contrasting drama to prose.

Big Idea

Do you know all of the parts of a script?


10 minutes

To begin today's lesson, I have students turn to a page in their literature books that is in the middle of a play.  (If you don't have textbooks, you can hand out a page of a script for students to look at).  I let them know that we are going to do a Think-Pair-Share.

Students look at the page of a script, and I ask them to think about how this type of literature looks different than a short story or a novel. 

Once they have thought about this question for a minute or two, I ask them to turn to an elbow partner and share with each other all of the differences they noticed.  I allow them 3-4 minutes to talk to each other.

I will flash the lights to let them know that their pairing time is up.  I then ask if anyone would like to share what they discussed with their partner.  With any luck, I will hear things about people knowing when to speak by the character's name appearing before the dialogue.  I hope to hear the word play, and maybe even drama.  They might talk to me about actors or even the stage directions.

I congratulate them on knowing so much about drama in the written form and tell them how well prepared they are for our upcoming drama unit!

Getting Down to Business

30 minutes

Today, students will be taking Cornell Notes on basic drama terms. As we go through the PowerPoint slides, I will continue to refer back to the script students looked at as part of our starter discussion.

The blank Venn diagram is a place to stop and have a discussion about the similarities and differences between a script and a story written in prose (with advanced students I do introduce the word "prose" here).  What I am hoping to hear is all of our new drama terms on the drama only side, the elements of fiction terms in the shared section, and things like chapters, dialogue in quotes, and meant to be read individually (silently) on the novel/short story side.

Once we are done with the slides, I will have students go back through the notes and highlight key terms and underline main ideas.

Then, in good Cornell note fashion, I have them write at least 3 questions on the left-hand side of the notes and summarize the notes, being sure to answer the essential question.

Did They Get It?

5 minutes

To wind up today's lesson, I have students review the summaries on their Cornell Notes.  I do collect this set of notes to make sure they got all of the information from the slides.  These notes are a formative grade in class.