EL Support Lesson

Parts of a Drama

Expose your students to the wonderful genre of drama, but be sure to teach them the important key terms so they understand the structure. Use this as a stand alone lesson or a pre-lesson for the *Putting a Play Together!* lesson.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Putting a Play Together! lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Putting a Play Together! lesson plan.

Students will be able to define terminology related to the genre of plays and drama. Students will be able to compare and contrast dramas with other types of literature such as chapter books and poetry.


Students will be able to articulate academic vocabulary using complete sentences with sentence frames.

(2 minutes)
  • Display a blank concept web on the board with the words "Drama" and "Plays" in the center.
  • Access background knowledge by prompting students to think about what they know about this genre, and record their answers in the outer circles of the concept web. Confirm and reword answers as needed before writing them in the web.
  • Explain to the group that today’s lesson will focus on the key terms that make this genre unique.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell students that the objective of this lesson is to be able to explain the key terminology, or vocabulary, that makes the genre of drama special. Some of these vocabulary terms apply to other genres, such as poetry or other literature and nonfiction, but most of them are only in dramas.
  • Introduce the vocabulary words by displaying the Vocabulary Cards. Go over the definitions and provide visuals when possible. For words that do not have a visual, ask students to brainstorm possible images that show the word's meaning.
  • Give each student a Glossary, and have them complete the information with student-friendly definitions. In the column to the right, have students record the word in their home language (L1).
  • Provide each student with a Frayer Model and have them complete it for one of the vocabulary words. Assign the words to students, as they will become a “word expert” on that particular term. Allow students to use resources in their home language.
(10 minutes)
  • Display a completed Frayer Model for the word "drama" and model how to discuss each section of the graphic organizer. Use the following sentence stems and frames:
    • The vocabulary term is ____.
    • The definition of ____ is ____.
    • An example sentence using the term is ____.
    • Some examples of the term are ____.
    • The image shows ____.
    • Some nonexamples of the term are ____.
  • Organize small groups, composed of one student from each "word expert" group, and have them discuss the information in their Frayer Model. Give them sentence stems and frames to use as they discuss the information.
(10 minutes)
  • Give each student a copy of the Comparing Drama to Other Genres worksheet. Have a student read aloud the teaching box.
  • Go over the labeled Venn diagram in which drama is compared to other fiction texts. Instruct students to circle any of the key terms they learned today, and underline any that are new and/or confusing. Define and show visuals for any new terms.
  • Instruct students to turn and talk to a shoulder partner to compare and contrast the genre of drama to other fiction genres.
  • Point out the cloze passage at the bottom of the page, and model filling in the first blank.
  • Have individuals work with their shoulder partners to fill in two more blanks. Go over them as a group by calling on nonvolunteers and having the rest of the students give a thumbs up or thumbs down if they agree or disagree.
  • Instruct partners to complete the remainder of the cloze passage together. Review as a whole group using the same format with a thumbs up or down.


  • Pair Beginning ELs with supportive non-ELs in the group discussion of their Frayer Models.
  • Have students use the following sentence stems when comparing genres:
    • One similarity between drama and other fiction is ____.
    • A difference between drama and other fiction is ____.
  • Provide access to reference materials in home language (L1).


  • Allow learners to utilize glossaries and dictionaries for unfamiliar words.
  • Choose advanced ELs to share their ideas first in group and class discussions.
  • Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary, summarizing important information for the class.
(5 minutes)
  • Distribute an index card to each student. Have the class consider the key term for which they became a “word expert.”
  • Instruct them to write a short note to the teacher about the key term. Prompt them to explain the definition and share examples, nonexamples, and anything else they learned from today’s lesson. Have them include a quick sketch to accompany the vocabulary word.
  • Return to the concept web created in the introduction of the lesson. Have students turn and talk to a partner about one piece of information from the graphic organizer. Provide the following sentence stems and frames for students to reference in their discussion:
    • I learned that a drama has ____.
    • One new vocabulary word I learned was ____. That term is ____.
    • A drama has ____. This means ____.
  • Remind students that the characteristics of a drama are sometimes unique to just the genre, but sometimes they can be found in other genres. Share that in an upcoming lesson, they will be able to see examples of dramas and note how all the components fit together.

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