Lesson plan

Putting a Play Together!

Let’s put it all together! In this lesson, students will explore the different parts of a drama or play. By the end of the lesson they will be able to define terminology related to plays and give examples of the unique genre features!
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Parts of a Drama pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Parts of a Drama pre-lesson.
  • 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 analyze text and determine components of plays and drama.
The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Pass or bring around the “grab bag” of books and have each student quickly choose a book. In order to make this go faster, you might consider having them close their eyes and take a book so that it is random and moves quickly.
  • Give the students a minute to browse their book and look for characteristics or features.
  • Ask students to get up and mix and mingle with their classmates, comparing and contrasting features of their books.
  • Once students have returned to their seats remind the students that genres have unique characteristics.
  • Demonstrate with a chapter book, showing them the table of contents and chapters and compare a chapter book with a book of poetry that contains stanzas.
  • Tell the students that they will be learning about a new genre called drama, which includes plays.
(10 minutes)
  • Using chart paper create a word bank with the title, “Drama: Plays.” Write the following words on the word bank as you read them: Scene, act, characters, script, parenthesis, colon, dialogue.
  • Tell the students that these words are parts of plays and that we can find them when we read a play.
  • Using a suggested play or a play that you select, show the students how they can find each part of the play. As you point to each part, explain that purpose. If desired, you can draw a symbol or quick illustration next to each word to give students an additional reference for support.
  • Explain that there are also parts of a play that include characters or objects.
  • Continuing your word bank, add the following words to your list: actress/actor, playwright, star, audience, costumes, rehearsal.
  • As before, demonstrate the parts that these individuals have within a play and if desired, draw a symbol or quick picture next to each word.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute supplemental vocabulary word cards, giving one to each student.
  • Using a play of choice, invite students to find parts of the play that match their vocabulary word cards.
  • Guide students through the process of identifying the parts of the play and explaining each vocabulary word that is related to drama and plays.
(15 minutes)
  • Ask students to complete the What’s in a Play? worksheet. (Students will tell why certain play components are important and give an example.)
  • Circulate around the room and provide support, as needed.


  • Have students use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast dramas and plays with other types of literature. (Refer back to lesson introduction.)
  • Invite students to create a comic strip sequence with visuals that could be used to write a play.


  • Provide students with a sample of labeled dramas.
  • As students are completing the worksheet, provide a word bank of ideas that students could use for examples.
  • For beginning English language learners, allow them to illustrate examples.
  • Use digital cameras to take pictures of students showing various poses or actions. Use the photographs to brainstorm topics for different plays.
  • Use an interactive whiteboard and a play template to introduce students to play terminology.
  • Use software that goes along with an interactive whiteboard to have the students play a matching game with the play vocabulary.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students complete the Acting 101: Learning the Parts of a Script! worksheet as an assessment.
  • Check to see that students understand the parts of a play and the different components.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students synthesize what they learned in the lesson.
  • Give students a sentence starter: At first I thought , but now I know .
  • Invite students to think about plays and how their thinking has changed since the beginning of the lesson. Have students write their responses in their journals.
  • Invite students to share their responses.

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