December 30, 2016
by Anna Whaley
Lesson Plan:

Putting a Play Together!

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EL Adjustments
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  • 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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