The Classroom is a Stage

The Classroom is a Stage lesson plan

Work together as a class to write a script for a play and act out each scene. Students design backdrops on the classroom whiteboard! Simply erase and change "scenery" between acts!

  • 1.

    With classmates, students select a book or play that they have read or studied and write a script based on their selection. This can be done as a whole class activity or with students organized in collaborative groups. Alter the storyline in some way to make the script original. Perhaps you did not like the way the story ended-can change it! If the story is set in a different time period, it could modernize! Encourage students to be creative and have fun writing their original scripts!

  • 2.

    Ask students to brainstorm what jobs need to be filled to bring the script to life. Actors? Directors? Set designers? What other jobs can you think of? Make a list on the board and decide who will fill each role. Be sure to involve every student in the class.

  • 3.

    How many scenes will be in the play? Students design a background for each scene. Sketch out each design using Crayola® Colored Pencils on white paper. On the classroom white board, draw the first scene’s background with Crayola Dry-Erase Markers or Dry-Erase Crayons. Act out the play in front of the white board! For each scene, simply erase the whiteboard and quickly draw the next background while the actors prepare for the scene!

  • 4.

    After adequate practice, invite a neighboring class to attend the play(s). Have the audience share their observations about the innovative scenery!

Standards

  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grade level text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
  • LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • LA: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
  • LA: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • VA: Select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.
  • VA: Analyze, describe, and demonstrate how factors of time and place influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of art.

Adaptations

  • Students create original costumes for their play using recycled materials.
  • In creating their scenery, encourage students to consider the historical period that their story may be placed in. Students research should include a look into automobiles, building types, clothing, hair styles, furniture, etc. Incorporate these and other items brainstormed by team members as appropriate.
  • Organize a time in the school day schedule to share plays with other classes or grades. Invite the audience to identify the original story on which each play is based. Allow time in the visit for discussion of similarities and differences in the original stories and the plays.