Writing a Script


Students will demonstrate their understanding of plot structure and basic playwriting format by writing a short script as a group.


Materials Needed

Whiteboard and dry erase marker

Sample Playwriting Format


Lesson Directions


Anticipatory Set/Hook

Mini-lesson: the advantage of writing one page of a script verses writing one page of a book. Tell the students that they are going to be writing scripts and that each person must write one page of the script. Draw two rectangles in “portrait” (not “landscape”) on the board. Have one student come up and draw in lines on one as if it were a book. Have another student come up and draw in lines in the other one as if it were a script. Show the students that a script has a lot more blank space, so one page isn’t all that much to write. Erase the student drawings and draw a sample scripts.



Step 1: Review playwriting format with them.


Step 2: Have students brainstorm ways to get ideas for a script with them. For example, true stories, fairytales, fractured fairytales, myths, character journey, etc.


Step 3: Ask students what one important thing to do in their puppet show. Demonstrate by performing a quick, boring show with your hands where the two characters only talk. Answer: action. Ask students how they can add action to their scripts. Answers include: fighting, gestures, wide mouth movements, dancing, using levels, chasing, running, etc.


Step 4: Go over the requirements of the assignment:
Students will work in groups of 2-4. (Any more than this and it gets too crowded behind puppet stage.) Students may choose their own groups.
Each group needs to come up with an outline for their script. They should begin writing their script on lined paper (not due until next week).
Each person must contribute one page (one-sided) on lined paper in their own handwriting in playwriting format, to receive full credit for this assignment.
Remind students that worksheets are due at the end of the period and completed scripts will be due at the end of the class period tomorrow.


Step 5: Have the students get into groups. Write down the names of each groups’ members. Help any students find a group and make sure absent students are assigned a group.


Step 6: Pass out worksheets and give students time to work on their scripts.



Collect worksheets and scripts.



Read through outline to check that students have used plot structure and that their resolution reflects the conflict they choose. Read through scripts to check how students implemented plot structure and playwriting format and that each group member contributed their page.