The Designer


Students will demonstrate an understanding of what goes into being a designer by participating in a set design project and by helping create terms/definitions to be tested on.


Materials Needed

Lots of cardboard – boxes and pieces, colored paper, fabric scraps, tin foil, markers


Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook

Have a “work space” set up with tons of cardboard board boxes, colored paper, fabric scraps, tin foil, markers, etc. scattered around. Split students into four groups, and have them choose decide on a favorite, play/movie/book. Tell them that as a group it is their job to create a “set” for a scene from whatever story chosen.  The only rules are that they have to use something from each of the things scattered around and then be able to explain their set and how it relates to their play/movie/book to the class.



Step 1:

When the groups are done, have them go around and observe each of the other group’s “sets”.  Have each student write down what play/movie/book they think each group’s set is from.  Then as each group presents their set have them first tell what play/movie/book their set is from and have them give background information of their scene.  Then have them explain each part of their set and why they chose to do it that way.


Step 2:

After each group has presented, have them get back into their groups and make a list of what they think the design aspects of theatre are.

Then have a group discussion about the aspects, including

  • Costumes/Make-up
  • Set
  • Sound
  • Lighting

As a class create the definition of a designer:

Sets, Lights, Sound, Special Effects, Makeup/hair, Costumes, Props. Meets with director to discuss concept. Makes models, sketches, and makes or creates designs in every aspect above.

Make sure the students write it down with their other notes, to remember for the quiz!


Step 3:

Have them get into their fairytale groups and work on their projects. They should focus on:

  • Getting their scripts finished
  • Starting on blocking with the actors
  • Deciding what design element they are going to focus on

Have them work on these, with supervision, for the rest of the class.