Plot/Dramatic Structure

Lesson 2:

Plot/Dramatic Structure


Objective: Students will demonstrate a basic understanding of plot structure as they outline and label the elements of dramatic structure in their own radio dramas.



  • Standard 7–8.T.CR.3: Use form and structure to create a scene or play with a beginning, middle, and end that includes full character development, believable dialogue, and logical plot outcomes.


EU & EQ:

  • What makes a good story?
  • What is dramatic structure?
  • How can storytelling be helpful outside of drama?
  • I can create a story that follows dramatic structure.
  • Good dramatic structure includes a beginning, middle, end and a clear conflict.


Materials Needed:

  • Whiteboard and markers



Discuss: What makes a good story? Is there a specific structure or order of events that good stories have in common? How can good storytelling be helpful outside of drama? (giving presentations and speeches, if you are an animator, you have to pitch your drawings and designs, telling the story that they are creating. Also, being a comedian; telling stories to friends; creative writing for fun or in English class; etc.)


Step 1

-Ask the students if they know what Dramatic Structure is?

-Draw the Line Graph of Dramatic Structure on the board and ask if anyone now knows what it is?

-Begin labeling the chart allowing the students to name the ones they know. Have students draw out the chart on their own pieces of paper and label each section, taking notes and following along with the class.

Exposition (Introduction)

Inciting Incident

Rising Action

Climax (Turning Point)

Falling Action

Denouement (Conclusion)



Step 2:

-explain that many amateur writers don’t include much falling action-they hit the climax and say “the end”…you NEED falling action

-talk about Harry Potter 4

-ask the students what the climax is (the graveyard scene)

-how well would the story work if the story ended right there? No good. There is still

            -bringing Cedric back

            -Mad Eye taking Harry to the castle and trying to kill him

            -Dumbledore coming to the rescue

            -finding the real Mad Eye

This is all really important information to the story-we can’t have the graveyard scene and then skip the train station with everyone leaving school for the year. It just doesn’t work


Step 3:

-remind the students of the Star Wars radio drama. Talk about what was each part of Dramatic Structure was/is and write an outline of it on the board


  • Star Wars the Radio Drama Experience
  • Introduce Characters: Leia, Luke, Darth Vader, Yoda, Storm Trooper 1&2

Inciting Incident

  • “A conflict rose above all…”

Rising Action

  • Luke and Vader fighting
  • Leia stopping them
  • Storm Troopers Showing Up
  • Storm Troopers Falling off the Cliff


  • Don’t know how to get to get to Chucky Cheese (the REAL conflict of the story!)

Falling Action

  • Vader trying to find his ship
  • decide to walk

Denouement (Conclusion)

  • arrive at Chucky Cheese
  • Luke and Leia Share pizza
  • Yoda dance with band
  • Vader foot caught in merry-go-round


Step 4:

Have the students write an outline for their Radio Drama using the pieces of Dramatic Structure. Walk around and be available to answer questions.


This is due at the beginning of class next time for 15 points