Writing a Radio Drama

Lesson 3:

Writing a Radio Drama


Objective: Students will gain an understanding of how to write a clear script that follows a pre-set format as they begin writing their radio drama scripts.



  • 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 does a script look like?
  • How is a script different than an essay or novel or other writing in English?
  • Scripts have specific formatting elements to help actors and readers understand who is talking and when there are movements or sound effects.


Materials Needed:

  • Sample Script Formatting Packet  Lesson 3.Sample Radio Scripts for Writing
    • Copy of the Star Wars (sample for script writing)
    • Copy of the “Graveyard” radio drama script
  • Computer lab reserved
  • Google Classroom Assignment – Radio Drama Outline (if you use Google Classroom)



Who in this class has ever written a script? (a few students might raise their hands) Great! For those of you who haven’t, don’t worry! Now, who here has ever looked at a script? (a few more will probably raise their hands) Remind students of the Star Wars Radio Drama script that we looked at a few class periods ago. Anyone who was present on that day should now raise their hands.


Transition by letting students know that today, we will be focusing on proper script writing format.


Step 1:

Hand each group a copy of the sample script packet.

  • Looking at these scripts, what are some things about it that are different than a novel or essay that you might read in English class?
    • The words aren’t split up into paragraphs. Instead, a new line starts anytime a different character was speaking.
    • The script is meant to be performed.
    • There are sound effects referenced in the script.
    • Scripts have specific formatting elements to help actors and readers understand who is talking and when there are movements or sound effects.


Go over the script with them detailing how to indicate which character is speaking, sound effects, music cues etc. (inform them there are many ways to write a script, this is just one sample)

  • To indicate that a character is speaking, put that character’s name in all caps, followed by a colon, then write down what they will say.
    • For example, (write this on the board and have students take notes) if Bob were to say, “I’m going to the store.” how would we write that? (Call on students to help you know how to write it, according to your instructions and the sample that they have.)
      • BOB: I’m going to the store.


Read the “Graveyard” scene

  • Review the “must haves” for their script in the packet on the page with the “Graveyard” scene.


Step 2:

Have students line up and walk down to the computer lab. Have the students sit with their groups in the lab and being writing their actual Radio Drama following their outline. If you use Google Classroom, you can have them work on a common Google doc and submit it as an assignment on Classroom so that you can grade their outlines after class. (Also, you can let students know that Google docs allows you to see past edits, so you will be able to tell if only one or two students are working on the document. So, if you are discussing and someone is scribing, you might just want to work out a system where you all switch off taking notes.)


Let students know that their outline (which should outline all the points of dramatic structure, plus added details) is due at the end of class today. The outline should be at least three quarters of a page if done in bullet points. It should outline all the main details of the story and be a useful tool for them as they start actually writing dialogue. Next class, we will work more on sound effects, so if you finish outlining your story, you can work on dialogue today.


You only have one more class period of working time before your rough draft is due, so use your time wisely. Rough drafts should be 3-4 pages long and need to follow script formatting.


Check in with them from time to time to let them know you are paying attention. This will help them to stay on task in their work.