The Basics of Script Writing

Daily Objective:

Students will demonstrate their developing understanding of script-writing as they turn their story ideas into scripts.



Materials Needed:

10-12 different plays and 10-12 different novels.




Ask the question: How is a script different from a novel? How is it written differently?
Make a list on the board of any difference that they mention.
Pass out different examples of scripts for students to look at in their groups.
Add anything to the board that didn’t make it already onto the list.




Hand a script and a novel to each different group. Allow them a few minutes to look through each, noticing the differences. Ask them if there is anything that is missing from the list on the board.



Things to make sure are up there:

– less descriptive
– dialogue is written differently
– scenes and acts instead of chapters
– stage directions in parenthesis (are these said out loud?)
– perspective is different



Journal Entry:

Check for understanding
Write the following situation like it is a script for a play: etc.
John walks into the kitchen, his brother Alex is sitting at the table.
“Hey,” said John, looking in the fridge and grabbing a soda. Alex mumbled under his breath.
“What’s wrong?” John asked, patting Alex on the shoulder.
“Don’t touch me,” Alex growled.
Would turn into something like:
(JOHN walks into the kitchen, ALEX is already sitting at the table)
JOHN: Hey. (while walking to the fridge, looking inside, grabbing a soda)
(ALEX mumbles something under his breath)
JOHN: What’s wrong? (crosses to Alex, patting him on the shoulder)
ALEX: (shouting) Don’t touch me!
JOHN: (confused) What did I do?
ALEX: (laughs bitterly) Oh, like you don’t know.
(ALEX pushes his chair back from the table and leaves)

Ask volunteers to come up, one at a time, and write the next part on the board. Then, when we have all agreed that it is written correctly, have them write what happens next. Three or four more lines of the script.

Have them work in their groups, starting to write their scripts. Tell them that this isn’t a final script, just a starting point. They are welcome to change it any time they like.
Tell them that it is likely that this will change, so have them write down only what they KNOW needs to happen, what they KNOW people need to say, etc.

Give them the rest of the class time to do this. Walk around and ask if anyone needs help, answer questions, and check that people are doing this.