Drama Character Development Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has an Masters of Science in Mathematics and a Masters in Education

Help students understand character development in a drama with this lesson plan. A video lesson explains how to analyze dramatic works, then students focus their understanding on a specific dramatic character in literature.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe the elements of analysis in drama
  • explain how stage directions, dialogues, soliloquies, and actions contribute to character development in a play


1 - 2 hours


  • Copies of the lesson Analyzing Dramatic Works: Theme, Character Development & Staging, one for each student
  • Selection of short plays, multiple copies of each play (You may choose to make paper copies of works from a short play collection/compilation.)
  • Slips of paper containing the names of characters from the short plays (There should be one slip of paper per student and slips should have a character's name printed 3-4 times so that when distributed, groups of students with the same character name are formed.)
  • Small container
  • Chart paper
  • Markers

Key Vocabulary

  • Dramatic techniques
  • Cast of characters
  • Dialogue
  • Stage direction
  • Main character
  • Minor character
  • Soliloquies
  • Asides
  • Final analysis

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11-12 texts and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.7

Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.9

Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.3

Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

Direct Instruction

  • Start the lesson Analyzing Dramatic Works: Theme, Character Development & Staging and pause at 2:34.
  • Compare and contrast drama and prose, asking why these differences exist.
  • Have students write 'Type of Play,' 'Theme,' 'Character,' 'Plot,' and 'Stage Direction' in their notebooks, then resume the lesson, instructing students to take notes on each of these elements of dramatic analysis.
  • Pause at 5:54 and divide students into small groups.
  • Instruct groups to review their notes together, then give each a short play.
  • Tell groups to analyze the play's type, theme, characters, plot, and stage direction, giving an overview (not complete analysis) as described in the lesson.
  • When ready, have groups share their work, allowing classmates to offer feedback.
  • Play the remainder of the lesson and have students take the quiz.

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