John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.
After studying this lesson on writing a skit, your students will be able to:
- Explain how dialogue and stage directions are integral parts of a skit's script
- Differentiate between acts and scenes and recap the five main parts of the former
- Explain the three methods besides dialogue that can be used to express conflict
- Bowl or hat
- Copy of the text lesson Writing a Play: Script Format, Steps & Tips along with the related lesson quiz
- Internet access
- Slips of paper
- Writing implements
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.
Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters.
- Let your students know they will be learning how to write a skit. Ask them if anyone is familiar with what a skit entails, has seen one performed, or has even written one in the past.
- Pass out copies of the text lesson Writing a Play: Script Format, Steps & Tips.
- Read the introduction and the first section, titled 'Play: Definition.'
- How would you define a play?
- How does a play differ from a novel and why is a play often difficult to write?
- Next, read the section 'Format.'
- What is a script and what are its two major parts?
- How are the stage directions written and when are they given?
- How is dialogue written and when does a line begin anew?
- Now, read 'Acts and Scenes.'
- How do acts and scenes differ?
- How did Shakespeare organize the five acts of his plays?
- When does a scene typically change?
- How can pre-writing help your play and what does it entail?
- Lastly, read the two sections titled 'Conflict' and 'Falling Action and Resolution.'
- How does an intriguing conflict work to enhance an author's story?
- How do asides, monologues, and soliloquies assist in expressing conflict?
- Should later scenes typically be shorter or longer?
- How do falling action and resolution help to conclude a play?
- Lastly, read the 'Lesson Summary' section to determine your students' grasp of this material on writing a play, and also review the text lesson in its entirety.
- Have your students take the lesson quiz to ensure they fully understand the new material.
Activity and Group Discussion
- Inform your students they will be writing and acting out their very own skits.
- Divide them into five groups. Present students with the following topics:
- Topic One: The school cafeteria now has two lines, one with old favorites such as pizza and tacos and another with health foods such as tofu and salads.
- Topic Two: The new gym teacher is a former military person, is really strict, and likes to yell as well as blow a whistle too often.
- Topic Three: The students are studying in the library for midterm exams, but a frog has escaped the science room and is hopping around the library and causing a commotion.
- Topic Four: The new school bus driver keeps getting lost, and the students are stuck on the bus until almost sunset.
- Topic Five: The students are decorating for the big upcoming prom dance but can't agree on the theme or color schemes for the auditorium.
- Now, put the five topics in a bowl or hat and have one spokesperson from each group select a topic. As they select the topics, have each spokesperson read their respective topic aloud for the entire class to hear (this should elicit laughs and cheers.)
- Allow the five groups time to write their skits. Each skit should be 6-8 minutes in length.
- Remind your students each skit should include themes from the lesson. While their skits won't be long enough to contain five acts, there should be a defined conflict and each skit should include either a monologue, soliloquy, or aside. Towards the end of their skits, there should be falling action and resolutions.
- When the students have completed their skits, allow each group to take turns acting them out in front of the entire class. If any student is too shy to act, they do not have to speak in front of the group and can have a non-speaking role instead.
- Lastly, ask if anyone has any final comments or questions related to the skits.
- Ask students if, technically, a skit and a play are different (the terms are sometimes used synonymously, but a play is usually acted out in a theater, while a skit is usually more informal and often funny).
- Ask your students if they have any favorite plays or any favorite television shows that involve skits.
- Ask them if it is okay for the performers to laugh during the skits. Tell them the performers from The Carol Burnett Show in the 1960s and 1970s were famous for laughing during their skits.
- Ask them what makes a skit funny, or what can be serious about a skit.
- Ask them if a skit should always be funny, or if a skit could also deal with serious topics.
- Finally, ask your students if they have any more questions or comments pertaining to this entire lesson on writing skits.
Writing a musical is similar to writing a skit in some ways, but there exist some differences. Write a one-page paper comparing and contrasting the scripts of a skit and a musical.
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