Writing a Play Lesson Plan

Instructor: John Hamilton

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.

Teach your students how to write their own plays with this useful lesson plan. They will read a text lesson, work with a small group to create a play, and take a related quiz on this lesson.

Learning Objectives

After studying this lesson on writing a play your students will be able to:

  • Describe the concepts of dialogue and stage directions
  • Describe the important elements of a play
  • Create and deliver a play of their own


2 Hours (spread over two consecutive class periods)


Curriculum Standards


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 and its significance, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.


Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative.


  • Let your students know they will work together to create a play.
  • Ask them if anyone is familiar with the topic, or has ever attempted to write a play previously.
  • Pass out copies of the text lesson Writing a Play: Script Format, Steps & Tips, one copy per student.
  • Read the introduction and the first two sections.
    • What is the definition of a play?
    • What are the two major features of a script?
    • How is the dialogue represented in the script example and how does this differ from the stage directions?
  • Next, read the third and fourth sections.
    • Why is conflict important in a story?
    • Why are acts and scenes used in a play?
    • List the elements of a story that we also see in a play.
    • Why is it so hard to convey conflict in a play?
    • What are methods you can use to convey story elements that can't be conveyed through dialogue?
    • Is the use of soliloquy or an aside different than the use of a narrator in a story? Why or why not?
    • What are some good tips for writing a play?
  • Read the section 'Lesson Summary' about writing a play.
  • Ask the class to recap the important elements of a play. Record these elements on a board or chart paper so groups can refer to this during the activity.
  • Lastly, have your students take the lesson quiz to determine their overall comprehension in relation to writing a play.

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