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Ch 8: Drama Analysis: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.5

About This Chapter

Help your students navigate analysis of works of drama with these videos exploring dramatic styles and elements. Check out the activity ideas designed to help you teach these literary Common Core Standards for seventh graders.

Standard: Analyze how a drama's or poem's form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.5)

About This Chapter

Students who develop competence in the topics explained in these videos will be able to identify different types of dramas and analyze the playwright's purpose and meaning through the structure and elements within dramas. They can also establish a firm understanding of grammar and stage directions used in scripts. In this chapter, our experienced instructors explain:

  • Terms, time periods, and styles in drama
  • Dramatic structure (acts, scenes, prologues and epilogues)
  • How to interpret the main idea and infer mood in scripts and plays
  • Elements of dialogue
  • Interpreting stage directions and character motivation
  • Dramatic comedy, farce, and tragedy
  • Futurism, surrealism, dada, and expressionism
  • Elements of a melodrama
  • Types of literary tragedies
  • Greek Theatre
  • Dramatic monologues

Student progress in their understanding of dramatic analysis can be measured as they accurately identify elements and forms in drama in discussion and written work. They can demonstrate increased willingness to engage with drama as it is both written and performed and improve their abilities at extracting an author's meaning and purpose.

How to Use These Lessons in Your Classroom

It's easy to augment your classroom instruction with these videos. Here are a few activities you can use to get started.

Exploring modern drama

Watch the videos explaining comedies, tragedies, and Greek theatre in class with your students. Have students think about their favorite television shows and determine which category best represents their program. Discuss the results as a class.

Why are they talking like that?

After watching the videos defining dramatic styles, dialogue, and monologue in class, split students into small groups and provide each with an excerpt from a play you are studying as a class. The groups should discuss the excerpt in terms of how the punctuation, style, and word choice/meaning combine to create a certain effect and/or mood. Have each group describe their conclusions about their passage to the rest of the class, including a postulation of why the playwright chose those particular elements.

Test prep

As year-end tests approach, give students a quick review in the areas where they are struggling most individually. Complete the chapter test as a class to see where each student's strengths and weaknesses lie. Then, using the teacher interface in your account, assign videos to each student which address their particular weaknesses. The video lessons are all very short, under 10 minutes long, so review can be quick and relatively painless.

17 Lessons in Chapter 8: Drama Analysis: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.5
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Drama? - Terms, Time Periods and Styles

1. What is Drama? - Terms, Time Periods and Styles

Ever wonder why we use the word 'drama' when referencing people who overreact to a situation? Discover the definition of drama, its different styles, and why your friends might belong on the stage in this overview of the dramatic genre.

Drama Structure: Acts, Scenes, Prologue & Epilogue

2. Drama Structure: Acts, Scenes, Prologue & Epilogue

Plays have a definite structure that can include a prologue, acts, scenes, and an epilogue. In this lesson, you'll learn about each of those parts and how they fit together to form a play.

Reading & Interpreting Dialogue from a Script or Play

3. Reading & Interpreting Dialogue from a Script or Play

Interpreting lines from a play means more than understanding the definitions of the words. In this lesson, you'll learn how to tap into the emotional content of lines and develop an interpretation.

Interpreting the Main Idea and Purpose of a Scene

4. Interpreting the Main Idea and Purpose of a Scene

Essays usually have a stated main idea, but it's not as obvious in a play. In this lesson, you'll learn a technique that will help you determine the main idea and purpose of a dramatic scene.

The Use of Punctuation in Dramatic Dialogue

5. The Use of Punctuation in Dramatic Dialogue

Playwrights use punctuation to tell their actors how to deliver their lines. In this lesson, you'll learn about three types of punctuation and the effects they have when used in dramatic dialogue.

Identifying Stage Directions in a Drama

6. Identifying Stage Directions in a Drama

Plays don't only contain the words the characters say; they also have stage directions. In this lesson, you'll learn how to distinguish stage directions from dialogue and what the most common directions mean.

Inferring Mood in Drama

7. Inferring Mood in Drama

When reading a play, the reader must figure out what the overall mood is using evidence found within the text. This lesson will teach you where to look in the script to find the clues to the mood.

Character Dialogue & Nonverbal Communication in a Drama

8. Character Dialogue & Nonverbal Communication in a Drama

Characters in plays have two ways of communicating with the audience and each other. They can use verbal or nonverbal forms of communication. In this lesson, you'll learn about how both are used in drama.

Character Motivation in a Drama

9. Character Motivation in a Drama

Motivation is a term that applies to many aspects of life. In this lesson, you'll apply the term to literature and learn how motivation functions in a play.

Dramatic Comedy: History and Types

10. Dramatic Comedy: History and Types

Everyone loves to laugh, and sometimes it's at the most inappropriate times. Even the ancient Greeks loved a dirty joke or two! Learn more in this video about dramatic comedy, its history and types.

Dramatic Farce: History, Examples and Playwrights

11. Dramatic Farce: History, Examples and Playwrights

Would you believe Curly, Larry, and Moe, The Three Stooges, are simply practicing a centuries-old form of drama? Learn more about how horseplay and high energy contribute to the dramatic comedy sub-genre called farce.

Elements of Melodrama: From Early Theater to the Modern Soap Opera

12. Elements of Melodrama: From Early Theater to the Modern Soap Opera

Have you ever wondered where or when soap operas started? In this video, we will look at the history and transformation of the melodrama from the stage to the small (and big) screen.

Futurism, Dada, Surrealism & Expressionism

13. Futurism, Dada, Surrealism & Expressionism

They say that entertainment often mirrors reality. This was only partially true in the early 20th century. Watch this video to see how playwrights all took different approaches to creating their own realities in these dramatic movements of the early 1900s.

Tragedy in Drama: Classical to Modern

14. Tragedy in Drama: Classical to Modern

Nearly every story has a hero, but some are better off by the end of the story than others. In this video, we learn what is so tragic about the hero in a tragedy.

Greek Theatre: Tragedy and Comedy

15. Greek Theatre: Tragedy and Comedy

This lecture examines the function of theatre in Greek culture and religion, with special focus on the Athenians. It then explores the three different sorts of Greek theatre: satyr plays, comedy and tragedy, citing specific examples. Finally, we study the impact of theatre on Western civilization.

Dramatic Monologue: Definition & Examples

16. Dramatic Monologue: Definition & Examples

In this lesson, we will explore the dramatic monologue, a long piece of dialogue by one character that reveals the character's inner feelings, whether it be in a play, poem or novel.

Plot Elements in Drama: From Exposition to Resolution

17. Plot Elements in Drama: From Exposition to Resolution

Plays follow a predictable pattern that is referred to as their dramatic structure. In this lesson, you'll learn the five parts of dramatic structure, and you'll have the opportunity to test yourself at the end with a short quiz.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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