Ch 3: Famous Plays & Playwrights Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

Use the lesson plans, outlines, activities and other resources to help you teach your students about famous plays and playwrights. These materials can help you inspire your students' interest in drama, improve their class grades and study for exams.

Famous Plays & Playwrights Lesson Plans - Chapter Summary

The materials in this chapter can help you familiarize your students with the works of Arthur Miller, Oscar Wilde, Thornton Wilder and several others. You will find lessons on such plays as Miller's Death of a Salesman, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, and Thornton Wilder's Our Town. You will also find lesson plan outlines on comedy as a genre, summaries and analyses of these plays, and much more. These materials can help you design:

  • Lessons on the life of Arthur Miller and an analysis of Death of a Salesman
  • Classroom discussions on the definition and characteristics of comedy as a genre
  • Home or in-class assignments on A Raisin in the Sun, 12 Angry Men, and A Streetcar Named Desire
  • A critical discussion on The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Activities based on Our Town by Thornton Wilder
  • Much, much more!

How It Helps

  • Curriculum standards: Helps you ensure that your lessons on famous plays and playwrights are consistent with current educational standards
  • Activities: Provides suggestions for pre-reading activities related to Our Town
  • Classroom discussion: Offers suggestions for class discussions on irony and satire as exemplified in The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde

How It Works

This helpful resource offers teachers lesson plan outlines with relevant tools to make planning lessons on famous plays and playwrights easy.

  • Find lesson plans for specific topics you want to cover in your class on the life of Arthur Miller.
  • Formulate your class outline on A Streetcar Named Desire using the suggested classroom tools offered in the lesson plans.
  • Share the related lessons for each lesson plan on the comedic genre with students in class to make learning fun and engaging.
  • Use related lesson quizzes to ensure your students understand the most important concepts from these lessons on famous plays and playwrights.
  • Engage your students with relevant discussion questions or other materials related to 12 Angry Men found in the lesson plan outline.

50 Lessons in Chapter 3: Famous Plays & Playwrights Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Arthur Miller Lesson Plan

1. Arthur Miller Lesson Plan

Who was Arthur Miller and how did his work depict American culture? This lesson plan uses an engaging video lesson to outline key facts about his life and work. A small group activity allows for student interpretation of his work.

Arthur Miller: Biography and Major Plays

2. Arthur Miller: Biography and Major Plays

In this lesson, we will talk about the life of one of America's greatest playwrights, Arthur Miller. We will take a close look at his role in the American political scene of the 1950s and give insight into some of his most influential works.

Death of a Salesman Lesson Plan

3. Death of a Salesman Lesson Plan

This lesson plan for Death of a Salesman focuses on some of the darker sides of the American Dream. Themes of McCarthyism and materialism play out as a revered member of the family acts as a symbol of decline.

Miller's Death of a Salesman: Summary and Analysis

4. Miller's Death of a Salesman: Summary and Analysis

In 'Death of a Salesman,' Willy Loman just can't catch a break. And if the title is an indicator, things won't end well. In this lesson, we'll look at Arthur Miller's 1949 masterpiece about a salesman and his family.

Inherit the Wind Lesson Plan

5. Inherit the Wind Lesson Plan

Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee is a fictional play about an actual legal trial over teaching evolution in schools. Students will read two lessons, complete an activity and take two quizzes.

Inherit the Wind: Play Summary & Themes

6. Inherit the Wind: Play Summary & Themes

Inherit the Wind is an American play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. The play, which is a fictional account of the famous 1926 trial which debated evolution, was first performed in 1955. This lesson will summarize the plot and connect themes.

Inherit the Wind: Play Characters & Quotes

7. Inherit the Wind: Play Characters & Quotes

The play ''Inherit the Wind'' features some fascinating characters, many of them based on historical figures. This lesson will help you understand how the characters contribute to the impact of the play.

A Raisin in the Sun Lesson Plan

8. A Raisin in the Sun Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will help your students make the most of having read ''A Raisin in the Sun'' by guiding them through a thematic analysis of the play with a focus on key characters. Find discussion questions and related lessons for expanded learning.

A Raisin in the Sun: Summary, Characters, Themes & Analysis

9. A Raisin in the Sun: Summary, Characters, Themes & Analysis

This lesson explores ''A Raisin in the Sun''. Through a discussion of the plot, characters, and themes you will learn about a family's struggle to improve their lives while being challenged by others who seek to deny this basic human right.

A Streetcar Named Desire Lesson Plan

10. A Streetcar Named Desire Lesson Plan

One of Tennessee Williams' best known plays is 'A Streetcar Named Desire'. With this lesson plan, we'll focus on how even close families have plenty of skeletons in their closets.

A Streetcar Named Desire: Summary and Analysis

11. A Streetcar Named Desire: Summary and Analysis

Learn about the controversial play 'A Streetcar Named Desire,' why it was so controversial, and why it is still considered a classic piece of American literature.

12 Angry Men Lesson Plan

12. 12 Angry Men Lesson Plan

With this lesson plan, introduce students to the themes and societal attitudes found in 'Twelve Angry Men' by Reginald Rose. Students will discuss the book's attitudes and themes, and integrate them into an autobiographical piece of writing.

Analysis of 12 Angry Men

13. Analysis of 12 Angry Men

What gives a literary work cultural value? What makes it a timeless reflection of a society? In this lesson, we will explore Reginald Rose's ''12 Angry Men'' and determine its cultural value in our society.

Themes of 12 Angry Men

14. Themes of 12 Angry Men

''12 Angry Men'' by Reginald Rose is a play with universal appeal for all readers, as we are drawn into it without ever knowing a name or a place. We are asked to consider issues of prejudice, justice, family, and doubt.

12 Angry Men Pre-Reading Activities

15. 12 Angry Men Pre-Reading Activities

'Twelve Angry Mean' is a classic play about the biases and prejudices exposed during jury deliberations. Read about suggestions for preparing your students to read and discuss the play here.

12 Angry Men Discussion Questions

16. 12 Angry Men Discussion Questions

''Twelve Angry Men'' is a story of twelve jurors who must determine the fate of an 18-year-old boy. One vote takes the boy's life, another vote gives him freedom. These discussion questions are designed to help your students view the story from various viewpoints.

12 Angry Men Essay Questions

17. 12 Angry Men Essay Questions

This lesson provides a series of questions that can be assigned to evaluate your students' comprehension of 'Twelve Angry Men'. Additionally, questions are provided that encourage students to consider alternate events and explore their personal perspective of the story.

12 Angry Men Final Project Ideas

18. 12 Angry Men Final Project Ideas

It's a marvelous moment when the class reaches the end of 'Twelve Angry Men.' Read on to find some suggestions for projects that will extend students thinking and understanding of the play.

12 Angry Men Essential Questions

19. 12 Angry Men Essential Questions

Essential questions stimulate thinking and comprehension in classroom discussions. If you're teaching ''Twelve Angry Men'', these essential questions may enrich your lessons.

12 Angry Men Viewing Questions

20. 12 Angry Men Viewing Questions

After viewing the movie, '12 Angry Men', encourage your students to share their insights and opinions about the film. Use the questions in this lesson to encourage discussion in your classroom.

The Importance of Being Earnest Lesson Plan

21. The Importance of Being Earnest Lesson Plan

Review and summarize 'The Importance of Being Earnest' with your students before diving into uncovering satire and irony with this lesson plan. Students discuss concepts and ideas, then apply to an activity.

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde: Summary, Analysis & Criticism

22. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde: Summary, Analysis & Criticism

Oscar Wilde's play ''The Importance of Being Earnest'' is both humorous and lighthearted. Set in England and published in 1895, it is one of Wilde's best-loved works. In this lesson, we will learn about the plot of this famous play.

The Importance of Being Earnest: Irony & Satire Themes

23. The Importance of Being Earnest: Irony & Satire Themes

'The Importance of Being Earnest' is a comedic play written by Oscar Wilde. The story is filled with satire and irony regarding the lives of people in Victorian society. Learn more about the play and test your knowledge with a quiz.

Our Town Lesson Plan

24. Our Town Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan to help students summarize and analyze the play Our Town. Students will watch an engaging video before engaging in an activity to demonstrate comprehension. Apply concepts and check understanding with a short quiz.

Our Town by Thornton Wilder: Summary, Characters, Themes & Analysis

25. Our Town by Thornton Wilder: Summary, Characters, Themes & Analysis

In this lesson, we examine the play 'Our Town' by Thornton Wilder. The lesson begins with a brief background of the author. Next, there is a summary of the play and its characters and a discussion of the major themes of the play.

Our Town Pre-Reading Activities

26. Our Town Pre-Reading Activities

'Our Town' is a unique play with a message. If you're getting ready to teach this play in class, you can help your students relate to it with this series of pre-reading activities designed to increase comprehension of the play's message and theme.

Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Lesson Plan

27. Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Lesson Plan

Educate your students about the beloved ballet 'The Nutcracker' with this lesson plan. They will read a text lesson, take a follow-up quiz, and participate in two activities to solidify their grasp of concepts.

The Nutcracker Ballet: Composer, Music & Story

28. The Nutcracker Ballet: Composer, Music & Story

Does certain music makes you think of Christmas? How about The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy? In this lesson, explore the music and story of the beloved Christmas ballet, the Nutcracker.

High School Musical Lesson Plan

29. High School Musical Lesson Plan

This lesson introduces students to 'High School Musical'. Students will explore the themes of the musical by creating stereotype masks and performing skits about peer pressure.

The Nutcracker Lesson Plan for Elementary School

30. The Nutcracker Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Explore and learn about 'The Nutcracker' with the help of this lesson plan. Students will read a text lesson that explains the work's history, the ballet, and its storyline, then use the info to create an interpretative performance and a mini-book on 'The Nutcracker.'

The Nutcracker Lesson for Kids: Story & Ballet

31. The Nutcracker Lesson for Kids: Story & Ballet

''The Nutcracker'' is a Christmas tradition in many families. There are television programs, live stage performances, and ballets based on this popular story. Dive into this lesson to find out about the story and the ballet.

Fences by August Wilson Lesson Plan

32. Fences by August Wilson Lesson Plan

Reading and understanding plays can be challenging, but this lesson plan breaks the play 'Fences' into scenes and acts to allow studets to summarize its pieces. Use the text to increase comprehension along with our discussion questions and activities.

Fences by August Wilson: Summary & Analysis

33. Fences by August Wilson: Summary & Analysis

This lesson will provide a scene-by-scene summary of August Wilson's play 'Fences' (1986) and give a brief analysis of the multiple meanings of the fences to which the title refers.

The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter Lesson Plan

34. The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter Lesson Plan

Increase student understanding of 'The Birthday Party' by Harold Pinter with this lesson plan. Students will watch a video lesson that provides a summary and overview of themes, analyze aspects of the play, then do a culminating activity.

Jesus Christ Superstar Lesson Plan

35. Jesus Christ Superstar Lesson Plan

With this lesson plan, your students are going to learn about the Broadway musical Jesus Christ Superstar. They will analyze a scene through performance, and discuss the playwright's choices.

A Streetcar Named Desire Discussion Questions

36. A Streetcar Named Desire Discussion Questions

'A Streetcar Named Desire' is a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tennessee Williams about the contentious relationship between a woman and her brother-in-law. This asset contains classroom discussion questions about this play.

Fiddler on the Roof Discussion Questions

37. Fiddler on the Roof Discussion Questions

'Fiddler on the Roof' by Joseph Stein is a timeless musical about tradition, intergenerational conflict, and civil rights. This lesson will guide classroom discussions about this musical.

Death of A Salesman Unit Plan

38. Death of A Salesman Unit Plan

This 'Death of a Salesman' unit plan will help you guide high school students through this emotionally poignant play. You'll be able to provide students with a chance to have meaningful discussions, as well as apply and extend their knowledge.

Our Town Unit Plan

39. Our Town Unit Plan

Reading the play 'Our Town' is an exploration of small-town America, as well as the themes of mortality and death. This unit plan will help you guide high school students by analyzing the dramatic genre, point of view, and character development.

Twelve Angry Men Unit Plan

40. Twelve Angry Men Unit Plan

Reginald Rose's ''Twelve Angry Men'' is an exploration of prejudice, peer pressure, and the justice system. This unit plan will help you guide high school students through the murky waters of jury deliberations and how the play's themes relate to society today.

A Streetcar Named Desire Unit Plan

41. A Streetcar Named Desire Unit Plan

''A Streetcar Named Desire'' by Tennessee Williams was controversial when it was written and produced in the 1940s. Teaching the play's difficult topics can seem daunting, but this unit plan will help you tackle them with your high school students.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Discussion Questions

42. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Discussion Questions

''Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'' is often cited as Tennessee Williams' favorite play that he wrote, but it can be a lot to tackle. These discussion questions can help your students work through the play and its themes.

Pygmalion Discussion Questions

43. Pygmalion Discussion Questions

'Pygmalion' is a play by George Bernard Shaw that has had significant influence in Western literature. These questions can help your students better understand and appreciate this play.

Trifles by Susan Glaspell Discussion Questions

44. Trifles by Susan Glaspell Discussion Questions

'Trifles' is a play by Susan Glaspell about a murder mystery in a small midwestern town at the turn of the 20th century. These questions may be used to lead a classroom discussion about this play.

M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang Discussion Questions

45. M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang Discussion Questions

''M. Butterfly'' is a play be David Henry Hwang, which reexamines some of the themes of Puccini's ''Madama Butterfly''. These questions can help guide a class discussion about Hwang's play and its themes.

A Doll's House Act 3 Discussion Questions

46. A Doll's House Act 3 Discussion Questions

Would you like to educate your high school students about 'A Doll's House' by Henrik Ibsen? The following discussion questions will be of use in their facilitated learning of the third act of this complex story.

Our Town Act 2 Discussion Questions

47. Our Town Act 2 Discussion Questions

Would you like to educate your high school students about Act 2 of 'Our Town' by Thornton Wilder? The discussion questions below will guide them, as they venture to see deeper meanings in the classic 1938 work.

Twelve Angry Men Discussion Questions

48. Twelve Angry Men Discussion Questions

'Twelve Angry Men' is an intriguing play that highlights the struggles of a jury in determining the fate of a young man accused of murder. Use these discussion questions to help your high school students digest the complex themes of this work.

The Piano Lesson Discussion Questions

49. The Piano Lesson Discussion Questions

'The Piano Lesson' is a Pulitzer Prize winning play by August Wilson about a family heirloom. The questions in this asset may be used for classroom discussions about this play.

Death of a Salesman Activities

50. Death of a Salesman Activities

'Death of a Salesman' by Arthur Miller is a dramatic play about an unsuccessful man in denial about his circumstances. This asset contains classroom activities based on this play.

Chapter Practice 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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