Script Writer

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					7-8th Grade Core Career Connections



                                      Title:

                                      Script Writer
                                      Core Subjects: Theatre


Standards and Objectives: Theatre Standard I : Script Writing, Objective A: Unity, B:
Character, C: Plot; Standard II: Objective D: Characterization; Standard IV: Directing, Objective
A: Vision; Standard V: Objective A: Researching, B: Comparing and integrating art forms (role
of scriptwriter), C: Analyzing and Critiquing, F: Assessing.

Abstract/Objective:
  The students will work in small groups to write spoofs on legends, fables, or folktales. They
  will read them to the class. They will assess each other’s work and offer suggestions for
  improvement. They will then work on improving the script and adding action. As a
  culminating experience, they will perform them for the class.

Occupational Connection: Scriptwriter, artistic director

Recommended Resources/Materials:
  1. A chalkboard and chalk
  2. Paper and pencils for each student
  3. Costumes (optional). Examples (written and/or on video) of spoofs.

Time Allotted: Eleven 50-minute class periods.

Teacher Role:
   Invite your Work-Based Learning Coordinator to invite an Artistic Director or a Scriptwriter
   to visit your classroom. Contact the Community Partner and explain what you would like
   them to do when they visit your classroom. If one is not available, collect the information
   needed to relay to your students. Collect the materials listed above. Find good examples of
   spoofs to read and/or show on Video to your students. Have a good example of proper script
   form to show your students (see fourth class).

Activity:
   First Class:
   1. Explain to the students what a spoof is (closely imitating a story for comic effect; making
       good-natured fun of the story). Ask them to brainstorm where the spoofs they have seen
       originated. (Examples: Austin Powers from James Bond, Spaceballs from Star Wars)
       Read and/or show video clips of spoofs (see literary connections).
   2. Tell them that they will be writing their own original spoofs based on legends, fables, and
       folktales. (Part of the 7th and 8th grade reading curriculum includes these. You may want
       to contact your reading teachers for lists of legends, fables, and folktales the students
       should be familiar with.) Have them brainstorm and record on the board (and on paper) a
       list of legends, fables, and folktales.
   3. Briefly review the story line for each listed.


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7-8th Grade Core Career Connections



    4. Tell them that tomorrow a professional scriptwriter will visit the class and help them learn
        more about script writing and how to create a spoof.

    Second Class: WBL Connection - If possible invite a Scriptwriter
    1. If possible invite a Scriptwriter to explain what they do as an Artistic Director (Chooses
        scripts to produce, writes and develops scripts, collaborates with costume designers and
        set directors, hires actors, coordinates schedules, organizes the budget, etc.) or
        Scriptwriter (research, writing, collaborating with actors and directors, etc.).
    2. The Community Partner could also give examples and brief descriptions of spoofs they
        have written or produced.
    3. They will review the progression of a play or movie story-line (Introduce characters, then
        an incident occurs that creates a conflict or obstacle, then something else happens to
        further complicate things, many times a love story develops, then the conflict is
        resolved.)
    4. The Writer will then choose one of the most well known legends, fables, or folktales from
        the student’s list. He or she will then involve the students in creating a spoof based on
        that story. (Briefly review what happens in the original story; List the important
        characters and the traits each of them has. Give them hints for creating humor, such as:
        exaggerate or use opposite character traits or events, do something totally unexpected,
        use puns, relate it to modern times, change genders, etc.)
    5. The Community Partner will then write the outline for an original spoof of the story they
        have chosen, integrating the students’ input, and explaining throughout the process the
        ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of what they are doing. If there is time have some student
        volunteers (and perhaps the writer) improvise the play for the class to observe. If this is
        not possible then explain the information above.

    Third Class:
    1. Review with the students what they learned the day before. Explain the Outline they will
        be using (see sample attached). Divide the class into 6 or 7 groups of four or five
        students. Each group is to choose a story from their list to spoof. Make sure there are no
        duplications. Encourage creativity and the use of improvisation.

    Fourth Class:
    1. Review proper script form. Show several examples, pointing out the various elements of a
        script and how they are organized. (Title, setting description, list of characters with a
        brief description of each, bold capitalized NAMES of characters before their dialogue,
        with actions in parenthesis.)
    2. Give them a checklist to refer to in order to write well (see attached Checklist).
    3. Give them time to improvise and write their original script.

    Fifth Class:
    Give them more time to work on their scripts. Let them know that they will be reading their
        scripts to the rest of the class tomorrow.




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7-8th Grade Core Career Connections



    Sixth and Seventh Class:
    Each group reads their scripts to the class (or have the groups team up to read to each other).
        After each, their classmates verbally critique their piece using the Checklist provided as a
        base for assessment. Suggestions for improvement are offered (by class members as well
        as by the teacher).

    Eighth and Ninth Class: Each group works on memorizing and staging their piece.
       (Costumes are optional).

    Tenth and Eleventh Class:

    Each group performs their spoof for the class. Allow time for verbal critiques.

    Possible Extensions:
    1. You may want to hold a secret vote to decide which one (or two) of the original spoofs
        will be performed, as part of a lecture demonstration for other classes that will be invited
        to attend.
    2. Arrange a field trip to a local theater or community playhouse such as the Off Broadway
        Theater or Desert Star Playhouse (see Work-Based Learning Resources).

Suggested Assessment:
  Teacher and student oral evaluations after each reading, using the “Checklist” as a guide.

Work-based Learning, Community Connection:
  The Community Partner will visit the class, prepared to discuss their job (specifically
  scriptwriting). They will give examples of plays they have written. They will give hints for
  writing a good play, specifically a SPOOF. They will involve the students in writing an
  outline for an original spoof using a legend, fable, or folktale as a base. If there is time they
  will improvise the spoof with some student volunteers.

    Writers and Artistic Directors for Utah Regional and University Theaters: Lighthouse
    Theater: 801-274-9404, City Rep Family Theater: 801-532-6000, Draper Historic Theater:
    801-572-4611, Hale Centre Theatre: 801-984-9000, Off Broadway Theater: 801-355-4628,
    Stage Right Theater Company: 801-485-8038.
    Desert Star Playhouse 801-266-7600

Integrative Connection:
   Language Arts: 4080-0103: Activate and build on prior knowledge of content, 4080-0603:
   Listening (synthesizing information), 4080-0703: interpreting literary materials, 4080-0802:
   Viewing critically, 4080-0803; Offering feedback, 4080-10: process strategies for writing,
   4080-11: writing a text for an audience, 4080-12: process strategies for speaking before an
   audience.




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7-8th Grade Core Career Connections



Literary Connections:
   Spoofs: The Stinky Cheese Man and Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Scieszka,
   Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by James Finn Garner; Fables, Legends, and Folktales:
   Elements of Literature (part of the 7th and 8th grade reading curriculum), Purpose in
   Literature

Internet Connections: links for the above: http://www.amazon.com.




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7-8th Grade Core Career Connections




Original Spoof Outline
Names __________________________________________________ Per. ____

1. Briefly describe the original tale.




2. Describe the characters and their individual traits.




3. What tools will you use to create humor in your Spoof of the tale?
(Examples: use of exaggeration, opposites, the unexpected, changing the era or the setting
or gender roles, use of puns, etc.)




4. On the back of this page write a detailed outline of what will happen in your Spoof
(include how you will introduce the characters, what happens to create conflict or obstacle,
what will complicate the plot, and how the conflict is resolved). Note: Your playing time
should be ten to fifteen minutes. Remember that there will be no inappropriate actions or
language allowed.




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Script Assessment Checklist
Names___________________________________________ Period ____

2 pts. = YES, 1 pt. = To some degree, 0 = NO (Circle points earned and add helpful
comments.) Total points earned = ______ (out of 22 points possible)

1. Is it CONCISE? Remember: “Less is MORE”.
2 1 0

2. Does the dialogue tell you something about the characters?
2 1 0

3. Do they quickly get to the INCIDENT or COMPLICATION?
2 1 0

4. Do they quickly get to the JOKE?
2 1 0

5. Are the characters well developed; do they add to the play?
2 1 0

6. Is the plot interesting?
2 1 0

7. Is it creative and original?
2 1 0

8. Is it FUNNY?
2 1 0

9. Does it have a good ENDING?
2 1 0

10. Did it fit within the ten to fifteen minute time allotment?
2 1 0

11. Was a proper script FORMAT used?
2 1 0



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