Writing in Stereo

Writing in Stereo header image 1

Lesson 2A Writing in Stereo

March 31st, 2010

The original Writing in Stereo was published online back in the late 1980’s.  Its purpose was to apply creative radio dramatics to all aspects of the teaching of high school English.  Each lesson included a lesson plan and notes.  I’m sharing these with you here.

UNIT OBJECTIVE: (II) The student will adapt a short story to the radio drama, preserving the author's intent.

LESSON OBJECTIVE: (A) The student will master the following added skills specific to the short story adaptation: 1. Dramatize exposition. 2. Add narration to preserve author's style. 3. Use the aside (solitary character monologue). 4. Improve the literary dialogue for speaking.

MATERIALS REQUIRED: Paper and pencil, text of short story, audio tape recorder/player, some recording space

INTRODUCTION: Now that we've completed the short story unit, we're going back to our radio dramatic skills and adapt a short story to radio drama. You remember the things we did as we wrote original radio shows. There are a few new rules we have to learn before we tackle the short story.


1. Place the four items above on the chalkboard or overhead projector. Discuss the meaning of each.

2. Brainstorm examples of each aspect above in one of the short stories under consideration.

3. Have students write short examples of each from any of the short stories you read together.

a. Information found in exposition planted in dialogue written as part of an existing scene or brought to light in a new scene.

b. Scripted narration intended to mimic the author's presumed spoken narrative style.

c. Monologue for a character alone in a scene.

d. Translations of the novel's printed dialogue to that which can be easily spoken aloud.

4. Have students step into the recording space and record each of their examples.

5. Allow one classroom day to complete the written portion of this assignment. Students may begin the next lesson after completing or while waiting to record these segments.

EVALUATION FOCUS: The recorded pieces should demonstrate comprehension of the these four skills of adaptation peculiar to the short story.