Writing in Stereo

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WiS Lesson 3B

April 6th, 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: (III) The student will complete mastery of prose adaptation to radio drama using the text of a novel.

LESSON OBJECTIVE: (B) The student will identify the central conflicts and the characters involved, decide the episodes in which those might best be dramatized, select one and write the script with a partner, and record the dialogue with another pair.

MATERIALS REQUIRED: Paper and pencil, text of novel, recording equipment and space

INTRODUCTION: Character conflict is critical to the plot of a novel. Without it there is no reason for us to be interested. What are the central character conflicts of this novel? We have to decide how we might best dramatize these for a radio play.


1. Discuss the novel's conflicts and brainstorm the places in the story where these conflicts are recognized by characters in the story.

2. Tell students to identify the conflict of theirchoice and write a paragraph description of how that information might be imparted dramatically.

3. Allow students to find a partner for collaboration. They should discuss their respective papers and decide which they will dramatize.

4. Allow the students time to write a script for the scene defining the conflict they've chosen.

5. Pairs become foursomes as before and record their scenes.

EVALUATION FOCUS: Since the class has already identified conflicts and scenes clarifying those conflicts, your concern should be the degree of originality demonstrated in dramatic approaches to those episodes. Of course, use of plants, tagging, or other fundamentals of radio dramatics are absolutely necessary.