Writing in Stereo

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WiS Lesson 4A

April 8th, 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: (IV) The student will adapt to radio a modern dramatic scene written for the stage.

LESSON OBJECTIVE: (A) The student will select a scene from the play being studied and write a well-formatted radio script adaptation.

MATERIALS REQUIRED: Paper and pencil or computer word processor

INTRODUCTION: Now that we've completed reading this modern drama, we're going to stage our own productions ... for radio. First the script ...

PROCEDURE

1. Review the radio script format with particular emphasis on the parenthetical, capitalized sound and music cues.

2. Have students select a partner for collaboration and with their partner a scene to be adapted.

3. Have students copy the dialogue as it is written from the scene in the play text. Ask them to leave two (2) blank spaces between each line of dialogue. (If using word processors this will not be necessary. The word processor is particularly convenient for this exercise.)

4. Have students imagine hearing this dialogue without benefit of scene descriptions or visible actors. Much would be confusing or difficult to imagine to the listener.

5. Have students write into the blank spaces between lines of dialogue (or insert on the word processor) dialogue plants noting unseen actions and sound and music cues capitalized in parenthesis with carets (^) identifying their locations where appropriate.

6. Students write a final draft of their scripts with all plants and cues correctly inserted.

7. Have students make a list of all music and sound cues (a cue sheet) and consider how they might create those cues themselves. That's just what they'll have to do in the next lesson.

AT THIS POINT STUDENTS REQUIRE AT LEAST ONE OUT-OF-CLASS SESSION TO GATHER WHAT THEY NEED FOR SOUND EFFECTS AND MUSIC CUES.