Writing in Stereo

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WiS Lesson 6A Shakespeare

April 14th, 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: (VI) The student will adapt to radio a passage from one of Shakespeare's plays.

LESSON OBJECTIVE: (A) The student will review the cumulative skills acquired in previous lessons.

MATERIALS REQUIRED: Paper and pencil or other means of note- taking

INTRODUCTION: Now we close our Shakespeare unit with the last of our radio dramatic challenges. We're going to adapt one of the passages from the play to radio. Today we'll review all of the radio drama lessons so far.


1. Ask students to take notes for study later.

2. Begin with the four unique characteristics of radio dramatic writing: script format, dialogue, sound effects, and the music bridge. Include the five roles dialogue plays: voice characterization, planting, tagging, effort, and off-mike.

3. Discuss the strategy of outlining the episodes in a story being adapted.

4. Mention three of the four lessons of prose adaptation: dramatizing exposition, adding narration to preserve the author's style, using the "aside" or solitary character monologue (exemplified by the soliloquy in Shakespeare).

5. Consider the last of the prose techniques, that of improving the literary dialogue for speaking. Is this applicable with Shakespeare?

6. Discuss the strategies applied in adapting modern drama to radio and the importance of music and sound effects.

7. Finally, review the lesson of poetry presentation: reading for the end of the thought rather than the end of the line.

EVALUATION FOCUS: Score the students on a quiz of the above material.