So that students may be able to read and understand plays, they must have an understanding of dramatic genres and basic structure of a performance. They must also be able to use terms that are applicable to plays. This mini-unit helps students learn some of the genres and terms. It also helps them understand Aristotle’s breakdown of the sequence of a play.
Applicable Virginia Standards of Learning:
9.4 The student will read, comprehend, and analyze a variety of literary texts including narratives, narrative nonfiction, poetry, and drama.
c) Identify the characteristics that distinguish literary forms.
d) Use literary terms in describing and analyzing selections.
10.4 The student will read, comprehend, and analyze literary texts of different cultures and eras.
c) Explain similarities and differences of techniques and literary forms represented
in the literature of different cultures and eras.
11.4 The student will read, comprehend, and analyze relationships among American literature,
history, and culture.
j) Analyze the use of literary elements and dramatic conventions including verbal, situational and dramatic irony used in American literature.
12.4 The student will read, comprehend, and analyze the development of British literature and
literature of other cultures.
b) Recognize major literary forms and their elements.
h) Analyze how dramatic conventions including character, scene, dialogue, and staging contribute to the theme and effect.
i) Compare and contrast dramatic elements of plays from American, British, and other cultures.
Common Core Standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.3 Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.5 Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.
Students will be able to define basic terms concerning basic drama conventions by defining these terms and showing the interrelationship among them.
Students will be able to list the elements of a play as described by Aristotle in The Poetics.
Materials (included in this mini-unit)
Genre activity handout
Sequence of a play activity handout
Quiz on notes