One Act Play Writing Lesson Plan


One-act play

This is an activity that teaches students writing skills. The students have to write a one-act play using process writing. It is done individually or in pairs and may be carried out over several weeks. No Materials are required.

The lesson plan

After reading one-act plays or scenes from plays, students are asked to write a short one-act play which involves two characters

  • First students imagine the situation they want to write about and write it down on a blank sheet of paper.
  • Then they brainstorm the situation to come up with ideas involving:
    • the details of the characters,including their relationship and the nature of the problem being explored  (two friends, son and father, daughter and father, husband and wife …),
    • the topic they are talking about,
    • the problem that arises in their conversation,
    • the time and background of the conversation (the setting)
    • how the plays starts and how it ends
    • the costumes…
  • Students may work by themselves or may work with a partner.
  • The drafting is done at home.
  • The editing is done in the classroom with the help of classmates or the teacher
  • Students perform their one-acts for classmates.
  • Each class chooses the best play and is performed for a school contest to choose one play of high quality.

Follow up

The elected play may be sent to local professional actors who come to the school to perform the play professionally for the students. The winning playwrights act as  “directors” for the professionals.


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