Primary English: Plays

Sian Evans
10th May 2018
Primary school children performing a playscript on stage

Help young learners warm up their understanding of plays before they step into the limelight

With a class made up of budding writers and actors, as well as those less likely to want to steal show, it's important to give every child the tools they need to read, write and perform plays. From introductory lessons to creative writing opportunities, we've hand-picked a range of engaging activities to turn your whole class into superstars. What are you waiting for? The show must go on…

Reading plays

If enter from the wings and stand downstage to a packed house sounds like jargon, then we've got some resources for you to look at before the curtain rises. Covering the key features of scripts, including how to read dialogue and stage directions, these are great resources to get your class up to speed.


Features of Playscripts (discussion playscript with callouts & playscript template)

I created this resource as I wanted a simple script with as many playscript features on as possible.
It can be used for Key Stage 2/3. I used it for Year 5 & 6. There is a playscript template with prompts for pupils to use following teacher input.
By franfretwell

An Introduction to Drama Texts

An Introduction to Drama Texts is a ten slide PowerPoint presentation designed to help students understand the basic features of a drama text. The resource could be used before a class play is read to help pupils understand how a drama text works.

The PowerPoint lesson includes:

An example extract from the playscript of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

A video clip of the film version of the Macbeth playscript.

Class activity - labelling the features of a playscript.

Writing about stage directions, characters and dialogue.

Comparing the features of a script with a short story.

1 accompanying worksheet

By Online_Teaching_Resources

Aesop Fables The Lion and the Mouse Guided Reading Script

Aesop Fables: The Lion and the Mouse Guided Reading Script
lesson plan including teaching input, synopsis, guided reading script, discussion points and suggestions for further work.
Cast of 6, around 10 minutes reading time
Lesson: 20 – 30 minutes, depending on how much of the lesson plan is used. The material could, of course, be split over a series of sessions.
The script can be used either as a guided reading script (6 readers) or as a mini performance (cast of 6); and could be used either in a Literacy or PSHE class (owing to the life lessons contained within the text)
Sample Text
Lion: Because sometimes you need to listen to someone else, take their advice
Mouse: However small they are! And that’s exactly what he did!
Lion: Yes, I listened
Teacher: And then was ‘big’ enough to act on that advice! See, sometimes you can become big by the smallest actions!
Pupil 2: (To Lion) So you let the mouse go?
Lion: That’s right! Was I the champ? Or was I the champ?
Mouse: (Coughing) Eh hem! Small matter of what I said to you?
Lion: Ah yes! You mean, helping me out at some future event
Mouse: When you, my large friend, might actually need me!
Pupil 1: (To Lion) And did you? I mean, need your wee friend?
Lion: Oh, I most certainly did! I wouldn’t be standing here talking to you today if I hadn’t let my rodent friend here go!
Narrator: So, what happened?
Lion: I got caught by hunters, is what happened! Soon after bidding farewell to Mouse here, I managed to fall into a trap and get all tied up in knots!
Mouse: (Laughing) How very careless of you!
Lion: No laughing matter, I can assure you! If you, Mouse, hadn’t come along and rescued me
Pupil 2: (Gasping) What? You, a mighty lion, rescued by a mini mouse?
Lion: Indeed. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Teacher: Which makes you an even bigger, grander lion in my opinion!
Pupil 1: And mine!
Pupil 2: (Spluttering) But, but, wasn’t it just the tiniest bit humiliating – being rescued by a mere mouse?
Mouse: (Sighing) Oh dear! I can see we might just have to spell this one out!
Other available scripts: The Fox and the Stork, The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs, The Jay and the Peacock and The Tortoise and the Hare - available separately or as a set.

By sue Russell

Dialogue and Play:Charlie and Chocolate Factory

2 weeks of planning for year 3 - dialogue and plays based on the text from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Focusing on punctuating direct speech, writing and extending dialogue, looking at play scripts.
By danielaz

Writing plays

Combining the strict structural layout of a script with children's imaginations, this form of expression offers young learners the chance to delve deeper into the dialogue of their characters. These plans, templates and guidance documents will help them write plays that make it to the curtain call.  


Writing a Persuasive Play Lesson Plan and Other Resources

Year 3/4 English - writing a persuasive play on 'Trying To Persuade a Parent' lesson plan and other resources:

- writing a persuasive play lesson plan.
- writing a persuasive play model play.
- writing a persuasive play prompt sheet.
- writing a persuasive play writing frame.

There is a PDF of all of the files and an editable version of each file (you just need to delete the watermark logo from each of the editable files).

You can find more KS2 English lesson plans, worksheets and teaching resources on the Save Teachers' Sundays website.
By SaveTeachersSundays

Writing Playscripts: Structure and Organisation!

This stimulating and thought-provoking lesson enables students to create playscript texts containing appropriate and accurate structures, using rules and knowledge to accurately organise their ideas. In particular, students learn how key features such as character lists, stage directions, act/scene labelling, and character speech referencing enable playwrights to create clear and authentic playscripts.

The lesson follows a clear, logical, bite-size learning journey, which guides students towards differentiated learning objectives. Over the course of this journey, they become able to:
- Define and exemplify the key structural devices of playscripts;
- Identify the key features within an extract of an existing playscript, commenting upon organisation;
- Gaining an in-depth understanding of the application of some of the more complicated structural features;
- Completing short, fun, application tasks to check their understanding;
- Write their own playscripts, with accurate structures;
- Self/Peer assess their playscript attempts.

This resource pack includes:
- A visually engaging whole-lesson PowerPoint presentation;
- An engaging and appropriate Frankenstein extract;
- An logical, informative checklist, that enables students to understand how to apply structural features;
- A clear and helpful template;
- A detailed lesson plan, complete with what the teacher and students should aim to achieve at each stage of the lesson.

All images are licensed for commercial use, and are cited on the final slide of the PowerPoint.
By TandLGuru

Play Script writing

Develops understanding of dialogue and stage directions. Kids love the theme!
By philsha

A model to get students to write their 1st script

It is based on The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. It is very short, pupils can then complete the mini discussion activity to help them think about the structure.
By diamond_raindrops

Performing plays

Whether you are looking for whole-class performances or classroom-based practice, these are just some of the original playscripts that the Tes community have produced. Time to call lights, camera, action and let your class showcase their speaking and listening skills.


Shakespeare's plays assembly script

Assembly script based around the plays of Shakespeare, with scenes from many of his most popular plays. Completely original (apart from Shakespeare's contributions!).
By paulfg42

Cinderella in 5 minutes (humorous play script)

A humorous re-write of the story / pantomime of Cinderella, designed to be performed in under 5 minutes. Adaptable / editable Word document, so you can make your own changes & add your own children to the attached cast list. Ideal for class assembly, this has gone down well at year 6 leavers’ assemblies.
Great prompt for more able writers to write their own humorous ‘in 5 minutes’ versions of other well-known stories / pantomimes.

To perform, it has 9 speaking parts, plus around a dozen non-speaking / crew / sound effect parts.

If you liked this, search and download one of my other ‘in 5 minutes’ scripts.
Cinderella in 5 minutes
Goldilocks and the Three Bears in 5 minutes

By DJGunn

Roman Class Assembly Script

A class assembly designed around The Romans. Pay a visit to each area of Roman life in a court case style play to decide whether Romans should rule the school. Enough roles for 30 children.

By NaomiHulme

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