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Lesson Plan

Developing Story Structure With Paper-Bag Skits

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Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Nancy J. Kolodziej, Ed.D.

Nancy J. Kolodziej, Ed.D.

Cookeville, Tennessee


International Literacy Association



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From Theory to Practice



In this lesson, students will engage in an interactive activity that will enhance their understanding of story structure and story elements. After the teacher models the process of developing a plot, students work in cooperative groups to create semi-impromptu skits. Paper bags containing five unique props are distributed to each group; these props provide the impetus for the development of creative skits. Students then use online tools to outline the story elements in their skits. The lesson also promotes listening skills and critical thinking as students view other groups' performances and determine the conflict and resolution of each.

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Screenshot of Drama Map Drama Map: This feature helps students map out and label specific parts of the text as character, conflict, resolution, and setting.
screenshot of Plot Diagram Plot Diagram: This feature allows students to place events in a story in a plot diagram to help them analyze the story.

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Schneider, J.J., & Jackson, S.A.W. (2000). Process drama: A special space and place for writing. The Reading Teacher, 54(1), 3851.

  • Process drama performances are unscripted and spontaneous.

  • The mental processes in process drama are similar to those required for reading.

  • Process drama provides an opportunity for students to write for various purposes and from different perspectives.

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