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Lesson Plan

Using Writing and Role-Play to Engage the Reluctant Writer

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Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Seven 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Marissa Kalu

Atlanta, Georgia


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Writing in role allows students to understand the importance of characterization when writing stories. In this lesson, students explore the different characters in the story The Three Little Javelinas and then select one of the characters to write a letter to the author in role. Before students begin writing, they read the story as a whole class and complete character maps and story maps to analyze the characters and events in the story. Students will then use what they have learned about the character to write from the perspective of one of those characters. By creating their own context, students are able to hone their creativity and move forward on the writing process continuum.

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  • Letter Generator: Students can use this interactive tool to format their letter written from a characters point of view.
  • Character Map graphic organizer: Have students use this graphic organizer to analyze one character from 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.

  • Drama is a method for instruction and learning that involves students in imaginary, unscripted, and spontaneous scenes.

  • Through process drama, students can "write in role" (O'Neill, 1995; Tarlington, 1985), enabling them to think differently about the forms as well as the content of their writing.

  • In the context of process drama, students can write for various purposes and across different genres. The real purposes for writing are created within an imaginary context.


O'Neill, C. (1995). Drama worlds. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Tarlington, C. (1985). Dear Mr. Piper...: Using drama to create context for children writing. Theory Into Practice, 24, 199204.

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