School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 2

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Clarifications: Each clarification provides an explanation of an indicator/objective to help teachers better understand the skills and/or concepts.

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 5. Use elements of drama to facilitate understanding


To show proficiency of the skills stated in this indicator, a reader will demonstrate a basic understanding of the elements of drama. Knowing the structure of drama helps the reader to comprehend a narrative being told in a different way. In order to identify drama as a literary form and be able to distinguish among types of plays, a reader must identify and use a play's structural features. A play is purposefully written to be performed by actors and actresses in front of an audience. The play's story is relayed to the audience through the players' dialogues and actions.

Structural Features

A cast is a list of characters who are the people or animals that speak and perform the play. The cast list often briefly describes each character and how they are related to each other.

A narrator is generally an inactive role in a play. The narrator's comments often explain or move along the action of the play.

A setting of a play is information about the time and place of a play's action. The setting is usually described in stage directions or at the beginning of each scene.

The stage directions are written explanations of the time and place of the play as well as instructions about how actors and actresses should speak their lines.

A dialogue is the conversation between and among characters in a play.

The props are objects used in plays to create the setting of the play.

The scenery is the background screens or hangings used to create places or setting of plays.

Often primary scripts are in the form of Reader’s Theater. These simple scripts are adaptations of stories and poems that have been read in class. Reader’s theater scripts are read aloud by the students and not performed; however, students are encouraged to use their best expression and gestures to tell the story. It serves as an opportunity to give readers a motivating format for rereading to build fluency.