School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 6

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

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 5. Analyze elements of drama to facilitate understanding

Objective c. Identify and explain how stage directions create character and movement


The teacher should select a section of an age-appropriate play where there are multiple examples of stage directions that are revelations into the character of the speaker or address movements for the speaker. First, the teacher should isolate a single stage direction and using a think aloud technique explain to students what that stage direction reveals about the speaker/character or shows about the way that character would move upon the stage and, if possible, mimic that movement. Next, the teacher and students can look at a second set of stage directions and determine what information about the character the stage directions yield with students discussing what the stage directions show about the qualities of the character/speaker and like the teacher beforehand demonstrating the movement of the character/speaker.


Prior to this activity, the teacher should select a section of an age-appropriate play where multiple state directions address the movement of a single speaker/character and/or offer a revelation into the qualities of that speaker/character. First, the students should read aloud the designated section of the play. Next, with teacher direction, students should create a double entry journal and focus on the stage directions for that single speaker/character. On one side of the journal, students should record pertinent details from the stage directions about the speaker/character's movements and qualities and on the other side draw conclusions about that character based solely on details from the stage directions. Both teacher and students should discuss how the stage directions without the addition of the character's speech offer insight into the character.


Prior to this activity, the teacher should select a section of an age appropriate play where multiple stage directions address a single character. First, students should read the designated section aloud and then individually or with a partner complete a chart like the one below.

Character Name
How to Speak
How to Move
What to Do

Students should record specific details from the stage directions that address each of the three categories on the chart. Once the charts are complete, students should discuss what conclusions could be drawn about the character from the stage directions.