Western Reserve Public Media
 
 

Lesson Plan: Feudalism Play

Overview
Either the entire class or teams of students will work cooperatively to write a play about one day in the life of a boy or girl in the Middle Ages. Their play will meet these criteria:

  • Include at least three characters

  • Develop a believable setting (time and place)

  • Create and resolve a simple conflict/problem in their story

  • Demonstrate knowledge of their fact-finding research

 

Standards Addressed
Grade 7
Social Studies — History, Benchmark C

03. Describe the conditions that gave rise to feudalism, as well as political, economic and social characteristics of feudalism, in Asia and Europe.

Language Arts — Writing Process, Benchmark A

01. Generate writing ideas through discussions with others and from printed material, and keep a list of writing ideas.

02. Conduct background reading, interviews or surveys when appropriate.

Language Arts — Writing Process, Benchmark D

06. Organize writing with an effective and engaging introduction, body and a conclusion that summarizes, extends or elaborates on points or ideas in the writing.

12. Add and delete information and details to better elaborate on a stated central idea and to more effectively accomplish purpose.

Language Arts — Writing Process, Benchmark G

16. Apply tools (e.g., rubric, checklist and feedback) to judge the quality of writing.

Language Arts — Writing, Benchmark H

17. Prepare for publication (e.g., for display or for sharing with others) writing that follows a format appropriate to the purpose, using such techniques as electronic resources, principles of design (e.g., margins, tabs, spacing and columns) and graphics (e.g., drawings, charts and graphs) to enhance the final product.

 

Procedure

  1. Do a freewrite about the daily life of a boy or girl from the Middle Ages.

  2. Share the freewrites. Discuss and list on the board similarities and differences between daily life now and in the Middle Ages.

  3. Challenge the groups or entire class to create an outline or skeleton of a prose story based on the freewrites. Guide them in the following:

  4. Creating at least three characters

    Developing a believable setting (time and place)

    Creating and resolving a simple problem using facts gathered previously

  5. Once story skeletons have been completed, brainstorm and record on the board the differences between writing prose and writing scripts. If possible, make available to students a copy of each. Be sure to talk about the importance of dialogue and stage directions. Share copies of the Playwriting Checklist. Depending on the ability level of the students, you may need to have one or more lessons on writing plays. The Western Reserve Public Media Web site One State, Many Nations offers tips for writing plays at www.WesternReservePublicMedia.org/onestate/lp2tips.htm.

  6. Using the Developing a Character and Sample Setting handouts, guide students in developing the introductory section of their plays. The character description section should include all characters in the play, with a brief description of each. The setting description should include information about the setting and the action taking place as the curtain opens. Discuss with students the reasons for including these sections.

  7. Distribute the Playwriting Checklist. Discuss it and instruct students to continue and complete their scripts.

 

Evaluation:
The final products may be evaluated in a variety of ways. If time permits, the plays can be acted out for an audience. Plays may be presented by reading the scripts rather than acting them out.

The following rubric also may be used.

Category
4
3
2
1
Characters Three characters are named and clearly described. Most readers could describe the characters accurately. Three characters are named and described. Most readers would have some idea of what the characters looked like. Fewer than three characters are named. The reader knows very little about the characters. Fewer than three characters are named and no descriptions
are given.
Setting Many vivid, descriptive words are used to tell when and where the story took place. Some vivid, descriptive words are used to tell the audience when and where the story took place. The reader can figure out when and where the story took place, but the author didn’t supply much detail. The reader has trouble figuring out when and where the story took place.
Problem/ Conflict It is very easy for the reader to understand the problem the main characters face and why it is a problem. It is fairly easy for the reader to understand the problem the main characters face and why it is a problem. It is fairly easy for the reader to understand the problem the main characters face, but it
is not clear why it is a problem.
It is not clear what problem the main characters face.
Factual Information Many facts about the Middle Ages are used, and the information
is accurate.
Some facts about the Middle Ages are used, and the information
is accurate.
Few facts about the Middle Ages are used, or the information is inaccurate. Few facts are used about the Middle Ages are used, and the information is inaccurate.
Creativity The story contains
many creative details and/or descriptions
that contribute to the reader’s enjoyment.
The author has really used his imagination.
The story contains a few creative details and/or descriptions that contribute to the reader’s enjoyment. The author has used his imagination. The story contains a few creative details and/or descriptions, but they distract from the story. The author has tried to use his imagination. There is little evidence of creativity in the story. The author does not seem to have used much imagination.

 

 

 

 

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