How to Teach Children to Write a Script
Whether you are in front of a classroom or are offering special theater classes, you can encourage theatrical creativity by showing children how to write their own scripts. Understanding how to guide children through scriptwriting can open doors to a beginning in becoming a creative writer.
Start with character development. The easiest place to begin with children is to show them how to develop a character. Offer them guidance in showing character traits such as physical characteristics, personality and qualities that they like. Asking them to draw out their character or list the qualities will help them see a concrete description of who they imagine.
Define the different types of character. After the main character is developed, you can begin to teach the children how to develop the characters that are secondary. This includes defining the friends of the character as well as the enemies of the character. This will provide a full picture of who will be in the play.
Set the scene. It is easiest to begin with the first scene and some of the background that is in that scene. This provides children with a way of making the entire piece of writing more concrete and will let them begin to visualize what is happening.
Show what happens. When you have set the first scene, combine the main character and some of the secondary characters with the scene that is currently in place. Define this first scene as stating a problem among the characters so that the rest of the play can be developed. This should be combined with actions that each of the characters take. Make sure to define how to write these actions into the correct places. Teach the children how to write in the different names to show who is talking and when they are talking.
Set the next scene. After the foundation of the play has been established, you can set up the next scene and go to the next part of the character development. Show the children how to continue doing this until they have written the entire script with a complete resolution.
- Make it concrete. The more concrete you can make it with guided worksheets, questions and guidelines, the more the children will be able to fill in the blanks and work out making their own script.
- Know what to expect. You can expect the scripts to be shorter and at the level that the children are at. Keep everything at a basic understanding for the children, then let them develop later.
- Have the children act out what they wrote. This will provide them with a more thorough understanding of how scripts work and what is done with them.