PLAYWRITING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE: THE ESSENTIALS
by Julie Jensen
illustrated by Andrew Livingston
translated into Spanish by Isabella Reeder

Credentialed K-6 educators/staff, public library staff, and appropriate higher-ed faculty (including TA/TF/instructor/adjuncts) in Utah: turn 4 hours of professional learning through UETN's Reimagine Teaching program into a $200 gift card!

Learn how to use Playwriting With Young People, Plan-B Theatre’s free playwriting curriculum created by Julie Jensen, while teaching in-person, remotely, or in a blended-learning environment. This self-paced, online course created primarily for K-6 teachers takes you step-by-step through the process of facilitating student-written plays. Playwriting is an excellent tool to support learning in other content areas while developing your students’ creativity, communication, and writing skills. Participants will receive a curriculum booklet, pacing guide, easily adaptable lesson plans, and worksheets and have access to video tutorials, audio tutorials and our script library. (All teaching materials (not including scripts) are available in both English and Spanish.) 

Click here for details.

Learn to create your own play and make finger puppets along the way!

K-6 students will meet Core Standards in drama (create, perform/present/produce, respond and connect). The curriculum is easily adaptable to support any other subject or class project.

Who Is Julie Jensen?

Julie Jensen is Utah’s most produced playwright and a long-time member of The Lab, Plan-B’s monthly gathering of local playwrights. Julie holds a Ph.D. in Theatre from Wayne State University and has seen more than 100 productions of her more than 30 plays, including two commissioned and premiered by the Kennedy Center Theatre For Young Audiences Program. She boasts an extensive 35-year teaching resume, including leading the MFA playwriting program at UNLV.

Julie’s book Playwriting: Brief and Brilliant (Smith and Kraus) is a clear, concise and accessible introduction to the craft of playwriting. Her K-6 playwriting curriculum, Playwriting With Young People: The Essentials (illustrated by Andrew Livingston and translated into Spanish by Isabella Reeder) is those same things for K-6 educators and their students. This one-of-a-kind tool strengthens students’ writing skills and helps them create and perform their own work.

 
From Julie Jensen

“I tried to involve K-6 students the process of thinking like a playwright, improvising scenes with others, and then finally writing them down. What is unique about this program is that it helps students see that events and people from their own lives can be made into plays.  

In the course of this curriculum, students understand the components make up a play, how to include conflict, how characters think and act, how stories work. In addition, students get a chance to play many parts, because in the course of the work, they improvise many characters. That means they have a chance to participate in several aspects of theatre, as an actor, as a creator, and as a writer. 

Because the writing process is sometimes difficult for students, I tried in this curriculum to minimize the fear of the blank page. Improvisation takes the preciousness from the writing process and makes it merely play. That way students can work from several ideas and possibilities, rather than having to come up with everything on their own.”

Curriculum, lesson plans, worksheets and videos (English & Spanish) for teachers to use in the classroom

Curriculum: Playwriting With Young People
Plan de Estudios: Escribiendo Obras Con Los Jóvenes

Eight One-Page Lesson Plans, Including “Role on the Wall” and “Origami Finger Puppets” Worksheets (EnglishSpanish)

Video Playlist below: the videos for “What Characters Do” and “Writing It Down” are also those lesson plans.

See other toggles for Spanish videos and English & Spanish audio files.

Utah Core Standards for Drama (Grades K-6)
Pacing Guides (Grades K-6)

Special thanks to Penny Caywood and Youth Theatre at the U.

Feedback Survey (Teacher/Parent)

Audio files for students to use at home

Videos para el estudiante usar en la casa
Archivos de sonido para el estudiante usar en la casa

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