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Teacher-Created Lesson Plan

Characterization in Drama

Students will review the literary device of characterization as they focus on how characters are developed in drama. For this lesson, "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams will be used as part of the William and Mary Gifted and Talented Curriculum.
Becca A.
Classroom teacher
Western Heights Middle School
Hagerstown, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts

Students will be able to...

  • Analyze how authors and playwrights reveal characterization in a literary text
  • Plan and create a group tableau that reveals each character’s traits and their relationships with other characters, as developed by the author
English Language Arts
Grades 7 – 10
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Free to try

1) Direct students to turn and talk to a classmate about the question: Think about your favorite character from a movie or play? How was the character developed?  What made the characters so memorable? (About 2 minutes)

2) When students agree on an answer, have them share it on the class Padlet for the "Turn and Talk" question. 

3) Once all students have shared their answers on Padlet, review as a class and discuss the commonalities found amongst the answers. 

4) Use this discussion to lead into Direct Instruction. 

2 Direct Instruction

1) Have students access the Google Slides for today's direct instruction, so that they are able to read along with those presented in front. 

2) Introduced the mnemonic device STEAL to help review the ways authors developed characters:

S- Speech 

T- Thoughts

E-Effects on Others

A- Actions 

L- Looks

3) Relate this to the elements of drama that reveal each part of STEAL: Dialogue, Stage Directions, Interactions with other Characters, and Appearance. 

3 Guided Practice

1) Instruct students to use Google Classroom to access the Characterization Chart for today's activity in order to analyze the three main characters of "The Glass Menagerie". Students will work in their small groups used for Book Club meetings (4 members per group). 

2) For each character, students will complete a chart in which they:

     a) identify an direct example (evidence) of each of the four elements of drama that reveal characterization (Dialogue, Stage Directions, Interactions with other Characters, and Appearance) 

     b) Explain what character trait is revealed by each example 

4 Small Group Practice (Part I)

Activity: Creating

1) Review with students what a tableau is, as well as what can be inferred about characters from tableaus. Show them example to analyze as a class. 

2) Have students return to their small groups and provide them with directions on their group assignment:

a) Create (a) tableau that reveals each character’s traits and relationship with the other characters. Groups may create 3 tableaus (one for each character) or 1 tableau that shows all three characters.

b) When finished, have the students take a picture to capture to their tableaus and upload it to their Team Drives on Google or to an assignment on Google Classroom. 

5 Small Group Practice (Part 2)

1) Compile all groups Tableaus on to one VoiceThread. Project the VoiceThread for the class, while they follow along on their devices. 

2) One at a time, show the whole class each groups tableau and allow them to discuss what they see and what character traits they are believe are being developed using VoiceThread. 

3) After a breif discussion period, have the group who's tableau is being analyze share their orginal goal and how their classmate's analysis compares. 

4) Repeat this step for each group. 

6 Formative Assessment

1) Direct students to log-on to Formative to complete the exit ticket/final questions for the lesson:

  1. How does Tennessee Williams develop each of the following characters throughout the play:




  2. Why is the characterization of each character important to the plot and overall story?