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Steve Haberlin's picture
Steve Haberlin is an assistant professor of education at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. He holds a Ph.D. with a specialization in elementary education from the University of South Florida. His...
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Screenplay Project

I want to share a project that has helped my improve my students' writing ability as well as help foster creativity and develop a passion for writing itself. It involves students writing a full-blown screenplay. Using computers~ my students spend an afternoon or two aweek writing a screenplay. They are required to follow the exact format of a screenplay~ which I teach using a video from Discovery Education. Once they have the format down~ they come up with a genre and a storyline as well as characters~ conflicts~ settingsandthemes--all the elements that we teach during reading/language arts instruction. We also go over what is considered appropriate for the fifth-grade and what must be left out in terms of violence~ romanceetc.

I meet with students during the writing time to discuss progress andmake suggestions onhow they can improve their plays. I also grade them periodically on spelling~ grammar~ description~ and other aspects.

By the end of the school year~ many students write as many as a 100 pages or more. Once finished~ they can also design covers and addillustrations.

I've had former students tell me they still have their screenplays or are working on new ones. It is the kind of project that givesstudents a chance to express their creativity~ a time during the day where they do not have adhere to a strict or rigidlesson.

Let me know if you have any questions about the project. I can be reached at[email protected].