Monologue: Reading and Students

Topics: Reading, Style, Fiction Pages: 26 (6478 words) Published: June 20, 2013
Middle/High School Monologues

Teaching Students to Read and Write Monologues

Welcome to the World of Monologue A Sample Unit of Lessons for Middle and High School Teachers

Jefferson County Public Schools Version 2.0

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF MONOLOGUE By all reports from the field, this unit can be a lot of fun for you and your students: • there’s performance • there’s walking in others’ shoes and learning empathy 1

Middle/High School Monologues

• there’s connecting to Farris Bueller, Bill Cosby, Lily Tomlin, Hamlet and even Jay Leno • there are even places for content area teachers to jump in. If you choose to use this unit later in the year, students might be more ready than ever to try on different personae or share their empathy about others not like themselves. In fact, monologue writing presents opportunity for students to reflect about themselves, as well as their writing. In this unit,“monologue” is broadly defined as a speech by one character (person, animal or even object) to self, an imagined other character, or the audience. A monologue should reveal significant information about the character and his or her situation, and might provoke, entertain, persuade or inform. The characters might be invented by the student, be the student, or be adapted from another source. Monologues are written to be heard; consequently, this unit includes several lessons focusing on fluent oral reading skills, rehearsal, revision-by-rehearsal, and performances, as well as lessons focusing on character development and identification of purpose. Hopefully, before launching into this unit you will have the opportunity to collect video and audio clips, texts of film scripts, and/or examples of monologues from short stories and novels. (Because of copyright restriction, we have not included “professional” examples in this CCG.) The student models we do include are “works in progress” and should be discussed in terms of their potential growth as well as their strengths. If you have access to puppets or similar stage props, have some fun with students and let them role play or perform scenes their characters (or potential characters) engage in.

Content area teachers should find this unit extremely helpful as they look for “authentic” writing opportunities for students in their courses. For instance, in a social studies, humanities or science class where students research significant historical events or individuals, students could demonstrate their learning by creating a monologue from the perspective of a character (real or invented) involved in the event. (A Vietnam era nurse would have a unique perspective on that experience). Similarly, an historical character might help the audience understand her world or contributions. (Imagine Georgia O’Keeffe sharing her artistic experiences.)

Below are some additional resources that you can easily access for adapting or creating new lessons:


Middle/High School Monologues Look at the new file for Example/Sample Texts found in the Middle School Language Arts and the High School English Core Content Guides to find other student models! JCPS English CCG “Short Story Unit” Lesson 44 (Internal Monologue) Winning Monologues for Young Actors, Peg Kehret, Meriwether Publishing Ltd. (ISBN 0-916260-38-0) Burning Up the Stage, Vin Morreale, Jr., Dramatic Publishing (ISBN 0-87129-865-1) Writers Inc. Sourcebook (Grade 10, pp. 85-87) The Writer’s Craft (McDougal Littell, Inc.) Grades 10 and 11 Exploring Theatre (West Publishing Co.) Chapter 7, Lesson 3: Writing Original Monologues (probably available through the Humanities Department) Search “monologues” on search engines such as or Novels, short stories or plays in your classroom that include...

References: Rief, Sandra and Heimburge, Julie, How to Reach and Teach all Students in the Inclusive Classroom (1996). Hawthorne Educational Services, Inc., The Pre-Referral Intervention Manual (1993). Choate, Joyce, Successful Inclusive Teaching (1997). Winebrenner, Susan, Teaching Kids with Learning Difficulties in the Regular Classroom (1996). Inspiration Software, Inc., (1999), Phillips, Vickie and McCullough, Laura, SST/Staff Support Teams (1993). Moll, Anne, Collaborative Strategies, (2001).
Adapted from Student/Staff Support Teams, Phillips, McCullough 1993 and Collaborative Strategies, Mall (2001)
Middle/High School Monologues
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