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Lesson Plan

Audio Broadcasts and Podcasts: Oral Storytelling and Dramatization

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Audio Broadcasts and Podcasts: Oral Storytelling and Dramatization

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Ten 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Traci Gardner

Traci Gardner

Blacksburg, Virginia


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives

Mobile Apps






  • Mercury Theatre production of War of the Worlds (October 30, 1938)

  • Assorted texts or class textbooks

  • H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds (optional)

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Plot Diagram

Grades   1 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Plot Diagram

The Plot Diagram is an organizational tool focusing on a pyramid or triangular shape, which is used to map the events in a story. This mapping of plot structure allows readers and writers to visualize the key features of stories.


CD/DVD Cover Creator

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Writing & Publishing Prose

CD/DVD Cover Creator

The CD/DVD Cover Creator allows users to type and illustrate CD and DVD covers and related booklets for liner notes and other information. Students can use the tool to create covers for books, music, and films that they explored as well as to create covers for media they compose individually or as a class.


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RWT Cover Creator

Grades   K – 12  |  Mobile App  |  Writing & Publishing Prose

RWT Cover Creator

Cover Creator allows users to type and illustrate covers for a variety of media.


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  • Gather audio recording equipment-cassette tape recorders and blank cassette tapes, a computer with audio recording software and a microphone, or an MP3 player (e.g., an iPod) with a microphone. Playback equipment is also necessary, in order to share finished dramatizations as well as to listen to the Mercury Theatre version of The War of the Worlds.

  • Decide on the short stories or novels that students can use for their dramatizations. Depending upon your resources and the point in the school term, you might choose any of the following options:

    • Create a specific list of stories from students' textbooks that they may choose among.

    • Allow students to choose any short story from their class texts, whether you have read it as a class or not.

    • Ask students to choose any event from a novel they have recently read. You might use this option with books recently read in literature circles as a way for groups to share their reading with one another.

    • Have students reflect on the short stories and/or novels they have read over the term and choose a story or passage from the list. This option can provide a nice review of readings at the end of a term or year.

    • Use the activity as a book report alternative, with individual students dramatizing short passages from the books that they have read.

  • As an alternative, students can use picture books as the inspiration for their dramatizations. Picture books will result in well-focused stories, allowing students to avoid any struggle with narrowing to a suitable excerpt.

  • Make copies or overhead transparencies of the handouts: War of the Worlds Worksheet (if desired), Audio Dramatization Rubric, and Audio Dramatization Process.

  • Be sure to review any music download sites that you will share with students to ensure that they are appropriate for your particular classroom. Some include advertisements. Sites may also include language that is not appropriate for the classroom.

  • Review the resources listed in the Websites section for basic information about the Mercury Theatre broadcast.

  • Test the War of the Worlds Travelogue, Plot Diagram Tool, and CD/DVD Cover Creator on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tools and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

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