Lesson #1 -Writing a Script? Let’s Get Started

Lesson Overview

In the opening lesson of this project, you will begin the screenwriting process by defining your character and creating a specific action. In this lesson, you are introduced to the three acts of story structure including Act 1 (Exposition and Inciting Incident), Act 2 (Rising Actions and Turning Point), and Act 3 (Falling Action and Resolution). You will complete this lesson writing a treatment for your script.

Objectives & Goals

  • I can analyze 3 act story through film analysis.
  • I can connect prior knowledge to 3 act story terminology.
  • I can utilize a  graphic organizer to align plot to story structure.
  • I can develop story subjects ideas and evaluate peer ideas.
  • I can plan project outline, and organize material accordingly to write an industry standard treatment.

STEP 1- Watch, Write, and Reflect (20 minutes): 

You may discuss the last film you viewed or a short film in class to complete the reflection below.

  1. Review the reflection questions below.  Think about the last movie you saw.  What was it?
    1. List the main character(s).  What background information was given for the main character(s)?  How was the background information given?
    2. What was the first conflict in the story?  How is it resolved?
    3. What was the last conflict presented in the story?  What was the emotional state of your character before and during this conflict?  How did our character react to this conflict?
    4. How did the story end?  In your opinion, was the ending effective?
  2. Submit your reflection question solutions to your online portfolio.  Label this post a “reflection” and name it “Story Warm Up”.  

Step 2- Short Lecture on Structure (10 minutes)

Materials: Structure Video and Film Notebook

  1. Click here to watch a short video on story structure capturing formal vocabulary terms and taking notes in your notebook.
  2. Click here to watch a short video on structure capturing formal vocabulary terms taking notes in notebooks.

Step 3- Connecting Structure through Film Analysis  (90 minutes)

Materials: Introduction to Freytag movie, 1 Freytag Organizer, Poster Paper, markers, Story Structure Quiz, and access to Breaking Bad Pilot

  1. Click here to begin watching an Introduction to Freytag  movie titled, “Introduction to Freytag.”
  2. Click here to watch a short film of the week: https://www.shortoftheweek.com/2016/08/17/every-day-dad-dies/  and identify the structure using the Freytag diagram.
  3. Chart out Story for the short film using a Freytag Diagram.
  4. Obtain a Check for understanding Quiz from your teacher. Complete Check for Understanding Quiz on Vocabulary (5 minutes).

Step 4- Creating a Subject (30 minutes)

Materials: Introduction to Subject video, Subject Peer Review Sheet, Pencil

  1. Quick Write- On  a sheet of paper, write about a moment in your life when you felt the following emotions.  Write quick spending only 30 seconds on each prompt:
    1. loved
    2. hate
    3. anxiety
    4. fear
    5. jealousy
    6. hopeful
  2. Begin by watching a short movie lecture titled, “Introduction to Subject”.
  3. Begin by brainstorming and creating 2 subjects.Use events from the writings on your emotions above if needed.  Fold a sheet of paper in half or use the Subject Peer Review Score Sheet linked here.  Write each subject on each half.  Submit your subject descriptions to at least four other students to assess.  Assess subjects with a 10 (great movie, I have to see it!), 5 (maybe I’ll see this, maybe I won’t), and a 0 (I will not see this film).
  4. Once your sheet is returned to you, review your scores and select your subject with the highest score.
  5. Rewrite your subject for submission.
  6. Submit your final subject to your online portfolio.  Label this post,”My Subject”.
  7. Subject Revision- Complete the following worksheet revising your subject.  Submit this worksheet to your instructor and update your revised subject in your portfolio.

Step5- Writing a Treatment  (60 minutes and complete for Homework)

  1. For next ten minutes, organize your story structure using the Freytag Graphic Organizer.Check in with your teacher and elbow partner to make sure you have a solid interesting story.
  2. Complete a Treatment for your story using your note cards and graphic organizer as a guide.  A treatment is a 4-page narrative using some dialogue.  It describes the structure and plot (what is happening).  It solidifies your ideas for your story and prepares your thinking in order to write your script.

    Use the suggested breakdown below:

    • ½ page describe the opening scene/sequence
    • 1 page action of Act 1 (Exposition and Inciting Incident)
    • 1 ½ page action of Act 2 (Rising Action and Turning Point)
    • 1 page Act 3 (Falling Action and Resolution)
  3. Submit your Treatment as a .doc Word Document to your online portfolio.  Create an objective and reflection for this post.



Once I have received your Treatment post, complete the assessment below in schoology.

Answer the following prompt in a short reflection (150 words- 300 words). Use complete sentences and complete thoughts. Use examples when needed to support ideas and statements. 

Why is it important to align your screenplay to the elements of story structure?  

Moving On!


Now that you have completed the lesson along with the assessment and submitted all of your artifacts along with objective and reflections to your online portfolio, you may successfully proceed to the next lesson in the unit which is Character Development.  Congratulations on completing the first lesson!

Posted in  your portfolio from this lesson-check

      • Story Warm Up Reflection – 100 points
      • Subject (objective and reflection) -100 points
      • Story Structure posted in portfolio- 500 points
      • A link to your Treatment stored in Google Docs (Objective and Reflection)- 500 points