Quebec Competencies Chart - Scripting a Crime Drama

Author: Mark Zamparo
Level: Secondary Cycle Two
Subject Area: English Language Arts, Drama
Lesson Link: Scripting a Crime Drama

Description: “Scripting a Crime Drama” is intended to follow lesson two of the Crime Drama unit: “Viewing a Crime Drama.” In this lesson, students will tackle the scripting of a television crime drama by looking at the plot formulas and structures that underpin this genre. Students begin by studying a script from an actual television series and then they script and produce their own crime dramas.

Cross-curricular Competencies

Broad Areas of Learning

  • To use information
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To be creative
  • To adopt effective work methods
  • To use information and communications technologies for learning purposes
  • To work with others
  • To communicate appropriately
  • Media Literacy

This lesson satisfies the following English Language Arts Competencies from the Quebec Education Program:

COMPETENCY 1 uses language/talk to communicate and to learn

  • Compares the affordances of written, media and multimodal languages in achieving a specific purpose
  • Constructs criteria for choosing the mode of spoken language in a specific context, by considering audience needs and demands of the context
  • Examines how poets and others have used the sound patterns and other auditory elements of spoken language to great effect:
    • in media texts: slogans and jingles in commercials; repetition and sound patterns in music videos

COMPETENCY 2 Reads and listens to written, spoken and media texts

Constructing a Reading of a Text

  • Activates relevant prior textual knowledge before, during and after reading text(s) to monitor the meaning(s) s/he is making, (e.g. uses what is known about a writer/producer and her/his style to make predictions, draws on knowledge of structures and features of a specific genre, applies knowledge of codes and conventions particular to specific texts)
  • Activates relevant prior personal knowledge and experience to make sense of a text which is frequently expressed in text-to-self connections, text-to-world connections, text-to-text connections
  • Asks questions of self, writers(s) and text(s) as s/he reads to clarify and focus reading
  • Determines the most important ideas/messages/themes in a text

Reader, Text, Context

Draws inferences about the view of the world presented in a text

  • Identifies dominant elements and interprets their use, e.g. point of view, specific literary conventions, structure and sequence of argument, patterns of cause and effect
  • Identifies the characteristics of the writer/producer and evaluates how these influence meaning, i.e. how stance, socio-cultural context, values and/or beliefs shape the world of the text
  • Explores how power relationships are constructed in the text
  • Examines how language (word, sound and image) is shaped to present ideas and information
  • Makes connections between the depiction of different groups in texts and the context or setting of a text

Distinguishes between “open” and “closed” texts:

  • analyzes the degree to which the text may be considered “open” to multiple perspectives/ interpretations (i.e. is complex enough to allow different perspectives to emerge) and interprets how these influence the view of the world presented.
  • analyzes the degree to which the text may be considered “closed” to multiple perspectives (i.e. runs along formulaic lines that indicate its lack of complexity and make only a limited number of perspectives possible) and interprets how this influences the view of the world, e.g. in a pulp romance novel or a comic book, recognizes some elements of plot structure that are formulaic and repetitive

Justifies her/his interpretation(s) of texts on the basis of own fluency as a reader

  • Evaluates the way specific codes and conventions of a spoken/written/media text are employed to have an impact upon the assumptions, actions, values and beliefs of readers:
    • codes and conventions of a specific genre that are employed to have an impact on readers in general or on a target audience in particular
    • mode(s) of representation (sound, word and image) that influence the message(s)/meaning(s) of a text and how these reveal the intention(s) of the writer/producer(s)
    • linguistic and textual features that situate or position the reader, e.g. connotations and denotations, stereotypes and bias, aspects of characterization and setting that evoke a specific emotion or response, appeals to mainstream values and beliefs
    • issues and topics that present alternative values, beliefs, lifestyles in order to evaluate meanings for self as part of a process of interpreting a text
    • features and conventions of favourite genres and how these are used to special effect, e.g. in a mystery or a romance novel, in a magazine article
  • Interrelates characteristics of the writer/producer(s) of a text and self as a reader:
    • identifies characteristics of the writer/producer(s) of a text and applies this knowledge to determine how the text is designed to appeal to self as a reader, e.g. writer’s style, producer’s values or intent
    • recognizes the use of rhetorical strategies, e.g. use of first person to convey attitudes and feelings about an issue/topic, appeals to common beliefs or values in a culture, appeals designed to evoke a certain age group
    • recognizes how authors and producers of written persuasion and argument, whose views are accorded great respect in our society and culture, influence her/his interpretation(s), i.e. in particular, of what can be considered factual, objective

COMPETENCY 3 Produces texts for personal and social purposes

Researching as a Writer/Producer

  • Researches aspects of the media and publishing industries to best produce, market and distribute their products:
    • investigates how texts are produced and under what conditions
    • examines how a text is vetted, marketed and distributed by a producer to its target audience, e.g. how a book gets published, how a trend is created
  • Respects rules related to copyright and intellectual property

Assuming Roles as a Writer/Producer

  • Adopts a stance to a topic and audience appropriate to the genre
  • Assumes a variety of roles
  • Considers who s/he represents, e.g. the beliefs and values of a company and/or an organization
  • Adopts different points of view, e.g. first person, third person omniscient, second person and third person observer
  • Experiments with active and passive voice, e.g. uses active voice to project a sense of reality or immediacy in recounting experiences
  • Explores different dimensions of a character, issue
  • Applies language conventions to establish relationships, e.g. using gestures to elicit sympathy; using statements, conditions and commands to imply control and power; tilting the camera up to show authority
  • Experiments with register:o adjusts register to the formality/informality of the context, e.g. uses academic language in an essay, jargon or slang in an advertisemento establishes the tone, e.g. uses dispassionate tone of anchor on news report, intimate tone when writing in a journal
  • Exploits generic conventions
  • Plays against audience expectations for specific effect

Characterizing an Audience

Investigates how different target audiences use and respond to particular texts:

  • identifies factors that constitute a target audience and evaluates how media texts are shaped to suit them

Analyzes characteristics of audience for own productions:

  • analyzes the expectations of audience, e.g. the uses the audience will make of the text (for entertainment, for information, for escape), generic conventions

Public and Private Space

Conducts a genre analysis:

  • evaluates the structures, features, codes and conventions used
  • evaluates the affordances of genre and mode, e.g. why a news article works better in a certain situation than a memoir.
  • examines how language (sound, word and image) is shaped:
    • to represent and/or exclude people, events, ideas and information
    • to organize and develop ideas
    • for special effect

Uses texts as models to guide production:

  • refers to model text(s) throughout the production process
  • creates criteria for guiding production
  • identifies specific structures and features to reproduce own interests, purpose and audience

Applying Codes and Conventions

  • Applies conventions of the genre:
    • chooses textual structures and features
    • chooses linguistic codes and conventions
  • Combines and/or manipulates codes and conventions of specific genres for special effects (multi-genre texts)
  • Combines and/or manipulates codes and conventions of different modes (multimodal texts), e.g. the PSA draws on conventions of sound, word and image. It uses music to appeal to the emotions, includes a voiceover of a well-known person to draw attention to the cause and uses images to shock or jar the audience
  • Explores the representation of gender, race, appearance, culture, social class
  • Adopts ethical standards in own productions

Production Process

Media Practices

  • Manages production constraints, e.g. time line, deadline, group roles and responsibilities
  • Respects legal constraints, e.g. language laws, copyright
  • Respects genre constraints, e.g. format, layout, target audience’s expectations, industry standards such as time allotment

Planning and Drafting

  • Brainstorms ideas, clarifies and extends thinking by talking with peers and teacher
  • Uses strategies to work out ideas, plan and draft, e.g. concept map, free writing, storyboard
  • Makes preparations prior to production

Reflection

  • Evaluates production process and texts produced, with group and individually
  • Develops a meta-language for talking about self as a writer/producer
  • Reflects on the differences between working collaboratively and alone:o examines the impact on creativity

Going Public

  • Makes final adjustments before presentation
  • Presents text to intended audience

For specific topics, relate broad area of Media Literacy to:

Drama

Creates a Dramatic Work

Applies ideas for the creation of a dramatic work

  • Explores various ways of conveying creative ideas through dramatic action
  • Chooses dramatic actions for their interest
  • Plans a creative project

Uses elements of dramatic language

  • Experiments with elements of dramatic language
  • Makes use of his/her dramatic experiences
  • Chooses the most meaningful elements in relation to his/her creative intention and perfects methods for using these elements

Organizes his/her dramatic creation

  • Experiments with ways of linking dramatic scenes
  • Organizes the dramatic material based on the creative intention
  • Reviews his/her dramatic choices after considering the character of the work
  • Establishes conventions concerning unified performance
  • Refines certain elements of his/her creation, if necessary

Presents his/her dramatic creation

  • Remains attentive to classmates
  • Adjusts his/her actions to those of classmates
  • Respects conventions concerning unified performance
  • Validates the clarity of the creative intention
  • Reconsiders and confirms artistic choices
  • Plans necessary adjustments

Shares his/her dramatic creation experience

  • Analyzes his/her creative intention and process
  • Keeps records of his/her ideas
  • Identifies the important elements of his/her experience and its characteristics

Performs Dramatic Works

Uses elements of dramatic language

  • Experiments with elements of dramatic language related to the characters, action and meaning of the work
  • Makes use of sensory and emotional resources and experiences
  • Adapts elements of the dramatic language selected to bring out the characters, action and meaning of the work
  • Links dramatic actions
  • Experiments with various ways of conveying the dramatic content of the work
  • Uses performance strategies