Melodrama

Melodrama

Melodrama (ages 12-13)

This scheme of work introduces students to the genre of Melodrama. Students explore the stock characters through fun, interactive activities and then develop their knowledge and understanding through practical workshops based on the story of ‘Maria Marten – Murder in the Red Barn’. It enables the students to develop such key Drama forms as, mime, aside, split scene, hot seating and duologues. Throughout the scheme atmosphere and mood are explored through the use of spooky music and lighting ideas. A short film clip and 7 pieces of music are included with this scheme.


This scheme of work contains 6 drama lesson plans.

  • Lesson 1: Victorian Melodrama Stock Characters. This introductory lesson helps students to create the stock characters from the melodrama genre and develop them through the use of mime and music. An introductory PowerPoint slide and a series of character-based music clips are included.
  • Lesson 2: Relationships in Melodrama. Interactions between characters are examined, along with plot and exaggerated character portrayals, to create a heightened drama using split scenes and monologues.
  • Lesson 3: Maria Marten – Murder in the Red Barn. A true story, sensationalised by the press and turned into a play and film. Students develop their understanding using a plot grid and freeze frames.
  • Lesson 4: The Dream. The Stepmother’s dream is brought to life through a movement and mime piece set to eerie music.
  • Lesson 5: Preparing the Assessment. Students are shown an extract from the film version of ‘Maria Marten – Murder in the Red Barn’ and look at costumes/ lighting/SFX/ mis-en-scene and the way in which the actors speak their lines. They then prepare their own version of the story in preparation for their end of unit assessment. The film clip is included.
  • Lesson 6: Melodrama- the Assessment. Students prepare their own costumes and are filmed for self-assessment by the Teacher. Spooky music is included in this lesson to provide background to the assessment piece.

Supporting materials include

  • 1 PowerPoint slide
  • 5 pieces of character-based music
  • 2 pieces of atmospheric background music
  • 1 clip from the film ‘Murder in the Red Barn’
  • Victorian Stage Melodrama Character Sheets
  • Maria Martin Sheets and Answers

Additional resources are included in the appendices

  • Basic Drama Skills
  • End Of Unit Self-Assessment Form

The scheme of work is supplied as a zip file containing a PDF file, readable on most computers, 1 PowerPoint slide, 7 pieces of music (Mp3 format) and 1 video clip (Mp4 format).


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