Teachers in a CPD session.

The soap opera

In this activity students create a profile for a group of people and imagine their relationships to each other. They then construct a soap opera based around the characters and write a scene from the soap opera. This activity can be completed in one lesson or divided across a number of lessons if you feel your students need more support and correction. 
Download copies of the photographs here or cut some of your own out of a magazine. You could give out magazines and scissors to students and ask them to cut out a number of people who they think look interesting.
  • Put your students into groups of about 4 people, then give each group a copy of the pictures.
  • Ask the students to try to imagine who the people are and what they are like. This might be easier for some students if you stick the pictures onto a sheet of paper and then write the headings for the information you want at the side (e.g. Name, age, occupation, habits, hobbies, character etc)
  • Once they have done this ask them if they know what a soap opera is. Try to get some examples of ones that they watch.
  • Next ask them if they can think of things that most soap operas have in common (e.g. heroes, heroines, villains, drama – usually based around some kind of setting / workplace, etc.)
  • Next tell the students that all of the pictures they are holding are of characters from the same soap opera. Ask them to decide what the relationships between the people are and what role each of them has within the soap opera. Try to get them to decide what kind of setting the soap opera takes place in (e.g. in an office, on a ranch, in a hotel etc.)
  • Next tell the groups that they should write a short scene involving as many of their characters as possible. You may well need to help out and input language for this, so be sure to monitor closely.
  • Lastly, if your students are confident enough, ask them to choose characters and act out the scene from their soap opera. You could video this and let them watch their performance or you could just take in the scripts and help to correct them.

© All images are copyright Chris Tribble, King's College, London University and used with his kind permission.

Web links for this resource: