A Surprising Point of View: A Television Play in Two Acts

(in order of appearance)

1. JASON: a boy of about 14. He is a student in Ms. Smith’s English class. He regularly misbehaves in order to get attention, and he doesn’t apply himself to his schoolwork.

2. THE CLASS: 25 seventh-graders, male and female, also in Ms. Smith’s class.

3. MS. SMITH: a woman about 45 years of age. She is a well-respected, experienced middle-school English teacher.

Act One

Fade in.

INT. of classroom-Full Shot

4. [Ms. Smith’s English class at a large middle school. The hallway can be seen through the open classroom door.]

5. [As the action begins, students are seated in their desks, but their attention is on Jason, who is entering the classroom a little late and intentionally trips over a stack of books by one student’s desk. The class laughs. Jason grins broadly.]

Angle on Ms. Smith

6. MS. SMITH: [cautioning in a patient voice and casting a disapproving look toward Jason] Jason, come here right now.

7. [Ms. Smith moves to the hallway just outside of the classroom.]

8. [Jason moves to the hallway just outside of the classroom and faces Ms. Smith. He begins to look more serious as he approaches her. Seeing a warning look from Ms. Smith, the other students look down at their desks and get busy with schoolwork.]

INT. of hallway-Full Shot

9. JASON: [with a meek smile] Sorry about that, Ms. Smith.

10. MS. SMITH: [glossing over his misbehavior and adopting a serious tone as she hands Jason a piece of paper] Yes, OK. So, tell me your plan for the project. Have you consulted this project list yet? You really need to quit putting this off. You’re the only one without approval on your project idea, and the project is due in two weeks.

11. [Jason scans the project list.]

12. JASON: [uncomfortable and groping for a response] Umm…I guess I’ll do the video.

13. MS. SMITH: [pressing for more information, using a controlled voice] What kind of video did you have in mind?

14. [Jason stands there, shifting from foot to foot uneasily.]

15. JASON: [vague and hesitant] I guess I could reenact a scene from the novel I read, “The Call of the Wild.”

Angle on Ms. Smith

16. MS. SMITH: [somewhat stern] Could you be a bit more specific? Which scene do you plan to use?

Angle on Jason

17. JASON: [stammering] I think I should look at the book again to be sure which part is best.

Angle on Ms. Smith

18. MS. SMITH: [explaining tolerantly] Yes, Jason, I think perhaps you should do precisely that. Don’t forget, this project counts as a test grade. I don’t have to remind you that if you want to avoid going to summer school, you need to bring up your grades to make up for your lackluster performance last semester.

Angle on Jason

19. JASON: [humbling, turning to enter the classroom] Yes, ma’am.

Fade out.

Act Two

Fade In.

INT. of classroom-Full Shot

20. [Ms. Smith’s English class, two weeks later. The desks have been arranged into a semicircle to allow presentation in the center. A large television has been positioned on Ms. Smith’s desk in the front center of the room.]

21. [As the act begins, nervous energy is pumping through the students as the last presentation, Jason’s, is about to be made. The students eye Jason expectantly as he takes his place front and center. Ms. Smith is positioned on a high-legged chair at the back center of the room, ready to score the presentation.]

22. MS. SMITH: [giving Jason a hopeful smile] you may begin, Jason.

Angle on Jason

23. JASON: [facing the class and speaking knowledgeably, as though well-prepared] My project is about the main character from “The Call of the Wild.” Since Ms. Smith is always talking about the elements of fiction, I figure I’d focus on Buck’s point of view.

Angle on Ms. Smith

24. [Ms. Smith, writing on a score sheet, looks up, surprised, when she hears her name and Jason’s mention of point of view.]

Angle on Jason

25. JASON: [continuing confidently] Now, for those of you thinking a dog can’t have a viewpoint on things, I remind you that pets let us know their feelings. They sense things and react – like we do, I guess. So I figured I’d show Buck’s reaction to being stolen from his home – “doggie-napped” is what I call it-and I’ll show what it was like, from Buck’s point of view, for him to be taught the “law of club and fang.”

26. [Camera pans faces of students in class. They look intently at the television on Ms. Smith’s desk as Jason shows the video of his “The Call of the Wild” presentation. As the video ends, the class erupts into enthusiastic applause.]

Angle on Ms. Smith

27. MS. SMITH: [smiling broadly with approval] Well, Jason, I’d say you’ve done an excellent and very creative job of meeting the project requirements. By holding a camera low to the ground and moving with quick, darting motions like a dog in captivity, you have effectively portrayed Chapter I from Buck’s point of view.

Full Shot

28. [A bell rings, and Ms. Smith dismisses the class. The students quickly grab their things and exit the classroom, but Ms. Smith asks Jason to remain behind.]

Angle on Ms. Smith

29. MS. SMITH: [with a twinkle in her eye] Now, Jason, you know what this successful presentation means, don’t you?

Angle on Jason

30. JASON: [eyes searching Ms. Smith’s face] Umm…you know I can do my work from now on?

Angle on Ms. Smith

31. MS. SMITH: [with a slight smile] No, I always knew you could do the work. Now you know you can do the work.

Angle on Jason

32. JASON: [smiling and speaking with an air of confidence] Thanks, Ms. Smith.

33. [Jason grabs his backpack and heads out the door.]

Fade Out.

1. What purpose for reading do the stage directions suggest to readers?

to learn about a subject
to be inspired
to be entertained
to gain understanding THIS ONE

2. If you were adjusting your reading rate to suit your purpose how would you read lines 29-30?

quickly, to create the feeling of conversation THIS ONE
slowly and carefully
quickly to pass over unimportant information
slowly to look for clues to the message

3. What lines of dialogue introduce the plays main conflict?

I don't have to remind you.. you need to bring up your grades to make up for your lackluster performance last semester.

you're the only one without approval on your project idea, and the project is due in two weeks.

Jason who is entering the classroom a little late and intentionally trips overs a stack of books... class laughs THIS ONE

I think I should look at the book again to be sure which part is best.

4. What conclusion can you draw about Jason from the dialogue in line 10?

Jason is embarrassed about his project topic
Jason is frustrated with the assignment
Jason is not prepared for the assignment THIS ONE
Jason is frustrated with MS. Smith

5. Which detail from the play best supports the conclusion you drew in the previous question?

Jason intentionally trips over a stack of books and grin
Ms. Smith tells Jason she knew he could always do his work
The students look nervously at Jason before he begins his presentation
Jason is the only student who hasn't had his project topic approved THIS ONE

6. During his presentation Jason is

confident THIS ONE

7.What conclusion can you draw about Jason based on the answer to the previous question?

Jason feels prepared for his presentation THIS ONE
Jason is embarrassed about his presentation
Jason is unsure about his presentation
Jason is anxious about his presentation

  1. 👍
  2. 👎
  3. 👁
  1. C

    1. 👍
    2. 👎
  2. is this right

    1. 👍
    2. 👎
  3. 2019

    1. 👍
    2. 👎
  4. ARMY <3

    1. 👍
    2. 👎

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