Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Victoria Lucia

Screenwriting for Kids

Screenwriting for Kids

Today's kids consume a lot of media from many different sources. When there's YouTube and TikTok to watch, do kids still care about television and movies? Yes, and you'd be amazed how many kids want to learn to write screenplays for TV and film. I've been lucky enough to teach kids of varying ages about screenwriting, and they all became quite enamored with it! Most screenwriting books are aimed at the professional writer or more experienced adult, so instead, use these six steps to introduce kids to screenwriting, and they'll be writing their own scripts in no time! 

With one click

Export a perfectly formatted traditional script.

Try SoCreate for free!

Write Like This...
...Export To This!

Find Out What Movies and TV They're Interested In and Why

When teaching kids screenwriting techniques, I always ask what shows or movies interest them. Their answers might include Marvel movies, animated movies, or older movies their parents like. It's essential to understand what content they respond to and explore why that is. Why do they like the shows and movies they do? Are there things they don't like about their favorite show? What's a movie they don't like and why? Getting them to voice these opinions helps them think critically about what makes a strong character, how to use a three-act structure, and the elements that make up compelling stories. Knowing what they like and don't like can guide them to improve their own creative skills. 

Remind Kids That Anyone Can Be a Storyteller 

Our popular culture today is very much still influenced by movies and television. Kids and teenagers have an excellent understanding of pop culture and therefore have a great understanding of movies and TV shows, even if they don't realize it.

Just talking to kids about their favorite shows and movies can demonstrate a strong understanding of story structure. They can tell the difference between poorly developed characters vs. well-developed characters. They understand the elements that make up a believable make-believe world. These ideas just come second nature to kids, so you have to make them aware that they already know these things when teaching screenwriting.

Making them aware that they already understand the basic principles of storytelling and screenwriting empowers them to believe that they can tell their own stories. Kids can then brainstorm and create scripts about issues, characters, or ideas that they want to see represented on screen.

Teach Kids to Think and Write Visually

The idea that screenwriting is a visual medium is something kids both understand and struggle with. All new screenwriters struggle with this concept, even early-career writers! If you're new to the medium, it can be hard to practice the adage of "show, don't tell." Your brain has to adapt to a different way of writing. It can help to read from a section of a script, show the accompanying storyboard for that scene, and then show the filmed version of the scene. This can help kids understand how what they write would be translated to a storyboard and then filmed into a scene. They'll gain a greater appreciation of describing actions and scenes with specificity.

Introduce Screenwriting Terminology and Other Screenplay Basics

When you think kids are ready to try writing their first scenes, introduce the basics of screenwriting. Use a simple screenplay to point out examples of each of the following screenplay sections


Every scene needs a heading, and to write your heading, you need to know three things:

  • Is the scene happening indoors or outdoors?

  • Where is the location of the scene?

  • Is the scene happening during day or night?

When they answer these questions, they can then write their heading. Have them write INT. for interior scenes or EXT. for exterior scenes, then have them write the specific location the scene is set in and follow that up with either DAY or NIGHT.

Scene Description

Below their scene heading, have them describe what's happening in that scene. Remind them that they want to think visually, like how scenes were written in the screenplay and accompanying movie examples you showed them.


Below their description, you can introduce them to the concept of dialogue. What type of conversation are the people in the scene having? Encourage them to think about how they talk to their friends in real life. Or, if the scene has a specific character like a cowboy, he might have a particular way of talking, like saying, "Howdy!" Try to demonstrate that characters can have unique ways of speaking. 

Write a Short Script

After you introduce them to the basic elements of a screenplay, tell them to start writing! Ideally, you'd have screenwriting software and a computer for each child. Then every kid can independently write their own short. If that's not the case, you can write have them write shorts out by hand mimicking the typed format, or write together as a group with the instructor typing. 

SoCreate Screenwriting Software will be a fantastic tool for kids who want to write screenplays. It's going to help kids let their imaginations run wild!  to be notified when SoCreate becomes publicly available. 

Continue Exploring the Art and Craft of Screenwriting

Depending on the age and interest of the children, you can do more activities to get them used to thinking visually for the purposes of screenwriting. You can play games to encourage their storytelling or watch movies to inspire them. You can focus more on the technical skills needed to be a successful screenwriter for older children. 

Did you enjoy this blog post? Sharing is caring! We'd SO appreciate a share on your social platform of choice.

Kids are great storytellers, and I love seeing what kind of ideas they come up with. When adults become professional screenwriters, they only wish they could tap into the imagination of children, so it is terrific if you can start your child on this writing path early in life. Even if they don't want a screenwriting career, creative writing is excellent for a child's development. Hopefully, this blog gave you some ideas on teaching screenwriting to kids! 

You may also be interested in...

How to Get Kids to Write Stories

Eventually, we want all kids to learn and master writing skills. Creative writing can activate kids' imaginations, improve motor skills, and help them to think outside of the box. But what do you do if your child doesn't want to write or doesn't know how to start writing a story? Discover five ways to work writing activities into your child's daily routines. Brainstorm Story Ideas With Your Child: First, brainstorm an idea with your child. Ask your child what some of their favorite stories are and why they like them. For younger kids, draw on inspiration from board books and picture books. If your child is a bit older ...

How to Write an Inciting Incident

Do you find your stories just dragging in the beginning? When writing your first act, do you find yourself just wanting to hurry up and get to the exciting action of it all? Have you gotten feedback that the start of your story wasn't attention-grabbing enough? Then you might want to take a closer look at your inciting incident! If you're asking yourself, "what's that?" then keep reading because today I'm talking all about how to write an inciting incident! "The inciting incident radically upsets the balance of forces in your protagonist's life." - Screenwriting Guru Robert McKee. "Here's the principle: When a story begins ...

What Children’s Stories Can Teach Screenwriters About Storytelling

Children’s books, television shows, and movies are our first introductions to storytelling. These initial stories help shape how we understand and interact with the world. Their value isn’t lost after we grow older; on the contrary, children’s stories can help teach us a thing or two about screenwriting! Simpler is often better - Children’s stories teach us to take an idea and distill it down to the core of itself. I’m not saying to dumb something down, but I’m talking about expressing an idea in the most economical way possible. Delivering a story most straightforwardly increases your odds of it connecting ...