Here’s a host of my scripts enacted by students. Most are available on TeachersPayTeachers, and if not there, Etsy. If your class has created a podcast, radio drama, slide show, or video performance, contact me at email@example.com to have it showcased here!
Reader’s Theater Performances:
Argument at Mount Rushmore from Read Aloud Plays: Symbols of America
Nikolai Gogol’s classic short story, The Nose, from Read Aloud Plays: Classic Short Stories
How Jackie Robinson Saved the World. Performed by students from the Baker Montessori School of Houston.
Freedom for the First Time, also performed by Baker Montessori.
The Girl Who Got Arrested (Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice play). Note the student-created slides!
The Library Card: The Autobiography of Richard Wright, based on the book, Black Boy, and the picture book, Richard Wright and the Library Card.
I Have A Dream: The Childhood of Martin Luther King, and The Ruby Bridges Story, performed by New York’s Palace Youth Theatre for Black History Month in 2021. These are professionally produced and beautifully done–despite Covid restrictions. Use these performances to preview the plays–or simply share them with your classroom as a teaching tool.
The Monkey’s Paw–Be careful what you wish for in W.W. Jacobs’ gothic classic. A standard for middle schoolers, this play will help them make sense of the original text. From the April 23, 2012, issue of Scope.
The Birth-mark–From the Jan. 2013 issue of Scholastic’s Scope magazine. Nathanial Hawthorne’s classic short story about life’s little imperfections–and a mad scientist!
Cyclops vs Odysseus—Watch this video to see how engaging this kid-friendly version from Homer’s Odyssey can be.
Stolen Childhoods–View our multi-media presentation of Worked to the Bone, which focuses on photographer Lewis Hine’s Depression-era crusade to end child labor. Students recorded the audio of the play and coordinated it with a photo montage of Hine’s powerful photography.
A Christmas Carol–Among my favorite moments as an educator was working with my students to create this sixteen minute holiday movie based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol using merely a Flip video camera and Movie Maker editing software. We used the script version from Read Aloud Plays: Classic Short Stories, which features a variety of role reversals including a female Scrooge. We also modernized it to make it easier to establish settings and added a few parts and lines so that all thirty of my students could participate. This video not only gives you a preview of the play, but will hopefully encourages you to take your classroom drama to new levels.
The Newsies–Another of my career highlights. My fifth graders created this musical based on my Newsies play. It’s listed as the product Newsies Musified.
The Pied Piper–The script is available on TpT. The paper rat masks are on Etsy. The enthusiasm, adlibs, and laughter provided by my 2022-23 fifth graders.
Still More Performances:
Also available on my TeachersPayTeachers store
Escape from the Blacking House
How the Elephant Got its Trunk
Ponce de Leon and the Fountain of Youth
Click on a title to see a brief video showing the given program being used in an actual classroom.
Special Interest Podcasts:
Using Reader’s Theater to Teach Fluency From the International Society for Technology in Education’s blog, Literacy Special Interest, this interview with Mack covers some of the brain research behind reader’s theater and other topics. Mack was selected for the interview based on his work as both a practicing teacher and the author of dozens of plays for Scholastic.
The Checkbook Project. This podcast interview with Mack is from Talking Fin Lit, a blog sponsored by McGraw-Hill. It provides a host of information about the benefits of using The Checkbook Project in the classroom.
Unless otherwise indicated, all plays performed by fifth grade students from Central Point Elementary