Saturday, May 21, 2016

Student Written Class Plays!

Hello Friends!

I am excited! I had an idea and it came to fruition better than I imagined! Today I want to share with you how I made a big shift with my end of  the year class plays.

FREE! Teach your 1st 2nd or 3rd grade students how to write their own short reader's theater play scripts! All templates included to ensure that your class play will be fun and successful!




This year instead of giving my students a part in the play I picked out, have them memorize the lines, and act the way I interpret the character should act, my first graders wrote their own plays.  If you like the idea you are welcome to download the FREE printables or pin the ideas for next year to use in your classroom.

For years now, I have used Kristin (A Teeny Tiny Teacher)'s Partner Plays during Daily 5 centers. My kids love them, they honestly CHEER when I bring a new season out!! They love the characters and themes, I LOVE that they are engaged, loving reading, and practicing their fluency. If you don't know what I am talking about check them out {HERE}.

Earlier this year I was inspired to start shifting the way I teach when my principal invited me to a screening of Most Likely to Succeed . If you have not yet seen or heard of the documentary, in short, it is a film about a school in California, High Tech High that has shifted the way they teach from lecture type classes to integrated project based application. The kids at the school are engaged and hungry to learn and produce.


Since the screening while planning, I have been thinking, is this what my kids need or is this how I have always done it?

So then one dayan idea hit me, I could teach my 1st graders how to write their own partner plays and perform them as an end of year celebration for their parents. I am not going to lie, I was a little nervous to give up control. #controlfreak

It ended up better than I imagined. :) My kids learned so much. They had to make decisions, collaborate with their partner on ideas, make compromises when they didn't agree, and have the stamina to finish the project. I coached them every step of the way so they would be successful. I did a lot of role playing of things that could happen as they were working with their partner. In total, it took about 1 month from the beginning of choosing partners to performing (we worked about 15-20 minutes a day).



The Process

First, I had my students write a short list of who they would like to work with. Of course, I had the final say but tried to pair them up with someone on their list.




Next, I modeled explicitly how to brainstorm and plan a title, characters, setting, problem, and  a solution for a script. This took many days.


FREE! Teach your 1st 2nd or 3rd grade students how to write their own short reader's theater play scripts! All templates included to ensure that your class play will be fun and successful!



Then, we needed to know traits for our characters before writing the dialogue. Would their character be shy, outgoing, kind, funny?

Last, my students took many days of working together to write their actual scripts.


Once we had our scripts written, I conferenced with each group for a few minutes to help them make any necessary changes. Then they started rehearsing their lines to memorize.

Originally, I had thought my students would bring props or make paper props at school but I decided to keep it simple. Their plays were so good, I didn't want the props to take away from the hard work they had done. I did have them make a sign their play titles to hang on our backdrop for the performance.

I know it is close to the end of the school year for most of us. Maybe you want to try this idea with your students and perform for a buddy class? Maybe you just want to use this idea to fill the last week of school and have your students perform for each other? Maybe you are just going to pin them for next year?

If you want, you can download the printables for FREE by clicking the image!

FREE! Teach your 1st 2nd or 3rd grade students how to write their own short reader's theater play scripts! All templates included to ensure that your class play will be fun and successful!

Thanks for stopping by and reading, I hope you have a fabulous end to your school year!

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