Skip to main content

The Play's the Thing: Using Scripts in the Classroom

My local library has fabulous resources. Yesterday I scored a stack of Plays Magazine, drama scripts for young people.

Occasionally our library goes through old magazines that have had poor circulation and makes them available for patrons to take for free. Recently stacks of business magazines were set out. These can be used for clip art projects, actual clipping and pasting with glue as opposed to the digital copy/paste but not anything I needed.

Then I saw a stack of Plays magazines! These are fabulous resources for and school drama class. Published monthly, each edition includes eight to ten scripts arranged according to grade level. Some scripts are modifications of classics works and others are simply dramatic stories. When appropriate, staging direction, costuming and props are described.

Even if students do not put on a full scale performance, reading scripts in a round table setting is a great way to engage and develop reading skills. Drama encourages students to identify a character's emotion and motives, developing empathy. Students become creative participants instead of passive readers.

By combining video technology, students can easily share their creativity with a larger audience. And the more students engage actual scripts, the better they will become at planning and writing their own stories. Stop motion, animation or puppet shows are all creative ways students can demonstrate critical reading skills.

Popular posts from this blog

Classcraft Interactive Notebook Page

Finished crafting interactive notebook pages for Classcraft, an engaging classroom management tool.

This fall I plan to add interactive notebooks to my classroom procedures. The goal is to provide students with something tangible to take home at the end of the semester. So that means creating or borrowing resources to guide students in developing their notebook.

Classcraft is a classroom management tool, an elaborate punishments and reward system designed like an epic role play game. Students create avatars and can upgrade pets and outfits based on experience and gold points earned. They can also lose points and suffer minor penalties. Everything is done in a fun, game like environment.

The computer lab is already divided into five or six stations, which lends itself easily to guilds or teams of students who work together in the game. I want students to develop their own backstory and choose their characters for the good of the group. I also need students to keep their login info some…

Easy Offline Lesson Plans

My lesson was on search engines, but the Internet was down. Learn how to have great offline backup plans.

So I had a room full of fifth grade students with a lesson plan on search engines. We were going to compare search results from different engines. We were going to learn how to refine our searches. We were not going anywhere because the Internet connection had gone down.

So I quickly checked with the librarian and moved my lesson offline. We selected books from the reference cart: dictionaries, atlases, encyclopedias and records books. I then gave students the same search queries from the lesson. We still compared results and discussed why some sources provided better results. We even contemplated if other libraries would have better selections or unique resources.

The trick to any offline lesson plan is understanding what concepts digital tools are built upon. Digital search is still the search for and analysis of information. For centuries, people have dug through catalogs of i…

Passionate Purpose

Yesterday I was brainstorming with a coworker on writing projects for gifted students. At first she was looking for creative ideas of topics that students could write on. But then I redirected her thinking towards the purpose of the writing.

By allowing students to choose their topic of writing, it gives them the freedom to explore and question the world around them. Directing them away from fiction writing, we give real purpose to research - the exploration for an answer. Suddenly the focus shifts away from completing a grade or meeting a standard to inquiry and search for understanding.
For students to write meaningful content, they need to be passionate about it.  As teachers, we know it's important for students to (fill in the blank), but we don't always express the purpose well. Too often I hear that students will need these skills when they reach the next level. Elementary prepares for middle school which prepares them for high school where they are prepared for college…