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Put your students in seats at Ford's Theater on the night Booth shot President Lincoln!
Some of you might recall “You Are There”, Walter Cronkite’s great, long-running TV series. Cronkite served as host and interviewer in historical reenactments of critical events from our shared past. The show brought history to life with unprecedented immediacy. I’ve tried to capture that immediacy in this readers’ theater script that details the events of Lincoln's Assassination
No event in our history was more important or more traumatic than the assassination of President Lincoln. This unit’s goal is to make these crucial events clear and accessible to your students. I’ve based my unit’s narrative on Jim Bishop’s excellent book By adding several fictional characters and some dialog to the events Bishop detailed, I’ve created a readers’ theater script for you and your students.
I’ve found scripted readings to be powerful teaching tools. You may use this one as it’s written, or subdivide it further. I’ve found it quite dramatic to use alternating narrators. Changing voices at an important line can be very effective. Also, some of the parts might be assigned to a chorus of several students or the whole class. Doing this allows challenged readers to participate without pressure. Also - if you have a group that’s dramatically inclined - you might take them on the road. Have them read for other classes, or take them into the office and read for the principal. The Flesch-Kincaid reading level of this script is 3.3. Its Flesch Reading ease score is 84%.
I’ve also created vocabulary and reading comprehension activities to enhance and accompany Booth Shot President Lincoln. You’ll recognize both the cooperative learning and reciprocal teaching techniques incorporated in the activities.
If you use this unit, please do let me know how effective it proved to be. I always hope to make things better!