The title of this play is "What Type of Genre is That?!" It is designed to reflect test taking strategies, vocaubulary, and genre studies for the 3rd grade New York State ELA exam, but it would work equally well for 4th, 5th, or 6th grades. In the play, students are sitting at a desk about to take their NYS ELA exam. They speak to the audience about their feelings and test-taking strategies, then they VISUALIZE the passage. As they visualize, the curtain opens and the passage is acted out on the stage. After the passage is finished, the curtain closes and the student explains what type of genre it was and how he can tell. In some scenes, the student also answers a multiple choice question for the audience while explaining his thinking.
This play is a fantastic way to make state test prep a fun learning experience. If follows the common core ELA standards which I posted at the beginning of the script. It also incorperates music (optional) and the links with lyrics are there for you too. The genres included are fiction, poetry, non-fiction how-to, interview, advertisement, and a folktale. The 6 different scenes last around 40 minutes total run time. There are enough parts for 2 classes, but it's very easy to have some students play 2 roles if you wanted to do it with one class.
The genres offer something for everyone. The interview scene is actually a reporter for the NY Knicks who is interviewing the Knick players. This scene motivated many of the students who wouldn't normally get into something like this. It was amazing to see their excitement!
We performed the play in the auditorium and and it was absolutely amazing. The students took so much away from this experience and it made test prep fun for a change. Other students in the school came to watch and learn! The reviews were out of sight! You could also just use it as a reader's theater. The extent to which you want to use this is entirely up to you!
I also included all of the parent letters home concerning costumes, behavior, and play information.
Since it does follow the common core standards, this is create for any state tests, even outside of NYS.