Read Aloud Plays: Hawthorne's The Birthmark Gothic Reader's Theater

Grade Levels
4th - 9th, Homeschool
Formats Included
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10 pages
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A classic "mad scientist" short story comes to life! Build fluency and meet Common Core Standards with this adaption of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Gothic masterpiece, The Birthmark. It includes comprehension and vocabulary activities and keys. This compelling classroom play was originally published in the Jan. 2013 issue of Scholastic's Scope magazine, so you can trust it meets a high standard. Whether for reader's theater or stage performance, this six page play has parts for seven actors and is best suited for grades 5 - 8 (you can see it performed by fifth graders on the "Podcasts" page at It tells the story of a noted scientist who becomes obsessed with a small, hand-shaped birthmark on his otherwise perfect bride. His effort to remove it pits science against nature and turns him into something of a "mad scientist." Fully reproducible: original purchaser licensed to print a full class set for classroom use. Happy directing!

Total Pages
10 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.
Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.
Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.


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