This play "The First Thanksgiving" is an original play written for use as readers’ theater, as a part of balanced literacy (Read-Aloud, Shared and Performance Reading or Guided Reading), or for an actual play production. In readers’ theater or through one of the balanced literacy approaches to teaching reading, children are not expected to memorize their lines, yet the reading encourages strong oral skills. An added benefit is performing the play for other classes or parents while increasing social skills, cooperative learning and creativity. Using plays in literacy-based classrooms promotes active listening for the performers, as well as the audience, and offers an engaging way to teach reading skills.
Although the play is written for students in grades 2-4, it can be adapted for other grades and abilities. Additional students can share parts for choral reading or help with directing, props/costumes/scenery/sound effects, prompting, programs and invitations, Master of Ceremonies, or house staff (selling tickets, ushering, etc.).
Written with 13 speaking parts, and an unlimited number of Pilgrims and Indians who join in the feast on the first Thanksgiving, this play tells the story of how Sarah Josepha Hale encourages President Lincoln to proclaim Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863 to be observed annually on the 4th Thursday of November throughout the United States.
Complete with a teaching guide that lists questions before and after performing the play, words to preview, tips to help with the performance and extension activities, your students will have fun, build self-confidence and increase in reading fluency, comprehension and vocabulary development.
Look for other plays to be added soon.