The Headless Horseman conjures up images of ghosts and zombies--always engaging topics for young students. But “Sleepy Hollow” is more than just a ghost story. This original script is based on Washington Irving’s 1820 short story of the same name. It was originally published in the Nov/Dec 2009 issue of Scholastic's Storyworks magazine and later reprinted in Scope. It also appears in Read Aloud Plays: Classic Short Stories (2011, Scholastic). It’s aimed at 4th through 7th graders but could potentially be adapted for other grades. It includes 12 speaking parts and 2 non-speaking parts. Comes with a comprehension activity/discussion prompts, teacher notes and key, as well as reproduction and performance rights.
Set during the post-Revolutionary War period, it’s the story of schoolmaster Ichabod Crane, one of the most interesting characters in American literature. Students will enjoy theorizing about the truth behind the Horseman. Did Irving intend for readers to believe the legend? Or are their other explanations for Ichabod’s disappearance? This play hearkens back to the days of Old English and the Jolly Roger, so encourage your kids to try out their best pirate accent!