This Reader's Theater is for 4 students. It is not by Rudyard Kipling but it is still a Just-So story. In the script, the Jade Emperor wants to have a way to keep track of time as the years go by. He finally decides to create a calendar that has a 12 year cycle. On his birthday he asks all the animals to come and race across a river. The first 12 to make it across will have a year named after them. Some of the animals succeed because they are trick or mean and some get across by being smart or working hard. When the cat finishes at last, the race is over. Rat had pushed the cat into the water in order to beat it. This is why cats are not on the Chinese Zodiac Calendar and also why cats are not friends with rats.
There is an opinion writing assignment afterwards. I use reader's theaters to encourage my students to practice fluency. It is a fun way to do something that they need. My scripts are in black and white with only the occasional color picture on front so they photo copy easily. The problem with many other reader's theaters is that students spend a lot of time waiting for their part. When you have a small group they get more practice in and less off task behaviors take place.
My name is Melanie Whitesides but my store name is Wonbyone and, if your students enjoy this script, look for more Just-So scripts at my site. I hope that your students enjoy this script as much as mine did. Let me know how things go!
The Story of the Chinese Zodiac and Why Cats Don't Like Rats - Reader's Theater
by Melanie Whitesides
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License