This play "Trees – A Joy Forever!" is written for 2nd - 5th grades and has 11 parts. The play focuses on J. Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day. The play tells the history of Morton’s contribution to establishing Arbor Day as a national holiday through the eyes of the statue (J. Sterling Morton). The statue comes alive when two children walk through Arbor Lodge Historical Park in Nebraska.
This 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 2-5, 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.).
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.
During my years of teaching, I loved to write plays for my students and this one evolved as I combined drama, social studies, and language arts activities. I have a wide variety of plays that I have written that are available on my TpT website:
• A Christmas Wish (4th – 6th grade)
• A Day in the Life of Santa (1st – 3rd))
• A Field Trip to the North Pole (2nd – 4th)
• A Mixed-Up Bedtime Story: The Little Grey Wolf and Red Riding Hood (1st – 3rd)
• A Veterans Day Play (3rd – 6th)
• An American Christmas (2nd – 4th)
• Candy Land (2nd – 5th)
• Ding-a-Ling, the Christmas Bell (1st – 3rd))
• Happy Groundhog’s Day – A Play and Game (2nd – 4th)
• I Have a Dream – The Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1st – 3rd)
• Lessons Learned from Fairy Tales (2nd – 4th)
• The Bear Family’s Christmas Countdown (1st – 3rd)
• The Dream – A Play about Martin Luther King, Jr. (3rd – 5th)
• The First Thanksgiving (2nd – 4th)
• The Great American Circus (1st – 3rd)
• The Tale of Johnny Appleseed (1st – 2nd)
• The Talented Zoo Crew (3rd – 5th)
• The Wonderful Wizard (2nd – 4th)
• They called Him “Honest Abe” (3rd – 5th)
• Trees – A Joy Forever! – An Arbor Day Play (2nd – 5th)
• Where in the World is the Spirit of Christmas? (2nd – 4th)
Check back for more plays coming soon!