Two Plays from 1812: History of the White House and the Star Spangled Banner
- Easel Activity
The history of the White House and the story behind the Star Spangled Banner are the subjects of “Two Plays from the War of 1812.” These are innocent, politically-neutral reader’s theater scripts designed to provide students in grades 3 through 6 with the carefully-researched facts about these U.S. symbols. Our national anthem was penned as a poem by Francis Scott Key during the bombardment of Fort McHenry, and the White House was burned to the ground by British troops when they sacked Washington D.C. in 1814. Both plays originally appeared in Read Aloud Plays: Symbols of America (2003, Scholastic), and each includes a paired text, a comprehension quiz, and teacher notes with answer keys and extension activities. “Tearing Down the White House” includes parts for 20 students, though many of the minor parts can be combined, while “The Defense of Fort McHenry” includes parts for 12. Consider enacting them together, either as traditional RT, as an audio dramatization/podcast, or as a stage production. If instructing remotely, these plays would be excellent “Zoomer’s Theater.” Fully reproducible: the original purchaser is licensed to print one class set per year for use with his or her own class.