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Summer Reading - books for all ages.
Featured Resource

World History Reader's Theater: Bringing the past to life!


World History Reader's Theater: Bringing the past to life!

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Publisher: Teacher Created Resources

Author: Robert Smith

List Price: Softcover: $14.99, E-book: $14.99

Ages: 12-14 Years

Reviewed By: Jennifer Bogart

History so often is remembered as boring, dry, and easy to forget. To heighten students' recall of historical facts and persons, Robert Smith for Teacher Created Resources has written twelve short readers' theater scripts revolving around prominent events in world history. Each simple script included in World History Readers' Theater is designed to read aloud. Helpful suggestions are provided for those new to integrating dramatic read-alouds with their history program. Suggestions for casting, staging, performing, and assessing a reader's theater are provided before launching into the scripts. The end result can be fairly straightforward, with students formally seated and dressed in monotone colors (as suggested in the book), or parents and co-op organizers can go all-out with costumes and dramatic movement.

Each script is written for five to eleven readers, with most calling for five to six voice actors. Due to the large number of recommended actors, this resource will be of most use to larger families and homeschooling co-ops. Smith covers a wide array of time periods and geographic locations, including those that are both of interest in any historical timeline and also as scripts that could be used as supplements to science and art curriculums.

The included scripts focus on: Marco Polo, the black death (Paris), Leonardo da Vinci, the Conquistadores, Elizabeth I, Isaac Newton, Captain James Cook, the French revolution, the first manned flight (France), the French impressionists, the Russian revolution, and Crystal Night (Hitler-era Germany).

Each script is accompanied by background information, suggested extension activities (mainly writing and literature), comprehension questions, and personal reflection questions. One set of geography extensions is provided for Marco Polo; it's a shame that not all of the scripts included this additional learning supplement. The recommended reading selections are typically excellent living-books, and the entire resource is reproducible within a single classroom or home.

Some of the scripts sound somewhat forced, as they take place in conversational settings, such as a group of participants in the Russian revolution being interviewed or a group of Hernando Cortes Conquistadores discussing his exploits while he is absent from his home. Others are more action filled such as the group of Jewish teenagers fleeing the chaos of the Crystal Night in Germany.

With such a variety of short plays available in one resource, it is easy to imagine how they can be put to use. Art classes could work through the scripts involving da Vinci or the impressionists. Science co-ops could likewise work through da Vinci, Isaac Newton, or the first manned flight. And of course, history co-ops and classes can choose amongst all of the plays as they apply to the nature of their studies.
More Information
Available From: Teacher Created Resources
Address: 6421 Industry Way, Westminster, CA 92683
Phone: 800.662.4321
Other Notes:
Purchase Now From the Eclectic Homeschool Resource Center
Jennifer Bogart
Jennifer Bogart is a born again child of God, wife, and homeschooling mother of three budding bibliophiles. Living on a homestead in rural Alberta, Canada, she blogs as a creative outlet, reads extensively, and tries to keep up with her voracious young learners.
Copyright © 2009 Eclectic Homeschool Association
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