Bringing Broadway to the Classroom: A Fractured Fairy Tale Play for Students
What a fun time everyone has had with fractured fairy tales throughout the reading and writing curriculum! Now it is time to bring the unit to a close with the grand finale of fun! The students will now be performing a fractured fairy tale play for the classroom. This is not just an entertaining way to end the fractured fairy tale unit, but it also addresses more abstract areas of the curriculum, such as speaking clearly in public and using expression.
- Cinderella Outgrows the Glass Slipper and Other Zany Fractured Fairy Tale Plays: Five Funny Plays with Related Writing Activities and Graphic Organizers That Motivate Kids to Explore Plot, Character, and Setting by Joan M. Wolf.
- Variety of art supplies for creating backgrounds and props.
- Self-examination survey.
Preparing for the Play
Well, the end is near! Begin this lesson by expressing to your students how hard they have worked during the fractured fairy tale unit. Explain that as a reward for their hard work, you will be ending the unit with a fun fractured fairy tale play project. The students will love the idea of a fun activity, while you will secretly know that you are still teaching them about public speaking, theater/drama, teamwork, and more!
Begin by deciding how you want to work this activity. Will your class present one or two plays? In Cinderella Outgrows the Glass Slipper and Other Zany Fractured Fairy Tale Plays: Five Funny Plays with Related Writing Activities and Graphic Organizers That Motivate Kids to Explore Plot, Character, and Setting by Joan M. Wolf, you will find five plays with around 20 parts each. So, will you ask the students to squeeze everyone into one play (maybe switching out the lead roles half way through), or will you do two plays and allow the students each more time to shine? Remember when making this decision that some of the parts listed have very minimal lines. They may also include someone to work sound, which you will probably not have available in your classroom.
Once you have decided how many and which plays you will do, it is time to assign your roles to the students. There are several ways to do this. You could just assign them based on personalities and talents you know your students to have, or you may ask the students to try-out for their parts. Either way, every member of the class should be involved. Once the parts are assigned, ask the students to get together with the other members of their play and read through the script. They will then come up with some ideas of backgrounds and props they may need.
Give the students a day or two to create their backgrounds and props out of any art materials you may have available. They may also bring in materials or props from home with parent permission. You will be surprised how creative they will be! Next, allow two or three days for the students to practice with their group. Every good actor knows that it is important to practice. The students may choose whether or not to memorize their lines. This may be too much for them to do in just a few days!
Lights, Camera, Action!
Now, it's performance time! The students will perform for each other, unless you are doing one play as a class. It is a great idea to video record the performance and allow them to watch it back later on. You may also invite parents to come and watch the performance(s). Some parents are unable to come during the day because they are working, so you can also allow each student to take home the video for one night for their families to watch. This gives the students pride to show their work and accomplishments!
Once the students have reviewed their performance, give each student a self-examination survery to fill out. This is a great way for the students to think critically about their contribution to the team and performance. This should affect their grade in no way! Some possible questions to include are:
- What did you do well?
- What would you like to improve before your next performance?
- How do you feel you acted as a teammate?
- What part did you play?
- Explain your contribution to the team. What did you do to help the team succeed?
The students will enjoy creating a fractured fairy tale play for the classroom. Making learning fun is important to any successful classroom, and this fractured fairy tale unit has been no exception! The students have learned a lot about working together, speaking publicly, and examining themselves, as well as meeting many reading and writing curriculum goals! Now you can look at your students and confidently say, "That's a wrap!"