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Category: theatre
  1. How did you get started writing plays?
  2. How do I get started using theatre in my classroom? And why should I?
  3. Hi :) I'm wondering about your book, Spotlight on Saints. Can you tell me how many readers each story is designed for? Also, for what reading level are these stories? Also, how much factual information about each saint is incorporated into the stories? Thanks!



  1. How did you get started writing plays?
    Theatre was a big deal in my high school. (Almost - ALMOST! - as big as sports!) I was involved in theatre classes and various productions, and I really enjoyed them. When I became a teacher, I used theatre in my special ed classroom. After I'd been writing for kids a while, the thought struck me that kids' stories are carried a lot by dialogue. Hey! I thought. They're like plays! Maybe I should try to write plays! I had written one play in high school for our literature unit on mythology, but my lack of any real experience as a playwright didn't stop me! Since that historic day, my plays have been printed in magazines, and I've had several books of plays published.
    Category: theatre
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  2. How do I get started using theatre in my classroom? And why should I?
    Let's start with the second question. Theatre is an amazing, educational, self-esteemy, and fun activity. For more details about why this is true, read my article "Ten Reasons Why Using Theatre in Your Classroom Isn't as Nuts as You Think" under the "Theatre For Teachers" tab. Now to your first question: To get started in theatre, try using readers theatre. It really does make things easier! To learn more about readers theatre, check out my article "Readers Theatre - The Shortcut to Dramatic Success," also under the "Theatre For Teachers" tab. If even that seems like a bit much for you right now, do some short, simple activities like playing charades or acting out well-known stories. You might have your kids read part of a story, get up and act out what they think will happen next, and then finish the story to see how the author handled things. You can even use simple theatre activities in science and social studies. For example, kids could act out an historical event or a moment of scientific discovery. Use your imagination! You'll have fun and so will the kids. And most importantly, your students will learn!
    Category: theatre
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  3. Hi :) I'm wondering about your book, Spotlight on Saints. Can you tell me how many readers each story is designed for? Also, for what reading level are these stories? Also, how much factual information about each saint is incorporated into the stories? Thanks!
    Thanks for your interest in Spotlight on Saints! The book is a collection of plays for 4th-8th graders. Each play has at least 8 parts. The largest cast is 14. Most fall somewhere in-between. If you have smaller groups, you could do what I did when I was a special ed. teacher -- give kids more than one part. Each play is about a contemporary kid with a problem who learns about a saint and gets inspired to do the right thing in his/her life. So the saint information is worked in at the appropriate time, not carried throughout the play. As an example of how much readers might learn about a saint, the play about Saint John Bosco includes this information: priest in Italy in the 1800s, good leader, helped poor boys who lived in the streets and taught them about Jesus, could do stunts like juggling, led with kindness instead of harsh discipline, encouraged kids to do something with their lives. There is also a short reproducible biography of each saint included in the introductory material of each play. If you have any more questions, please let me know!
    Category: theatre
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