Recently I hit a major milestone—the one-hundredth time I presented the program Bringing Science to Life as part of a school visit. Wow!
This popular presentation serves a multi-grade audience and during the first 8 minutes, second graders perform a fun readers theater that I adapted from one of my books to an audience of K and 1 students.
Over the years, I have changed and updated many of my school visit programs, but this one seems to be evergreen. One reason is that every school brings its own creativity to the way they prepare for and perform the readers theater. In fact, just last week, I saw three very different versions.
At Hanlon School in Westwood, MA, students printed out photos of the animal they were portraying and taped their lines to the back.
At Hawley School in Newtown, CT, students held their scripts in one hand and stuffed animals of the creature they were portraying in the other hand.
And at Middle Gate School in Newtown, CT, the students made masks. Instead of standing in a line at the front of the room, each child walked across the room as they read their lines. I’d never seen staging like that before.
Through the years, I’ve seen everything from animal hats at Hathaway School in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. . .
. . . to animal posters at Pownal School in Pownal, Maine.
I’ve also seen all kinds of creative backdrops, including these fun Under the Snow posters made by students at McGovern School in Medway, MA . . .
. . . and these incredible painted scenes painted by the art teacher at Ellsworth School in Windsor, CT.
I’ve even seen what I like to think of the unplugged version, where students remained seated throughout the performance, at King Open School in Cambridge, MA.
With so much diversity, this program always seems fresh to me. So as long as students continue to love it, I’ll keep offering it.