FREE RESOURCES: Classroom Activities [ Page 6 ]
Student discussions, exercises, games before and after the play
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This page (Page #6) has creative activities for use in the classroom.  Kids love to learn more about the play’s origin and subject.  Check out these articles and activities related to ArtReach’s popular titles: Kid Frankenstein, Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Christmas Carol, Jungle Book, A Thousand Cranes, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Amelia Earhart, Sleepy Hollow, I Think I Can.  Don’t forget, a Teachers Guide will come with your School Play Package and contains tons of creative new ideas for your teaching lessons!

ArtReach's Kid Frankenstein Fun:  Great Ideas for Classroom and Homeschooling
Monstrous Summer Activities for Your Child to Enjoy

Indiana Humanities is recognizing the 200th birthday of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley with a statewide read and celebration of the book. In the book, Victor Frankenstein, a brilliant scientist, pushes the limits of science to create a living being, but then he regrets his actions. The book brings to mind questions like: What's right and wrong? How do we understand ourselves in relation to the world around us? How far is too far? What responsibility do we have for our actions and the things we create?

Though the classic book is written for an older audience, its themes translate to a wide variety of ages-even young ones-and deal with many questions that we're still asking today. Here are a few ways you can use Frankenstein to have important conversations with your child, engage with the humanities and have a little fun too!

"Read the book, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein."
Kid Frankenstein Performance
Performance of ArtReach's Kid Frankenstein - Pearl Theatre, Houston, TX

Read a young reader's or spinoff version of the book with your child.  There are lots to choose from for various ages:

Frankenstein: A BabyLit Anatomy Primer by Jennifer Adams for babies and toddlers

Crankenstein by Samantha Berger for ages 3-6

If You're a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca and Ed Emberley for ages 3-6 years

Frankie Stein by Lola M. Schaefer for grades 1 through 3

Lunch Walks Among Us (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist) by Jim Benton for grades 2 through 5

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex for grades 2 through 5

After you've read the book, have a conversation with your child by asking them to identify any monsters in the book. Why is he or she considered a monster? Do those reasons mean he or she should be treated any differently?

"Frankenstein is full of ways to engage younger audiences."
A great way to learn about Mary Shelley's Classic Frankenstein Fun for Kids
Kid Performance of ArtReach's Kid Frankenstein - Pearl Theatre, Houston, TX

Create a creature!

Victor Frankenstein's creature probably came to life with electric circuitry. Kids can experiment with circuits in a variety of ways:

Create circuits with kids using salt dough, LEDs and batteries.

Try creating a circuit on paper using copper tape, LEDs and coin batteries. Children can decorate their paper circuits to look like monsters.

Using super strong magnets, a battery and a copper wire, children can make a tiny train by attaching the magnet to each side of the battery and coiling the wire into a long tunnel for the "train" to travel through.

Have a monster mash!

Make monster masks with your child using a paper plate, crayons and other materials. Then have them dance with you to "Monster Mash" by Bobby Pickett or sing "If You're a Monster and You Know It." Other monster songs include "The Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley, "Monster Boogie" by Laurie Berkner Band and "Calling All the Monsters" by China Anne McClain.

"Have them dance with you to Monster Mash."
Kids act crazy for Kid Frankenstein Play!
ArtReach's Kid Frankenstein - Let Your Light Shine Youth Theatre, Hallsville, MO

Be Dr. Frankenstein and make a scribble bot!

Consider whether, like Victor Frankenstein, the inventor of a creation is responsible for the actions of that creation.

This craft uses a few supplies to make a little robot that draws entirely on its own. The question then asks: Are its scribbles "art"? If so, who is the artist-you or the bot? Is the bot alive, or does it just seem to be? What can you change to make your scribble bot move differently?

Things you'll need:  A 6" length cut of a pool noodle, 3-4 Thin markers, 2 Rubber bands, Craft materials for decoration (such as googly eyes, foam stickers, chenille stems and feathers), Battery-operated electric toothbrush, Spare AA batteries, Safety scissors, Tape, Paper, Trays to hold the paper and contain the bot while it scribbles, Activity booklet, Sign holder and table sign.

How to make it:  Build the body. Use rubber bands to attach three or four markers to the pool noodle. These will be your creature's legs.  The drawing tips of the markers should point down and extend past the bottom of the tube. Now make your creature unique. Decorate it and give it special features.  Share!

"The book's themes translate to a wide variety of ages."
Kid Becomes Frankenstein's Monster Large Cast of Frankenstein
ArtReach's Kid Frankenstein - Mesilla Valley Children's Theatre, Las Cruces NM

Though it may seem like a book for older children or grownups, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is full of ways to engage younger audiences. Create anything cool? Be sure to share your Franken-fun on social media by tagging @INHumanities and using the hashtag #itsalive! Most of these activities are drawn from the Frankenstein200 kit created by Arizona State University and the National Informal Science Educators Network. The kit is free for download at You can also find more adult-friendly Frankenstein content on our website.


This post was written by Bronwen Carlisle, executive assistant and program associate at Indiana Humanities, which connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk. As a convener, leader and partner, Indiana Humanities promotes the public humanities and engages Indiana's community of minds to create stronger, more vibrant communities. Learn more at

Classroom Activities for ArtReach's "Alice in Wonderland"
Dreamy Ideas for bringing ArtReach's Play to Life for Your Students

Tell students that they will be reading Alice in Wonderland, one of the most famous children's stories ever written. Explain that the story has been retold in many versions over the years. They will be reading the original version, first published in 1865.

Tell students that Alice in Wonderland was written by Lewis Carroll for a real girl named Alice Liddell. Carroll was a friend of Alice's family and would often make up stories to tell the three Liddell daughters. One summer day, after a riverside picnic, the girls begged him to tell them a story. He began by sending Alice down a rabbit hole, having no idea of what would happen to her next. Carroll made up Alice's adventures in Wonderland as he went along; several years later he wrote down the story from memory for publication.

"Discuss why the place Alice visits is called Wonderland."
ArtReach's Alice in Wonderland The Queen of Hearts Alice in Wonderland
ArtReach's Alice in Wonderland - PS 295 Studio School of Arts & Culture, Brooklyn NY

Ask students to define fantasy and discuss the characteristics of this genre. Explain that Alice in Wonderland is a classic example of a kind of story called fantasy. If the students are unable to provide the characteristics, then list the following three elements of fantasy on the board and discuss them:

The setting may be a strange or unusual place.  

Some of the characters may not look or act like real people or animals.

Things happen that could not happen in the real world.

Choose the activity that is best suited for your class.

Ask each student to make a "Dream Book."
Great parts for lots of kids Alice in Wonderland Fantasy fun for Alice in Wonderland Kids love Artreach's Alice in Wonderland play
ArtReach's Alice in Wonderland - PS 295 Studio School of Arts & Culture, Brooklyn NY

OPTION 1:  Explore the genre of fantasy by drawing on students' prior knowledge of literature. During a whole class discussion, make a list on the board of books students have read that are fantasies. Examples might include Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, The Wizard of Oz, or The Wind in the Willows.

Assign students to small groups, selecting a title for each group that is familiar to all of them. Ask each group the following questions about their title:

What was strange or unusual about the characters in the story?

What was strange or unusual about the setting of the story?

What events happened in the story that couldn't happen in real life?

Have the groups share their responses with the class and make comparisons about the fantasies they discussed.

OPTION 2:  Remind students that each of us enters our own fantasy world while we're asleep and when we daydream. Ask each student to make a "Dream Book," by folding and stapling together several pieces of paper.

Have students draw an illustration for the cover. Then ask them to record a dream, or part of a dream, they remember. They may also record daydreams they've had in which they've done things that they couldn't do in real life.

Distribute copies of Alice in Wonderland, and call students' attention to the cover illustration. Ask students what clue they can find in the illustration that the book is a fantasy. Have a volunteer identify the animal in the tree as the Cheshire Cat, and discuss how it is different from a real cat. Next have students study the title; ask them why they think the place Alice visits is called Wonderland.  (Thanks to Scholastic.)

ArtReach's Beauty and Beast: Fun Activities, Exercises

Before the Play:  Talk about theatre and what a play is.  What other plays have you seen?  Describe them to the class.  Why do you think certain parts of those plays are memorable to you?  What do you expect this play will be like?  What is the difference between seeing a play on television or movies and seeing actors perform it live?

Discuss you students the proper etiquette for audience members during a live performance.  Impress upon them that the actors they see are live people who care very much how you respond to the work they are doing.  Young audience members should learn the meaning of applause and laughter and that they should be polite to the people who are performing for them.

"Kids will participate by making sounds, wind, music, wolves."
ArtReach's Play of Beauty and the Beast Young Cast Members Beauty and the Beast
ArtReach's Beauty and the Beast - Theatre in the Park, Severna Park MD

Read the original story and the synopsis of the play that appear in this Teachers Guide.  How are the stories alike?  How are they different?  Talk about the practical consideration of putting on a play and why the actors might need to adjust the story in order to present it on stage.

The play takes place in France where they used to tell fairy tales. Look up France on the Internet and in books, locate it on the globe.  Talk about what we know about the country, history, music and the people.  What kinds of clothes do they wear and what did the wear in years past?  Remember your answers when you see the actors in their costumes.  Or if you are performing in the play use the pictures you find to help create your costume.

During the play, children will be asked to participate by helping make sounds, wind, music, wolves, etc..  Describe a storm, scary forest, angry mob or ferocious wolves and talk about how they sound and move.  Point out the actual events or other plays or movies you may have seen.  How does your play relate to events in "real life” or other "fantasies”?

Talk about clothes and what they say about your personality.  Name some of your favorite movie stars or musicians and how the clothes they wear shape the image we have of them.  What makes some clothes come into fashion why others go out of style.  Describe your favorite shoes, hat and coat.  What makes you like them?  How do you feel when you wear them?

After the Play:  Discuss in more detail the play you have just seen.  Who is your favorite character and why?  Talk about how the actors created the illusion of many things such as the castle, the forest, the marketplace and the invisible painting that Marcel sets up.  Talk about how you were asked to sue you imagination as opposed to movies and cartoons that show you a picture of everything.

"What is the meaning of this famous story?"
Beauty in the playscript for Kids Castle Servants in Beauty and the Beast play
ArtReach's Beauty and the Beast - Theatre in the Park, Severna Park MD

Talk about some of the characters you saw in the play such as the Villagers and Household Servants.  What did they do with their voices and bodies to convey their character to you?  Would you like to try your hand at acting?  Write down the names of characters such as Beast and Wolves.  Come up with crazy names as Huey Kazooie and show the class how Huey would act and talk.  Choose other characters, perform them and ask your classmates to guess who you are.

Charles Perrault wrote many play besides Beauty and the Beast.  What titles are you familiar with?  Can you recount these stories?  Which do you like best and why?

What do you think a magical Prince-turned-Beast would actually look like?  Draw a picture of the Beast showing how he thought he looked once like a Prince.  Draw a picture of the Prince before he turned into a Beast.

What is the meaning of this famous story?  When people say "his bark is worst than his bite” what do you think they mean?  The Prince embarrassed when he realized he had been tricked and turned into the Beast.   What might he have done to prevent this embarrassment?

"Would you have the courage to meet the Beast?"
Large Cast Script for Schools!  Beauty and the Beast! Children's Play for Large Casts of Kids!  Beauty and the Beast!
ArtReach’s Beauty and the Beast, Monkton Central School, VT

Classroom Activities:

CLASS STORY:  Read a version of the story as a class.  View an animated version and compare the two.  After seeing the show, compare all three genres.

BEING A HERO:  Ask the class what it means to be a hero.  Brainstorm a list of qualities that make a person seem like a hero.  In groups, pick the most important qualities and identify heroes today.  Share as a class. Discuss whether or not there is a hero in Beauty and the Beast.

JOURNAL ACTIVITY:  Have students imagine that they are in Beauty’s shoes.  In order to save their fathers, the students have to live with a terrifying beast. What would it feel like? Would the students have the courage to do it?

"YOU ARE A HERO!”:  Ask students to write about a time in their lives when they had to overcome something or helped someone.

FROM THE OUTSIDE IN:  Have students imagine that they could only show people their worst qualities.  No one would ever know the good qualities they had deep down inside.  What would that look like?  What would it feel like?  Have students draw what that person would look like, and write a story to go along with it.

FRACTURED AND FUNNY:  Have students write a fractured version of Beauty and the Beast. Explain that a fractured fairy tale is made to be humorous by changing the story in a surprising way; like changing a character or adding today’s language and events to the story.  Encourage the students to take creative risks.

NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T:  The element of magic is common in fairytales.  In Beauty and the Beast, things aren’t always what they seem.  Explore optical illusions.  Look at examples as a class.  View optical illusions as a class using the internet and books.

"How do you define beauty?"
Young cast of ArtReach's easy play Beauty and the Beast
ArtReach's Beauty and the Beast - Theatre in the Park, Severna Park MD

AROUND THE WORLD ONCE UPON A TIME: Research different fairy tales from around the world and different times.

HANDING INFORMATION DOWN GENERATION TO GENERATION: Gather students on the rug and have them sit in a circle.  Explain that fairytales were handed down through word of mouth.  Pretend that each student sitting in that circle is another generation.  Play a game of "telephone” (one person thinks of a sentence and whispers it in the person sitting next to him/her’s ear, and that person passes, and so on) to demonstrate how stories change.

RE-WRITE HISTORY:  Ask students to rewrite the ending of Beauty and the Beast.  What would the play version of this look like?  After rewriting the way the story turns out, have students design a scene from their versions (the castle, forest, etc&ldots;) using only their imaginations to guide them.

FINISH THE PICTURE:  Have students design what the costumes would look like.  Remind them that the story can take place anywhere and in any time period.

BEAUTY IS: Ask students to define beauty.  This can be done through words or pictures

ArtReach's 'A Christmas Carol' Classroom Activities
Classroom Discussions for ArtReach's A Christmas Carol

Read the original story ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens or the ArtReach School Play, adapted from the Dickens Classic.  What do you think is the "main theme” of the story? Consider other stories that the students are familiar with such as Cinderella, Snow White and the Wizard of Oz. What aspects of these stories are the same? Which are different?

1. What mistakes do you think Scrooge made in the story? When is he selfish? When is he kind and generous? What are his consequences and rewards for his actions?

2. Can students think of times when they’ve felt or acted like Scrooge? 

3. How does Scrooge change throughout the story? What is his "character development”? 

(Scrooge develops from a grumpy old miser to a happy, generous person. He is shown that life is short, and that it is a person's responsibility to look after others. He comes to realize that it is possible to be happy, and happiness has nothing to do with money.)

"Read and discover the Charles Dickens classic."
A Christmas Carol for Kids to Perform! Children's Christmas Musical for Schools and Churches!  A Christmas Carol!
A Christmas Carol, Paris Community Children's Theatre, Paris TX

4. What specific things does Scrooge do to show he is a bad person? To show he is a good person?

(Bad: mean to Cratchit; refuses to give to charity; doesn’t like Christmas; etc. Good: gives Cratchit a raise; gives money away; sends turkey to Cratchits; cheerful about Christmas; etc..)

5. What would be a good essay or discussion topic for the story (something about why so many people, especially children, love the story). 

(For one thing, the story is simple – the lesson is to be good to people, because that is the only way to be happy. Children can relate to the metaphorical characters: the grumpy old man, the poor clerk, the joyful nephew, the saint-like little boy. The story is stark and vivid. It is easy to understand but hard to forget.)

ArtReach's The Jungle Book Classroom Activities
Activities & Discussions for ArtReach’s The Jungle Book

"I LOVE your version of The Jungle Book.  I have looked at 5 different versions and yours is the best!  I love the fact that there is the focus on Community and that there is such flexibility as far as roles.  We have done the Disney Jungle Book but that doesn't have the heart that yours has."
Diana Guhin Wooley, LAMB Arts Ltd, Sioux City, IA

Kipling’s Characters: Take a look at the list of characters at the beginning of the script. Look at each name and consider the personality traits of each one. What words would you choose to describe Mowgli: Brave, strong, curious, impulsive, funny, adventurous? What kind of traits would you use to describe yourself? If you are brave, give an example of when your bravery was present.

"Have you ever encountered a wild animal?"
The Jungle Book for Kids to Perform! Shere Khan Tiger
Audience becomes the Man-Village helping Mowgli save the Jungle.

Create Your Own Jungle: Discuss the various things you might find in a jungle such as plants and nature: flowers, trees, vines, moss, rocks, creek. What kind of animals would you find there? Snakes, frogs, vultures, lions, elephants, butterflies, mosquitoes. Have students choose a jungle "thing”. Don’t tell each other what you have chosen. Now draw a circle on the floor and have a few students go into the circle and become their "thing”. Have others enter the jungle and try to guess what the "things” are. You can also do this activity without the guessing game. Have students enter the "jungle” and simply enjoy it.

Moral of the Story: Think of aphorisms such as "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. What aphorisms would you use to describe the message of The Jungle Book? A moral is: A lesson that is learned from a story or an experience. Think of stories that have morals at the end like Aesop’s Fables. What do you believe is the moral of The Jungle Book?

What if you were raised as an animal in the wild?
Kids perform the Jungle Book Classroom Activities - The Jungle Book
Crestwood Elem School, Crestwood KY

Magic Near Your Home: Have you ever encountered a wild animal where you least expected it? A deer in your backyard, a turtle crossing the road, an opossum in an alley, a snake slithering in your garden? Tell the class about your experience. Why is it so exciting to encounter wild animals in a human setting? Should we continue to have these encounters or should we work to have animals and humans live apart?

Raised by Wolves: What do you think it was like for Mowgli to have brother and sister who are wolves? What if you were raised as an animal in the wild? Consider if your family was made up of porcupines, lions, elephants or squirrels. What would you wear? What would you eat? What sound would you make when you are hungry or frightened?

"Turn your school or theatre into a jungle!"
Large Cast Play The Jungle Book for Schools
ArtReach's The Jungle Book - Kankakee Valley Theatre Association, Wheatfield IN

Water Awareness: Study the effects of water on human civilization and on the plants and animals of the world. Too much water can cause floods and drowning while too little water can cause drought with thirst and hunger as a result. Think about your day as a human and look back on your activities to remember how many times a day you needed water. How would you brush your teeth without water? How would you take your vitamin pills without water? What if you had to go for weeks or longer without a bath? Write a paragraph on what water means to you.

Pets as Wild Creatures: If you have a pet at home, it’s likely to be a cat or dog. Your cat may be a descendant of panthers like Bagheera. Your dog may be a descendant of a wolf like Akela. Imagine your pet in the forest alone. How would your pet handle an encounter with Shere Khan? How would you train your pet to live in the jungle?

Animal Awareness: Look around your classroom for depictions of animals everywhere. Look on each others’ clothing, on the illustrations on your shoes and backpacks. Outside of the classroom look for illustrations of animals on wallpaper, carpet, jewelry, sculptures and designs on architectural buildings. Humans have always used animals for design, art, function and pleasure. Keep your eyes open and always look for the animals that are all around us!

Study Animals in Preparation for ArtReach's The Jungle Book
Look closely - There are pictures of animals all around us

Animal Awareness:  Look around your classroom for depictions of animals everywhere.  Look on each others’ clothing, on the illustrations on your shoes and backpacks.  Outside of the classroom look for illustrations of animals on wallpaper, carpet, jewelry, sculptures and designs on architectural buildings.  Humans have always used animals for design, art, function and pleasure!  Keep your eyes open and always look for the animals that are all around us!

mule, man

bird (eagle)

bird (chicken)

bird (penguin)

The Best Activity Ever!  Go to the Zoo!  Early on in the rehearsal process, see if you can arrange to have the whole cast to take a trip to the nearest zoo.  Have all performers go to each of the animals that will be represented in play.  While there, in front of the animal, discuss the looks, walk and sounds that the animal makes.  Let everyone play around with imitations.  These tiny performances may be funny and silly.  Back at the rehearsal site, recreate these imitations and see how they effect the mood and personality of the character they will play.   Use what you have learned at the zoo to play your Jungle-Person!

"Pictures of animals are everywhere!"
Rakshaw, Mowgli's mother Facepainting for Costumes!
It’s all Happening at the Zoo-Who!

How to Fold Paper Cranes
Classroom Activity for ArtReach's A Thousand Cranes

See the following diagram or search the Internet for the many diagrams on "how to fold paper cranes".  If you want printed instructions, try those from Informed Democracy at:  PO Box 67 Santa Cruz CA 95063 USA, Phone USA 800-827-0949.

Time:  With only a little practice, each crane can be folded in less than three (or even two!) minutes. 

Helping hands:  Anyone from about 9 or 10 years old can master this quickly - and it's a great family activity!

Paper:  For really spectacular cranes, wonderful patterns and colors of "origami" (Japanese paper folding art) paper can be purchased from stationers or through specialist origami suppliers.   Colorful (but not always color-fast) medium sized craft squares from a discount stationer cost about $20 for a thousand. Also consider buying larger squares andhaving them cut down to size by a friendly printer, as this can reduce the cost to less than $8 per thousand. Just about any colorful paper can be used, so if your budget is very limited and/or if you want to "do your part" for recycling, offcuts of wrapping paper or even high quality advertising brochures will generally take a good sharp fold and will look great.The size of square you should use depends on what you intend to do with your cranes:

If you will be sending your cranes overseas, the need for economical transport suggests use of squares from about 3½ to 5 inches.  If you are displaying flocks of cranes and not transporting them, then larger squares will make cranes with a greater visual impact. Try various sizes and see what you think! Hint: if you intend to transport your cranes, they will be more compact and less likely to be crushed in packing if you do not fold their wings down and do not spread or inflate their bodies out as some folding instructions suggest.

Folding Instructions
How to fold a paper crane

Presentation: You have many possibilities for arranging or presenting your cranes:  As individuals; Gathered in loops or rings; Flocking together in garlands; In mobiles; Glued onto boards to make pictures and spell out messages.

Hanging material: If you are making garlands of cranes, you can thread them on wool, cotton or fishing line, using a needle to pass it through the base of each crane and out the pointed top of the back.  Secure both the base and the uppermost crane with part of a match,  toothpick, bead or similar.  Knot a loop in the top of each strand so that they hang to the same length.

Adding messages: Consider attaching a message to your garland, ring or mobile of cranes or to each individual crane. You can:  Write concealed messages or wishes on the blank or white side of the paper before a crane is folded, and/or Write a message on the wings of a folded crane, and/or Write a message on a strip of colorful paper attached to a garland, ring ormobile of cranes.

"Write a message on the wings of a folded crane."

ArtReach's A Thousand Cranes - Orkney Japan Association - Scotland

What do we do with the cranes once they are folded?: You can send your cranes to a Peace Park or Monument:  Office of the Mayor, City of Hiroshima, 6-34 Kokutaiji-Machi, 1 Chome Naka-ku, Hiroshima 730, Japan.  Some projects donate their cranes to brighten the lives of residents Some projects donate their cranes to brighten the lives of residents and patients in nursing homes or hospitals, especially those treating leukemia or cancer, thus developing a different sort of link to the Sadako story.

Children's Peace Monument - Hiroshima Japan
(From from:;  PCPA -  Pacific conservatory of Performing Arts - Study Guide for "A Thousand Cranes")

After Sadako died, her classmates said to each other, "Let's do something for Sadako." That they, her friends, were able to do nothing for her left a painful feeling in their hearts. Someone said, "Can we erect a gravestone for her? If it is nearby, we can visit it every day."

"Let no more children fall victim to an atomic bombing."
Sadako and A Thousand Cranes A Thousand Paper Cranes for Peace Sadako runs in ArtReach's Play
Gemini Collective, Adelaide, AU - Professional Production

Sadako's classmates take action. "What if we make a monument in Peace Memorial Park? Not just for Sadako, but for all the children who died from the atomic bomb." "Do we have what it takes to do something like that?" The students were worried. "But I really want to do something for Sadako." "I want to get rid of atomic bombs." These were the emotions that moved the group to action.

Correct Pronunciation of Japanese Names
Sadako Sasaki: Sah-dah-ko Sah-sah-kee (the "d" is almost like a "th") 

Kenj: Ken-gee 

Obaa Chan: Oh-Baah Chahn 

Obon: Oh-Bohn 

Hiroshima: He-ro-she-mah (the "r" is slightly trilled) 

Sake: Sah-kay 

Araki: A-rah-kee (the "r" is slightly trilled) 

Daisuke: Dice-kay 

Watanabe: Wah-tah-nah-bay 

Yaizu River: Yah-eez-oo

Children around Japan cooperate with the movement. Sadako's former Bamboo classmates began a movement to raise funds for a monument. Their call elicited a huge response that they had not anticipated. More than 3000 schools around Japan sent money and letters saying, "Please use this to help build the monument." In January 1957, it was officially decided to build the Children's Peace Monument in Peace Memorial Park. The statue was completed on Children's Day (5 May) in 1958, two years after Sadako Sasaki's death.

Though Sadako and the other children who had passed away would not return, the inscription carved into the stone in front of the monument at least carried the hope, "Let no more children fall victim to an atomic bombing."

Laura Ingalls Wilder: Voice of the Prairie
Study Guide by The Rep, Imaginary Theatre Company, St. Louis

Here are some excerpts from The Rep's Study Guide which is a component of a recent tour of Laura Ingalls Wilder: Voice of the Prairie to local schools.  You may access the entire Study Guide here:

"Study Guide by The Rep, Imaginary Theatre Company, St. Louis"Laura Ingalls Wilder Play for Young Audiences
ArtReach's Laura Ingalls Wilder - Tour photo, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Words to the Wise (Glossary)

Covered Wagon: A large covered wagon with an arched canvas top, used especially for prairie travel.

Scarlet Fever:  A disease occurring predominately among children and characterized by high fever.

Pioneer:  Someone who ventures into unclaimed or unknown territory to settle.

Dakota Territory:  A territory of the north central United States, organized in 1861 and divided into the states of North Dakota and South Dakota 1889.

Bushel:  A unit of dry measure equal to four pecks or 2,152.42 cubic inches.

Diphtheria:  A disease of the throat and other respiratory passages, causing difficulty breathing, high fever and weakness.

Manuscript:  A type written or handwritten version of a book, especially the author's own copy, prepared and submitted for publication in print.

Half-Pint:  Slang for a small person or animal, also Pa's nickname for Laura.

"Laura Ingalls Wilder is a strong willed girl, in the wilderness."
Professional St. Louis Production Story of Little House on the Prairie Author
ArtReach's Laura Ingalls Wilder - Rep St. Louis, Imaginary Theatre School Tour

Who's Who

Laura Ingalls Wilder is a strong willed girl, in the wilderness of the American Frontier.

Carolina Ingalls (Ma) is Laura's mother.  She is a brave woman who works hard to keep her family safe.

Charles Ingalls (Pa) is Laura's father.  He has a strong sense of adventure and longs to build a good life for his family.

Mary Ingalls is Laura's older sister.  She is a kind soul who becomes blind after suffering a stroke brought on by scarlet fever.

Almonzo Wilder (Manly) is a good young farmer who helps the Ingalls family after a hard winter.  He and Laura fall in love and are later married.

Rose Wilder is the daughter of Laura and Manly.  She has the same sense of adventure as her grandfather, which takes her on travels around the world.  Rose is a gifted writer who publishers many books of her own.

Alfred Knopf is a publisher who Rose convinces to publish her mother's manuscripts.

"Rose has the same sense of adventure as her grandfather."
One Act Play - Laura Ingalls Wilder: Voice of the Prairie The Little House on the Prairie author play for kids
ArtReach's Laura Ingalls Wilder - AD Players, Houston - The TallGrass Theatre Company, Gardner, KS

Read More About It

Want the learn more about Laura's life or read some of her works?  Check out these selections, available at your local library.

Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri in 1894, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, with a setting by Rose Wilder Lane

Pioneer Girl: The Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by William Anderson

The World of Little House, by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina Wyss Eriksson

Little Author in the Big Woods: A Biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Yona Zeldis McDonough, illustrated by Jennifer Thermes

The Barter Theatre Production of ArtReach's Amelia Earhart
Play by Kathryn Schultz Miller 
Study Guide prepared by Catherine Bush, Barter Playwright-in-Residence
*Especially for Grades 4-12, Barter ENCORE Players - March, 2017

"Stage II presentation of Amelia Earhart - what a great job!  The three actors kept you captivated for 45 minutes. Very nice overview of Amelia's journey."  Review of Amelia Earhart performance on TripAdvisor, 2017


1. In this play, Amelia Earhart is constantly compared with another groundbreaking American pilot, Charles Lindbergh&ldots;  Research the lives of Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindberg, then write a paper comparing and contrasting their childhoods, careers, politics, and place in American history.

2. What is an altimeter? A tachometer? How are they used in aviation? Why are they important? What other instruments are necessary for safe flight? How many of these instruments did Amelia Earhart have available for her use in 1937? Present your findings to the class.

3. At one point in her career, Amelia Earhart became fascinated with a new invention, the autogiro. What is an autogiro? How does it differ from an airplane? A helicopter? Present your findings to the class.

On Professional & High School stages across US!
Amelia Earhart on stage! Barter Theatre's professional production of ArtReach's Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart on tour, Barter Theatre, Abington, VA

4. There are several theories as to what happened to Amelia Earhart, some of which are suggested at the end of this play. What do you think happened to Amelia Earhart? Discuss.

5. Discuss the existence of gender inequalities in Earhart's time, and how these compare to those that exist in the world today. Earhart once said, "There are a great many boys who would be better off making pies, and a great many girls who would be better off as mechanics." Do you agree with this statement? Discuss the concept of gender roles and how this comment might have been received in 1935. Why was this a bold statement to make for the time? How would a statement like that be received today, at your school? Discuss.

6. A pacifist, Amelia Earhart believed that if there was to be a military draft, then women should be drafted alongside the men for combat service. Can women be drafted into military service in the United States? Do you think this is fair? Why or why not? Discuss. How does the United States policy about drafting women into military service compare with the country of Israel? Do you think the United States should draft anyone, regardless of gender? Discuss.

7. In regard to Amelia Earhart, a historian once remarked that "She was completely committed to the commercial property 'Amelia Earhart,' and was absolutely driven to make it a recognized name brand." What is a name brand? Cite some examples of more popular name brands. How to people turn themselves into name brands? Make a list of people who have managed to do exactly that.

Read Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Bio and Read Aloud Discussions

Bio:  Washington Irving was born April 3, 1783, in New York City. He was the youngest of a rich merchant's eleven children. In school he was an average student who enjoyed music, books, and art. Though he would practice law on Wall Street, work in his family's cutlery business, and even serve (later in life) as U.S. Minister to Spain, he loved books and writing. Much of his writing was influenced by his travels including excursions up the Hudson River and a two-year stay in southern Europe. While traveling, Irving filled notebooks with his impressions of people and he wrote satires based upon those notes. He published his first book, A History of New York, in 1809, under his pen name, "Diedrich Knickerbocker." Other famous books included The Sketch Book (1819, which included The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle), Tales of a Traveler (1824), and The Alhambra (1832). Irving also wrote biographies of Oliver Goldsmith, Mahomet, and George Washington. Irving never married, being happy to spend his time at home with his brother and five nieces. Washington Irving died on November 28, 1859 in Irvington, New York.

Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was the first American work of fiction that achieved acclaim in Europe. Set in New York State's Hudson Valley 20 years after the Revolutionary War, Sleepy Hollow depicts the peaceful, rural life of the early Dutch settlers in that area.

"Sleepy Hollow depicts the peaceful, life of early Dutch settlers."
Sleepy Hollow has Comedy Spooky Sleepy Hollow Play
ArtReach's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Jonesborough Repertory Theatre, TN

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a wonderful read aloud, filled with  marvelous descriptions and humor. Once you've read it, choose from these cross-curricular connections to extend the learning and the fun.

English:  The important characters of this story are described in lively language, with lots of detail. Katrina van Tassel, the girl whom both Ichabod and Brom are courting, is described only in terms of her appearance, with a passage later about her parents suggesting that she might be spoiled. Have students flesh out the character of Katrina in a character sketch.

Many people have made plays from this story - your class can do it, too! Write and stage the play for your school, or film it for your class website.

While this story is accessible to younger readers, the vocabulary can really be challenging. Collect words from the story in a pocket chart or on chart paper and see how many new ones you can learn while you're reading the story.

Social Studies:  Sleepy Hollow is a real place, and the character of the place is important to the story. Irving says that the people of Sleepy Hollow are inclined to see ghosts, and says of visitors to the area, " However wide awake they may have been before they entered that sleepy region, they are sure, in a little time, to inhale the witching influence of the air, and begin to grow imaginative, to dream dreams, and see apparitions." There is no Google Earth Tour online yet for this story, so here's your chance!

"The people of Sleepy Hollow are inclined to see ghosts."
ArtReach's Halloween Play for Kids Professional script for theatres Sleepy Hollow
ArtReach's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Jonesborough Repertory Theatre, TN

The Smithsonian: The Smithsonian has an intriguing lesson using "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" to explore contagion. With measles, Zika virus, and other contagious diseases in the news, students will get a new perspective.  (

The life of a teacher during Colonial times (and after, in many areas) was difficult. Ichabod Crane, like most teachers, earned very little and was given a place to live by parents of his students. Things were different for students, too - not least because of the use of corporal punishment, which is described in the story. Use a Venn diagram to compare school in Irving's day to your modern school.

"Sleepy Hollow had lots of local ghost stories."
Sleepy Hollow Play script The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Play poster
ArtReach's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Siena Heights University, Adrian MI 

Sleepy Hollow had lots of local ghost stories, the most exciting one being the story of the Headless Horseman. Have students research local ghost stories. If there are no local ghost stories where you live, discuss why that should be. Is Irving right in thinking that some places encourage superstitious attitudes? Is your town too new to have developed any ghost stories? This is a good opportunity for surveys and oral history projects.

I Think I Can: ArtReach's Small Cast Musical
Classroom Activities for School Performances

From Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Lisa Chase, Artistic Director • Erin Katzker, Educational Theatre Manager

Activities Pre-Performance:

1. I Think I Can is a story of how a young girl named Becky conquers her fears and learns to believe in herself. At the beginning of the play, Becky doesn't think she can do anything, because she doesn't realize she has great qualities that will help her accomplish anything she puts her mind to. Think about your great qualities. Describe yourself using the letters in your first name as the first letters in each of your great qualities. For example, Becky's List of Great Qualities might be: Brave, Enthusiastic, Caring, Kind, and Youthful.

2. In our story, Becky tries several new things that are hard for her at first. Think about a time you did something that was difficult for you. Draw three pictures of that situation: 1) the beginning, 2) the middle, and 3) the end of the story. Using your pictures as a guide, tell your classmates the story. Make sure you tell them where you were, what you were doing, and how it ended up!

I Think I Can: "Be Brave, Enthusiastic, Caring, Kind"
Becky is President of the World Schmuggles and Mugsy from ArtReach's Musical
Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, NY - I Think I Can, Musical for Kids


1. Becky spends most of the story trying to decide what she wants to be when she grows up. What is your dream job, and why? Draw a picture of yourself doing this job. Remember, just like Becky, it's okay if you don't know what you want to be yet! Just draw a picture of a job you might like to try one day!

2. Professor, Becky's house cat, also serves as her personal advisor, helping her with difficult homework assignments and giving her encouragement and confidence. Do you know anyone like Professor, who encourages you to always try your best? Write a letter to this person thanking them for their advice and encouragement. Include what you would say to this person if they needed you to help boost their confidence.

3. In our story, Becky is elected President of the World! What would you do if you were President of the World? Work with a classmate to create a world with you as the President. What is this world called? What holidays do people celebrate? What would kids learn in school? When would people go to bed? What would people eat? Present to your class about what a typical day would be like in your world. You can draw pictures, make a collage, write a story-whatever you want! Be creative!

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