Put Together a Play Based on Your Family’s Favorite Book

Engage your homeschoolers’ imaginations by putting together a play based on a book. The activity is a great way to explore literary concepts including characterization and setting, as well as human emotions and expression. Check out seven tips for composing your own theater production below!

1. Take a Field Trip
Especially if your children have never been to a live production, start by taking a trip to a play or musical. It really doesn’t matter whether it’s a big Broadway show or a local theater production. Just seeing actors on stage will give your kids an excellent introduction to theater.

2. Choose a Book
Consider household favorites, as well as stories your children are currently studying in language arts. The most important things to keep in mind are choosing a story everyone can enjoy and picking a selection that has enough roles for each member of your family.

3. Write the Script
Use the book as your guide for dialogue, being sure to include notes that set the scene for each section of the play. It’s not a bad idea to jot down ideas for scenery, props, costumes, and stage movement as you work. For ideas and examples, do a quick online search for sample play scripts.

4. Assign Roles
Try your best to give everyone in the family a part. If someone has a little too much stage fright to participate, consider giving them a non-speaking role or making them the director of the show. In the event that you need more actors than you have available in your family, invite friends, fellow co-op homeschoolers, and neighbors to participate.

5. Find Costumes, Props, and Scenery
Decide how ambitions you want to be with materials before heading to the store. Then, visit thrift stores and search for costumes, props, and scenery for your show.

6. Rehearse
Start by doing a few read-throughs of the play so characters have a chance to become familiar with their part. Then, devote time to work on memorization. Introducing stage movement and working on expression before lines are fully mastered can help with the memorization process. When all the lines are down, work on perfecting the scenes. Especially if you have young children with short attention spans, consider breaking up rehearsal time with some fun drama games for kids.

7. Perform
When your play is ready for an audience, invite family and friends to enjoy the show!

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