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Lesson Plan

Reader's Theater:
Asian Folktales

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Subjects

  • Arts & Humanities
    --Language Arts
    --Literature
    --Visual Arts
  • Social Studies
    --Geography
    --Regions/Cultures

Grade

  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12
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Brief Description

Transform Asian folktales into Reader's Theater scripts.

Objectives

Students will

  • work cooperatively in groups.
  • rewrite Asian folktales as Reader's Theater scripts.
  • perform the folktale scripts for their peers.

Keywords

script, Reader's Theater, Aaron Shepard, folktale, Asian-American, Asia

Materials Needed[shopmaterials]

  • Internet access (to print out folktales, links provided)
  • materials for building props, as needed

Lesson Plan

Aaron Shepard, creator of the Reader's Theater concept and author of many books -- including Folktales on Stage, presents many Asian folktales on his Web site. Each link below will take you to an Asian folktale that students can rewrite in Reader's Theater script form, and perform for their classmates. (If you work with younger students, you will need to do the scriptwriting.) Each tale link below also includes a list of characters and the appropriate grade levels.

Additional Activities:
-- Before students perform their folktale, have them show on a world map the country of the tale's origin.
-- Have students introduce in advance of their performance any new or unusual vocabulary words that might be encountered.
-- Folktales always seem to have a lesson at their heart. As each tale is performed, talk about the lessons learned from it.
-- These tales by Aaron Shepard also can be used as read-aloud tales. See another lesson, Build Listening Skills With Asian Folktales; this lesson includes 10 listening comprehension questions for five different Asian folktales.

Kings for Breakfast: A Hindu Legend
Grades K-8
Characters:

  • narrator
  • a gander
  • King Vikram
  • a goose
  • King Karna
  • a hermit

The Gifts of Wali Dad: A Tale of India and Pakistan
Grades PreK-8
Characters:

  • narrator
  • Wali Dad
  • a merchant
  • the queen of Khaistan
  • the king of Nekabad
  • the king's prime minister/servant #2
  • peri #1/servant #1 (a peri is a fairylike character)
  • peri #2/servant #3

Too-too-moo and the Giant: A Tale of Indonesia
Grades K-4
Characters:

  • narrator
  • a giant
  • a little girl, Too-too-moo
  • Mama

The Millionaire Miser: A Buddhist Legend
Grades K-8
Characters:

  • narrator
  • Sushil, the miser
  • Nirmala, Sushil's wife
  • Sakka, the King of Heaven
  • townspeople (at least two "actors" to speak in unison)
  • Rajah

The Four Puppets: A Tale of Burma
Grades 2-8
Characters:

  • narrator
  • puppet maker
  • Aung, the puppet maker's son
  • puppet #1, the king of the gods
  • puppet #2, the ogre
  • Mala, daughter of a caravan owner
  • puppet #3, the mystic sorcerer
  • puppet #4, the holy hermit
  • father of Mala

Four More Asian Folktales for Acting Out

Assessment

You might use the following Reader's Theater rubrics as resources for composing a rubric of your own:

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

FINE ARTS: Theatre
GRADES K - 4
NA-T.K-4.1 Script Writing by Planning and Recording Improvisations Based on Personal Experience and Heritage, Imagination, Literature, and History
NA-T.K-4.2 Acting By Assuming Roles and Interacting In Improvisations
NA-T.K-4.3 Designing by Visualizing and Arranging Environments for Classroom Dramatizations
NA-T.K-4.4 Directing By Planning Classroom Dramatizations
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-T.5-8.1 Script Writing by Planning and Recording Improvisations Based on Personal Experience and Heritage, Imagination, Literature, and History
NA-T.5-8.2 Acting By Assuming Roles and Interacting In Improvisations
NA-T.5-8.3 Designing by Visualizing and Arranging Environments for Classroom Dramatizations
NA-T.5-8.4 Directing By Planning Classroom Dramatizations
NA-T.5-8.5 Researching By Finding Information to Support Classroom Dramatizations
GRADES 9 - 12
NA-T.9-12.1 Script Writing by Planning and Recording Improvisations Based on Personal Experience and Heritage, Imagination, Literature, and History
NA-T.9-12.2 Acting By Assuming Roles and Interacting In Improvisations
NA-T.9-12.3 Designing by Visualizing and Arranging Environments for Classroom Dramatizations
NA-T.9-12.4 Directing By Planning Classroom Dramatizations
NA-T.9-12.5 Researching By Finding Information to Support Classroom Dramatizations

LANGUAGE ARTS: English
GRADES K - 12
NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.5 Communication Strategies
NL-ENG.K-12.6 Applying Knowledge
NL-ENG.K-12.8 Developing Research Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.9 Multicultural Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

SOCIAL SCIENCES: Geography
GRADES K - 12
NSS-G.K-12.1 The World in Spatial Terms

Click to return to this week's lesson planning article Celebrating Asian and Pacific-Island Heritage.

Find more great holiday and "special days" teaching resources in Education World's Holidays and Special Days Center.

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