Halloween Plays

The Tell-Tale Heart

tell tale scope 700x966Clever formatting and careful structuring make Edgar Allan Poe’s 1843 masterpiece of terror and suspense perfect for the classroom. This is the story of a man who’s lost his mind. When he imagines he hears the thumping of the old man’s heart under the floorboards, his terrible crime is uncovered. While working on this play, consider reading aloud Poe’s most famous work, The Raven. It requires a strong lead, but includes parts for eight additional performers. Originally published in the Oct. 2008 issue of Storyworks (and later reprinted in Scholastic News and Scope), this play is geared towards grades 4 through 8. It’s currently available in Read Aloud Plays: Classic Short Stories.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

sleepy hollow cover scope 700x928The Headless Horseman conjures up images of ghosts and zombies–always engaging topics for young students. But Sleepy Hollow is more than just a ghost story. Set during the post-Revolutionary War period, it’s the story of schoolmaster Ichabod Crane, one of the most interesting characters in American literature. Students will enjoy theorizing about the truth behind the Horseman. Did Irving intend for readers to believe the legend? Or are their other explanations for Ichabod’s disappearance? This play hearkens back to the days of Old English and the Jolly Roger, so encourage your kids to try out their best pirate accent! This play appeared originally in the Nov/Dec. issue of Storyworks and was later reprinted in the December 2010 issue of Scope. It includes parts for ten to fourteen students depending on your casting needs.

The Monkey’s Paw

monkeys-paw-cover-nb2-700x921What would you do with three wishes? Readers of The Monkey’s Paw learn that those who meddle with fate do so at their own peril! This adaption of W.W. Jacobs”s gothic masterpiece is perfect for fourth through eighth graders. Originally published in the April 2012 issue of Scholastic’s Scope magazine, use it as fluency-building reader’s theater or as as a full classroom production or podcast. Meet the CCSs by using by using it to introduce the original text, or simply perform it for Halloween! This twenty-minute play includes nine pages, parts for up to eleven students, and comprehension activities. Just click on the cover to preview or purchase at TeachersPayTeachers.

The Birthmark

birthmark-cover-nb-700x910Build fluency and meet Common Core Standards with this adaption of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic tale, The Birthmark. Georgiana’s beauty is nearly perfect. When the noted scientist, Professor Aylmer, takes her as his bride, he becomes obsessed with her one flaw–a small, hand-shaped birthmark on her face.  But Aylmer’s obsession soon turns to madness. Will Georgiana survive Aylmer’s quest to conquer nature? Originally published in the Jan. 2013 issue of Scholastic’s Scope magazine, this compelling classroom play is perfect for reader’s theater or stage performance and it comes with comprehension and vocab activities. It includes parts for seven actors (and a few non-speaking extras) and is appropriate for grades 4 – 8. Click on the cover to preview or purchase at TeachersPayTeachers, or see it performed by fifth graders on the “Podcasts” page.

Penelope Ann Poe’s Amazing Cell Phone

Click on the Buzzard to Preview or Purchase!“My students loved this reader’s theatre! What a great way to get them exploring fluency and expression.” — Sneek

“My seventh graders really enjoyed this script and had fun with the presentation. They could see the connection to the original Edgar Allan Poe story and had an excellent group discussion. Thanks!” — Amy M.

My most popular item! This play has frequently appeared on TeachersPayTeachers‘ best-seller list. It’s a fun, modernized version of Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart play. Produce both plays for an interesting compare and contrast activity. You can also include the original text and a mock trial activity for even more depth by clicking here.

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