Folktales On Stage

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Overview

"Folktales on Stage" is a collection of reader's theater scripts for young readers, adapted by award-winning children's author Aaron Shepard from his own folktale retellings. A wide variety of countries and cultures is represented, including Native America, Africa, the Middle East, Russia, Southeast Asia, and China. The scripts may be freely copied for educational, noncommercial purposes. While aiming mostly at ages 8 to 15, the collection features a full range of reading levels.

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Overview

"Folktales on Stage" is a collection of reader's theater scripts for young readers, adapted by award-winning children's author Aaron Shepard from his own folktale retellings. A wide variety of countries and cultures is represented, including Native America, Africa, the Middle East, Russia, Southeast Asia, and China. The scripts may be freely copied for educational, noncommercial purposes. While aiming mostly at ages 8 to 15, the collection features a full range of reading levels.

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Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of numerous children's books and magazine stories, as well as three books on reader's theater, "Stories on Stage," "Folktales on Stage," and "Readers on Stage." He spent five years as a professional actor in reader's theater, performing in schools and conducting workshops for teachers, librarians, and students. He now hosts Aaron Shepard's RT Page, the Web's most popular reader's theater destination, with visits by thousands of teachers and librarians each week.

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CONTENTS

"The Adventures of Mouse Deer" (Indonesia, Malaysia)

"The Calabash Kids" (Tanzania)

"The Hidden One" (Native America)

"The Boy Who Wanted the Willies" (Europe)

"The Princess Mouse" (Finland)

"The Legend of Slappy Hooper" (U.S.)

"The Gifts of Wali Dad" (India, Pakistan)

"The Baker's Dozen" (U.S.)

"Master Maid" (Norway)

"The Magic Brocade" (China)

"Forty Fortunes" (Iran)

"Master Man" (Nigeria)

"Savitri" (India)

"The Enchanted Storks" (Iraq)

"The Crystal Heart" (Vietnam)

"The Sea King's Daughter" (Russia)

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"Aaron Shepard is a national treasure. He has given thousands of us busy teachers and librarians a gold mine of ready-made plays our students clamor to perform over and over. Aaron's new collection never fails to delight and enthrall. While the experts argue about the 'right' way to teach reading, Aaron is in the middle of the action, inspiring our kids to read aloud with fluency, comprehension, expression, and best of all, joy." -- Judy Freeman, Author, "More Books Kids Will Sit Still For"

"Aaron Shepard has done it! 'Folktales on Stage' is a complete package of easy-to-perform, dynamic reader's theater scripts. Pack your passport and take a trip around the world. You and your actors will have a world of fun." -- Dr. Caroline Feller Bauer, Author, "Presenting Reader's Theater" and "New Handbook for Storytellers"

"What a gift for the classroom teacher! Pure reading pleasure and not a single script that can't be used with small groups or an entire class. Performance reading builds fluency, but Aaron Shepard's gift for storytelling will also build appreciation. This collection will be a rich addition to reading programs in our balanced literacy classrooms." -- Susan Finney, Author, "Independent Reading Activities That Keep Kids Learning While You Teach Small Groups"

"What a great resource! These easy-to-use scripts are just the thing for the social studies or language arts curriculum. With thorough directions, even those who have never tried reader's theater will find it very easy to move the scripts from book to stage. The author is a skilled advocate of reader's theater and has shared that expertise so that everyone can include this form of dramatic reading in their instructional programs." -- Peggy Sharp, Children's Literature Consultant

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What People Are Saying

Judy Freeman
Aaron Shepard is a national treasure. He has given thousands of us busy teachers and librarians a gold mine of ready-made plays our students clamor to perform over and over. Aaron's new collection never fails to delight and enthrall. While the experts argue about the "right" way to teach reading, Aaron is in the middle of the action, inspiring our kids to read aloud with fluency, comprehension, expression, and best of all, joy.
— (Author, More Books Kids Will Sit Still For)
Dr. Caroline Feller Bauer
Aaron Shepard has done it! Folktales on Stage is a complete package of easy-to-perform, dynamic reader's theater scripts. Pack your passport and take a trip around the world. You and your actors will have a world of fun.
—(Author, Presenting Reader's Theater and New Handbook for Storytellers)
Dr. Judy Sierra
The work of a master of the craft. Based on authentic folktales, and ranging from side-splittingly funny to magical and enchanting, these dramatic pieces will be enjoyed by young readers, and by audiences of all ages.
—(Folklorist and Author, Multicultural Folktales and Nursery Tales Around the World)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780938497202
  • Publisher: Shepard Publications
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 717,106
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Folktales on Stage is a collection of reader's theater scripts for young readers, adapted from my own folktale retellings. Most of the adapted stories are ones I first published as picture books or in magazines like Cricket or Australia's School Magazine. Most of the scripts themselves were first posted on my Web site in the area called Aaron Shepard's RT Page-now the Web's most popular reader's theater destination, with visits by thousands of teachers and librarians each week.
The scripts may be freely copied, shared, and performed for any educational, noncommercial purpose, except they may not be posted online without permission. Feel free to edit the scripts to serve the needs of your own readers.
A full range of reading levels is included, with the collection aimed mostly at ages 8 to 15. Recommended reading age more or less progresses through the book, from younger to older.
A primary aim of reader's theater is to promote reading. To further this, it's good to have on hand one or more copies of the book or magazine story that the script is based on.
Above all, have fun with the scripts. Let your readers discover that reading is a treat.

ABOUT THE SCRIPTS
In the "long" table of contents, and at the beginning of each script, you'll find notation on genre, culture of origin or setting, theme, number of readers, suggested reader ages, and approximate reading time, as well as a brief description of the story.
Also at the beginning of each script is a list of roles. A reader, of course, can be assigned more than one role, as long as only one role is "onstage" at a time. When a script is short on female characters, it's common to cast females in male roles.
Roles listed in parentheses are unscripted, with no assigned speech, and usually optional. These roles can be given to surplus readers if your directing style includes stage movement or if you choose to add speeches or sounds for these readers. In the reader count, unscripted roles are indicated by the phrase "or more."
These scripts are designed to be photocopied for direct use by readers. (That's why all the page numbers in the scripts are at top right!) For performing, some kind of binder will be helpful.

ABOUT STAGING
Of course, an actual stage is not required for reader's theater.  Stage here refers simply to your performance area, which could be the front of a classroom, or an open space in a one-room library, or one end of a school gym or cafeteria. (Or a script could be used as a group reading exercise, with no performance area at all.)
It's best that you first read the script-or its source story-to the young people. Some scripts may be challenging, and effective modeling will lead to greater benefit and enjoyment.
The readers can underline or highlight their own parts in their copies of the script, marking only words to be spoken. (Yellow non-fluorescent marker works well.) Any unfamiliar words should be looked up and checked for pronunciation and meaning. Added stage directions can go in the script margins-preferably in pencil, to allow corrections.
Your readers might also prepare an introduction to the story, for use in performance. While an introduction should always mention the title and the author, it could also discuss source, author background, cultural background, theme, or context within a longer work. But it shouldn't give away the plot! Notes at the beginning of some scripts will provide starting points. Introductions are most effective when spoken informally, rather than read or memorized exactly.
With many of the scripts, you can produce a lively stereo effect by dividing your narrators between the two ends of your stage. For instance, with four narrators, place Narrators 1 and 2 at far left, and 3 and 4 at far right, as seen from the audience. To preserve this effect with fewer readers, assign the roles of Narrators 1 and 2 to one reader, and 3 and 4 to another.
In some scripts, particular narrators may relate mostly to particular characters. Notes at the start of those scripts will suggest positioning the characters near the corresponding narrators.
There are many styles of reader's theater. In the most traditional style:
· Readers are arranged in a row or a semicircle, standing up or sitting on high stools. Typically, narrators are placed at one or both ends, and major characters in the center.
· Scripts can be held in hand or set on music stands.
· Readers look straight out toward the audience or at an angle, rather than at each other.
· Characters "exit" by turning their backs to the audience.
(Narrators don't normally exit.)
· "Scene changes"-jumps in time or place-can be shown by a group "freeze," followed by some kind of collective shift.

Chamber Readers, the group with which I trained and performed for five years, employs a style quite different, designed to appeal to young audiences. (For more details, see my book Readers on Stage.)
· Characters portray the action described in the story. Where possible, the portrayal is literal, with characters moving around the stage much as in a play. Where necessary, it's suggestive, as with simple mime devices like walking in place.
· Though narrators look mostly at the audience, characters look mostly at each other.
· Scripts in sturdy binders are held in one hand, leaving the other hand free for acting.
· A set of low stools and perhaps one or more high stools serve as versatile stage scenery or props.
· "Exits" and "scene changes" are handled much as in traditional reader's theater.

These scripts should lend themselves to either approach, or to any other you might choose. Feel free to create your own! There are rules in reader's theater, but luckily there is no one to enforce them.

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Table of Contents

The Adventures of Mouse Deer (Indonesia, Malaysia)
The Calabash Kids (Tanzania)
The Hidden One (Native America) The Boy Who Wanted the Willies (Europe)
The Princess Mouse (Finland)
The Legend of Slappy Hooper (U.S.)
The Gifts of Wali Dad (India, Pakistan)
The Baker's Dozen (U.S.)
Master Maid (Norway)
The Magic Brocade (China)
Forty Fortunes (Iran)
Master Man (Nigeria)
Savitri (India)
The Enchanted Storks (Iraq)
The Crystal Heart (Vietnam)
The Sea King's Daughter (Russia)
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2005

    Invaluable Resource!

    Folktales on Stage has been an invaluable resource in our school! The children have become fascinated with tales from around the world. They are even reading new tales! Thank you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2005

    Totally awesome!!!!!!!!!!

    Folktales on stage has taken my students into a magical journey through folktales! Aaron's selection of stories is fantastic. They are loved by children and adults. Thanks!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2008

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