Searching for America, Volume Two: Forming a Nation (Digital Download)
Searching for America: How do you teach classic American literature and great moments in American history in a meaningful and impactful way? Searching for America takes some of America's greatest works of fiction and non-fiction and adapts them into Reader's Theater script-stories. Let your students live the excitement of classic texts like The Last of the Mohicans, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" plus historical events like the Salem Witch Trials and the Revolutionary War!
Each script-story in this collection is approximately 30-50 minutes and intended for use with students from 6th-12th grade. A 2-page teacher guide complete with background information, summary, recall questions, teachable terms, and discussion questions accompanies each script.
Volume Two: Forming a Nation Volume Two of Searching for America contains 11 script-stories which dramatize fiction and non-fiction selections:
- "The Salem Witch Trials"
- "The Devil and Tom Walker"
- "The Last of the Mohicans: Part I"
- "The Last of the Mohicans: Part II"
- "The Last of the Mohicans: Part III"
- "The Last of the Mohicans: Part IV"
- "The Adventures of Benjamin Franklin"
- "Paul Revere's Midnight Ride"
- "The Founding Fathers"
- "Rip Van Winkle"
- "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
Bonus Activity: Salem Witch Trial Card Game
Details: 181-page PDF download
For a DIGITAL CLASS SET version that breaks each individual script-story into its own file and gives teachers permission to use the files digitally, click here.
Samples: To view free materials that supplement this textbook as a well as a sample script-story "The Last of the Mohicans: Part I" click here.
Free Reading Guides: Free reading guides are also available for The Last of the Mohicans: Parts I-IV. Click here to find out more.
- The Last of the Mohicans It's time to rediscover America's first literary success: The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper. With the creation of Natty Bumppo/Hawkeye, the world-weary woodsman, Cooper created a new literary archetype: the rugged frontiersman. The novel addresses complex themes like the disappearance of the native way of life, racism, and cultural blending. My own students have responded positively to the story. One student commented, "The Last of the Mohicans appealed to me because I love action books that have a hint of history in them." Another student said, "My favorite thing we read this year was The Last of the Mohicans because it was like a survival story. It had a great setting and a great storyline" A third student said, "Girls were given a voice in The Last of the Mohicans. This story was a picture of two different cultures put together."
The Adventures of Benjamin Franklin Almost from the time of its publication Franklin's life-story has been required reading for school children. This script-story dramatizes Franklin's early life and emphasizes the freedom of the press. Many students will relate to Franklin's struggles against his older brother and his desire to assert his independence. The script draws a parallel between Franklin's journey to freedom and the journey that his beloved country would soon take.
- Paul Revere's Midnight Ride This script-story dramatizes the events in Boston leading up to the first battles of the American Revolution. Told through the viewpoint of Paul Revere, a young man who joins the struggle for American freedom, this action-packed story will bring American history to life for your students. Other important players are emphasized as well: John Adams, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Crispus Attucks, the first man to die in the cause of American freedom. Sons of Liberty meetings, the Boston Massacre, and the Boston Tea Party feature in the script, whose climax is Revere's famous midnight ride.
- The Founding Fathers Need a humorous way to teach your students about the men and women who helped create America? This script-story pits the Founding Fathers against one another in a humorous back-and-forth. In spite of the script's humorous tone, all of the information presented is educational and accurate. The cast list includes Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, George Washington, Abigail Adams, and James Madison. These commentators discuss the Revolutionary War, Washington's winter at Valley Forge, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the issues of freeing the slaves and women's rights, and the ratifying of the Constitution.