Here are three ways you turn a Ranger Rick Adventure into a play. Just grab a few friends and an adult and try it!
1. Read it like a Play
Count and Mark: Count the number of characters in an Adventure story. Make a copy of the story for each character. On one copy, use a highlighting pen to mark all the words that one character says throughout the story. For example, on one copy mark all the words that Ranger Rick says. Then mark a copy for each of the other characters.
Also, mark the parts of the story in the magazine that the characters don’t read. Those parts can be read by a “Storyteller.”
Assign the Parts and Read: Give each character a copy with his or her part highlighted. When you read the story, try to sound as if the characters are really talking. Practice reading it a few times, until you can say your parts smoothly.
2. Easy Acting
Choose a Story: Let’s say you want to act out Ranger Rick’s Adventure on pages 4 to 8, but you don’t want to spend a lot of time getting ready. Begin by making copies of the story and marking them for each character (see “Read It Like a Play”). The roaches and rats won’t need a copy of the play – they can memorize their parts.
Costumes: Think of simple ones. For example, each actor could tape an animal’s ears to a headband and wear a paper tail. Sammy will need two tails. Decorate a bike helmet to look like the one found by Boomer. For two-headed Zelda, two kids can put an arm around each other and move together.
What’s Where? Find a place for Deep Green Wood, Shady Pond, and the cave. (You don’t need a stage.) Add a few things to make the play seem more real. For example, you could pile some litter in front of the cave area and put a bucket of water inside.
Actions: As you read through the play, figure out actions for the characters. Once you all know the story, act it out without reading it. Try to “become” the characters, acting and talking as they would. Add your own ideas and words to the story. Play-acting like this can be the most fun of all!
Play It for Friends: After reading and acting a play several times, your group might like to do it for other kids or your favorite adults.
3. Put On A Big Play
You’ll need a lot of help from an adult in order to turn an Adventure story into a stage play with different scenes. Ask a librarian for books that tell how to put on plays and makes scenery and costumes. And look at some other stage plays for kids. They’ll give you ideas on how to write your own play. Use your imagination. Make the costumes and scenery out of recycled things instead of spending a lot of money on them.
It’s a big job to write a stage play, make the scenery and costumes, learn the parts, and perform for an audience. But it can be very exciting – and it’s a good way to tell an important message to lots of people.