Important Events in American History

February is Black History Month. While I encourage you to acknowledge it with some dedicated activities, I’m also reminded that black history is American history; it need not be limited to a single month! The end of the Civil War, Jackie Robinson’s breaking of baseball’s color barrier, and MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech certainly rank among some of the most significant moments in American history. With that in mind, here are twelve great reader’s theater scripts with which to recognize those great moments while meeting numerous Language Arts standards. All the plays can be paired with a printed text, such as “The Ruby Bridges Story” with her autobiography, Through My Eyes.  Each pairing represents distinctly unique points of view (Literature CCSS #6), making for livelier discussions and quality comparisons (CCSS Lit #7). And because these plays are based on real events, they’ll also satisfy CCSS Informational Text #6. Each play includes a comprehension activity, too, assuring your students will satisfy numerous other standards as well. And because almost all my plays were originally commission by and published in Scholastic’s Storyworks and Scope magazines, they’ve been professionally vetted, making them the best reader’s theater on the market. Visit for detailed pairings, or click on the title to preview or purchase on my TeachersPayTeachers storefront. Happy directing!

The Ruby Bridges Story

Box Brown’s Freedom Crate: His True Story of Escape

The Library Card: Richard Wright’s Journey to the Promised Land

How Jackie Saved the World: Jackie Robinson’s Breaking of the Color Barrier

Freedom for the First Time: The Day of Jubilee and the End of the Civil War

We Shall Overcome: The Birmingham Children’s Crusade

I Have a Dream: The Childhood of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Gonna Let it Shine: The Selma to Montgomery March

MLK’s March on Washington

Sitting Down for Dr. King: The Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-Ins

In the Jailhouse with Dr. King: The Montgomery Bus Boycott

The Girl Who Got Arrested: The Claudette Colvin Story


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