Early Literacy Workshops

These 30-minute workshops utilize children’s picture books to engage kindergarten and lower elementary students in drama-based activities such as imaginary play, song and dance, and role play. 

By being actively immersed in the telling of simple and well-loved stories, students develop and reinforce their understanding of fundamental language comprehension skills — speaking, listening, retelling, and more — as outlined in the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards and the National Core Arts Standards in Theatre.  Each story will be broken into two 15-minute chapters, ending with prompts meant to encourage creative thinking, problem solving, and making personal connections. 

During the 2020/21 School Year, Arts-Integrated Workshops are available through Broadway on Demand, either a la carte or through our School Membership Package.

To reserve your School Membership Package, or to learn more, contact the Theater in Education department at (414) 267-2978 or education@firststage.org


Explore our 2020/21 Early Literacy Workshops

The Little Engine that Could, by Watty Piper (November 1 release date)
With the support of friends, and a positive attitude, anything is possible!  Students will meet all sorts of different characters in the telling of this timeless story and act out Little Blue Engine’s journey to the other side of the mountain.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.3 With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.
  • TH:Cr2-K. a. With prompting and support, interact with peers and contribute to dramatic play or a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama).

Kitten’s First Full Moon, by Kevin Henkes
On a hot summer night, there is nothing Kitten wants more than a bowl of cold milk…and when she looks up into the night sky, she sees the biggest bowl of milk!  Students will join Kitten on her adventure throughout the neighborhood to catch that big bowl of milk, as she discovers some things aren’t what they appear to be.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.7 With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).
  • TH:Cr1.1.K. a. With prompting and support, invent and inhabit an imaginary elsewhere in dramatic play or a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama).

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
When the little Caterpillar pops out of his egg, he is very hungry!  Students will act out the story of Caterpillar, recalling the sequence of his tasty treats all the way to Caterpillar changing into a beautiful butterfly.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.2: With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.
  • TH:Pr4.1.K. a. With prompting and support, identify characters and setting in dramatic play or a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama).

Elephant and Piggie, by Mo Willems
Trying new things can be scary, but luckily for Gerald and Piggie, they have each other to rely on.  Students will discover how Piggie helps encourage her friend Gerald to try dancing for the first time, and how Gerald shows courage by taking a risk and trying something new.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.9: With prompting and support, compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories.
  • TH:Cn10.1.K. a. With prompting and support, identify similarities between characters and oneself in dramatic play or a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama)

Pete the Cat, by James Dean (November 1st release date)
Pete the Cat loves to boogie!  Students will learn the same new dance Pete is trying to master, and will discover that it is alright to make mistakes, try again, and come up with your own super cool dance moves.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.10: Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.
  • TH:Cr1.1.K. a. With prompting and support, invent and inhabit an imaginary elsewhere in dramatic play or a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama).

The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats (December 1st release date)
Peter wakes up to a winter wonderland and has the best snow day ever.  Students will share along in Peter’s perfect day, and explore what makes their perfect day – no matter the weather.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.9: With prompting and support, compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories.
  • TH:Cr2-K. b. With prompting and support, express original ideas in dramatic play or a guided drama experience (e.g., creative drama, process drama, story drama).

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff (December 1st release date)
The possibilities are endless when you give Mouse a cookie!  Mouse takes students on a wacky sequence of events that all stems from the simple act of giving him a cookie. 

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.7 With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).
  • TH:Pr4.1.K. a. With prompting and support, identify characters and setting in dramatic play or a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama).

Frog and Toad, by Arnold Lobel (November 1st release date)
Frog and Toad are the best of friends – they can’t imagine a day going by without being together.  Students will share in some of Frog and Toad’s adventures, and discover what makes these two such strong friends.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.3 Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
  • TH:Re7.1.1. a. Recall choices made in a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama).

The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf (November 1st release date)
Ferdinand is not like the other bulls…he does not like to fight and grunt, he likes to sit under his favorite tree and smell the flowers.  Students will share in Ferdinand’s story, and explore what makes each of us special and unique. 

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.2: Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
  • TH:Cr3.1.1. b. Identify similarities and differences in sounds and movements in a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama)

How I Became a Pirate, by Melinda Long 
Arrrrgh!  When Braid Beard’s pirates need a digger, they know they need Jeremy Jacob!  Students will learn all about what it takes to be a pirate, as they uncover the differences between the Pirate’s life and Jeremy’s.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.4 Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
  • TH:Re9.1.1. c. Compare and contrast the experiences of characters in a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama)

Grumpy Bird, by Jeremy Tankard (December1st release date)
Bird wakes up on the wrong side of the nest…looks like he’s walking today!  Students will embark on a sequence of events all meant to cheer up Bird, and help him positively manage his grumpy feelings.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.9 Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.
  • TH:Cr1.1.1. c. Identify ways in which gestures and movement may be used to create or retell a story in guided drama experiences (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama).

Caps for Sale, by Esphyr Slobodkina (November 1st release date)
“Caps for sale,” is what the Peddler calls out…but never does he think a tree full of monkeys will be his biggest customers.  In this silly tale of monkey see, monkey do, students will act out the story of Peddler and his new friends.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.4: Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
  • TH:Cr3.1.1. c. Collaborate to imagine multiple representations of a single object in a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama).

Enemy Pie, by Derek Munson (December 1st release date)
Jeremy Ross is the new kid in the neighborhood, and he is not welcomed!  Students will explore what it means to be a good friend, and discover that many times we have more in common with others than we originally think.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.1.2: Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
  • TH:Cr1.1.1. a. Propose potential choices characters could make in a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama).

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems (December 1st release date)
Pigeon wants nothing more in life than to drive the bus, and he will go to any lengths to get what he wants!  Students will learn the fine art of persuasion, as they help Pigeon convince the Bus Driver to let him get his way.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.7: Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.
  • TH:Cr3.1.2. a. Contribute to the adaptation of dialogue in a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama).

Super Creative Writing featuring The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors, by Drew Daywalt
You’ve played the game…but now discover the epic legend behind it all!  Students will embody these different characters, as they go into role to act out this heroic and larger-than-life tale of three warriors.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.6: Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.
  • TH:Re9.1.2.c. Describe how characters respond to challenges in a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama).

The Paperbag Princess, by Robert Munsch (December 1st release date)
Princesses are strong, they are clever, and they are leaders!  Students will share in this tale of Princess Elizabeth, as she embarks on a journey to save the Prince and her kingdom from the fire breathing dragon.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3: Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
  • TH:Cr3.1.2. c. Generate independently multiple representations of a single object in a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama.