Need your opinions on stories/plays for 8th graders

This topic can be found at:

28 July 2004, 07:26 PM
Need your opinions on stories/plays for 8th graders

I have been reading this board for a few days. I need any opinions.

I am a 6th-year, drama teacher. I was an English teacher for 17 years before taking this drama position.

It is simple. I miss the depth of thought and discussions that stem from students reading Ray's writings. Therefore, I have decided to find the plays and short stories that you all feel would be interesting to 8th graders to dramatize.

There are some obvious choices, I know--such as: The Veldt, All Summer in A Day, A Piece of Wood, Fahrenheit 451.

So, please let me know what you all think.

28 July 2004, 08:59 PM
Dandelion Wine!

29 July 2004, 12:17 AM
I would recommend some of the chapters from "Martian Chronicles." They lend themselves to great discussions.
29 July 2004, 01:37 AM
I'd try 'The Playground" (a great story about bullies/childhood as hell) and then do a story with a similar premise, but the opposite theme "Hail and Farewell" (In 'The Golden Apples of the Sun'), where a man condemned to be a child forever overcomes his alienation by being a son to childless families.

[This message has been edited by wtouponc (edited 07-29-2004).]
29 July 2004, 02:06 AM
Mr. Dark
I second the idea of taking some of the stories from "Martian Chronicles". "All summer in a day" might be fun to do, also.
29 July 2004, 12:08 PM
I would like to elaborate on my answer yesterday, because I have a bit more time today, as I'm stuck inside while my house is being painted. I have taught "Martian Chronicles" to seventh graders, and the chapters they most enjoyed and had great discussions on include "The Third Expedition," "And the Moon Be Still As Bright," "The Green Morning," "Night Meeting," "Way in the Middle of the Air"(but it must be handled with care due to the graphic language; then follow it up with "The Other Foot"), "Usher II" (but you need to do some prep work, introducing the various Poe stories alluded to, or the story will go right over their heads), "The Off Season," "The Silent Towns," and of course, "There Will Come Soft Rains." OK, I admit I just named almost the entire book, but it is a great novel! You can have some meaningful but fun discussions.
29 July 2004, 12:12 PM
Having been an eighth grader not too long ago, I always thought that these would be fun to re-enact:
The Dwarf
The Settlers
The Playground
Usher II
The Emissary
Teh Crowd
I Sing the Body Electric
The Man Upstairs
Zero Hour
Marionettes, Inc.
They may have fun with
These!!! Good Luck!!!

Lauren Murray
05 August 2004, 11:35 PM
Absolutely "The Martian Chronicles". Eighth grade was around the time that I read it as part of a class project and it made a profound impact on me.

Reading "Martian Chronicles" is a very defining moment for young readers. To me, it was a book/collection that seperated the "wheat from the chaff" in my class.
09 August 2004, 11:03 PM
Beirut Wedding
I did some work with 12 to fifteen year olds with THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES and it was a blast. It was a home for teen-age sexual offenders so a lot of what were trying to do was teach them life skills and help them find a way to explore their fantasy life in a safe environment. Because many of the boys were playing multiple roles I had the boys make masks which they wore when they were playing Martians. By far, "The Moon Be Still as Bright" engendered the most compelling discussion and the best performances but the entire piece was extremely successful. I highly recommend it as well. We only did like six stories from the play but we got romance and pathos with "Ylla", horror and suspense with "The Third Expedition", intense drama with "The Moon Be Still as Bright" and humor with the story about the guy who wants to open the first hot dog stand on Mars(I don't have the book here and the name of the story escapes me). We ran the gamut and it was a lot of fun.

[This message has been edited by Beirut Wedding (edited 08-09-2004).]
10 August 2004, 12:34 AM
A Flight of Ravens

It may be too much. And then maybe not. But it would give a sense of how people can change for the worse, and not know it.
10 August 2004, 05:05 AM
I think "A Flight of Ravens" might be confusing for a 12-year old, but am curious as to how they would react to "Let's play Poison". Apart from that I find it intensely sad that 12- to 15-year olds should be placed in a home for sexual offenders. Whatever did they do? Engage the girl (or boy) next door in sex play? It's healthy and perfectly natural!
10 August 2004, 11:32 AM
"Let's play poison" would fit this idea of yours of young sex play as being healthy.
You want me to sit you down and speak to you of the mental anguish of this sort of behaviour as you grow up? You wouldn't sit for 5 minutes. If you believe this as acceptable, then you are part of this very dark age mentality invading places like Belgium and so many others. Not that it hasn't been around for ever, but it seems to be tolerated by even places, like in Japan. A vast tragedy on the making.
10 August 2004, 11:56 AM
We're going full circle and moving back to those dark ages when any kind of sex was suspect per se. I'm not talking about outright abuse, which is of course despicable (but has perhaps been over-publicized). Severe restrictions in this area from an early age lead to malaise and finally psychopathology. But I wouldn't be surprised if we were talking different language.
10 August 2004, 02:44 PM
Gothic. You said enough! I don't need to know about you.
10 August 2004, 04:04 PM
Kaleidoscope is a great play that we performed when I was in middle school 30 years ago. It's easy to do because you don't need any props and it deals with big ideas like mortality and stuff.