Arthur's Theatre — Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Marc Brown's Arthur with an easy-to-produce Arthur play. After reading several stories, take a class vote to choose your favorite(s). Ask students to work in pairs on one or more scenes. Have them begin by recording all the dialogue included in the scene. Then, they can add actions and more dialogue as needed. Encourage them to use their creativity to re-imagine the story, with a new setting (such as a boat on the high seas or a spaceship on the moon) or new plot twists! Visit www.pbs.org/wgbh/arthur to find printable masks for Arthur, D.W., Francine, and the other characters to cut out and color. You will also find costume hints and playscript examples.
Problem Solving with Arthur — Many kids can identify with the kinds of problems Arthur faces. Take advantage of his dilemmas to teach children about the problem/solution pattern found in literature. Gather several Arthur books and, as you read each one aloud, work with children to record the title, problem, and solution for each story. You may also want to list each attempt Arthur makes to solve the problem before coming up with a workable solution. Look over the chart together and ask children to think about what they would have done in Arthur's place. Encourage them to look for problem/solution patterns in other books you read.
Best-Sellers Graph — My students are avid Arthur readers! Here's how we determine our class "best-sellers." First, we create a bar graph that lists all of the Arthur books found in our school and classroom libraries. Then, each child colors in one square on the graph for each book he or she has read. We analyze the graph to determine the "most widely read" book and discuss how this is different from our "most favorite" read. This activity introduces students to titles they may have missed. — Janet Worthington-Samo, Johnstown, PA
Arthur Over Time — My favorite "Arthur" activity is to create a timeline. We round up as many titles as possible and then I read each book aloud. Students listen carefully to details to determine "which book came before which." (We check the copyright date to be sure.) Then we create a timeline by reproducing the covers and writing synopses. — Charlotte Sassman, Fort Worth, TX
That's Character! — As a class, we make a list of character traits, such as honesty, tolerance, and being a good friend. Then I ask students to choose a favorite Arthur character and write a good paragraph describing him or her, including both physical characteristics and some of the character traits found on the list. Ask students to read their descriptions aloud and let classmates guess who it is! — Jacqueline Howes, Granby, CT