The Mystery of the Missing Munchies
The students in this Reader's Theater Play have brought in delicious treats for a multicultural holiday celebration. But the treats have gone missing! Will the students find their food before the party begins?
- Mr. Kramer
- Bags with cookies (or pretend cookies)
- Other treat boxes and casserole dishes
- Two tables
- Bookshelf with books
- Area decorated for a party, including a table, plates, and forks
- Index cards printed with mystery clues
Mr. Kramer's classroom, mid-December.
Rachel: Hey, Maria, what are you bringing to the holiday party? I hear there are going to be some tasty munchies for our party.
Maria: [Looking into a brown paper bag and taking a sniff.] Rosquillas. They are my family's favorite. Every year at Christmas we make them.
Rachel: [Looking in the bag, too.] What are they?
Maria: They're cookies. The best cookies you've ever had!
Denny: [Holding out a covered casserole.] Look at this! My mom made bastela. It's from Africa, and it has almonds and custard.
Melody: [Showing a covered plate of cookies.] These are sand tarts. My dad says his grandmother ate them when she was a little girl in Sweden.
Rachel: [Showing her plate.] Well these are ruggelach, and my mom helped me make them. They have raisins on the inside. We eat them at Chanukah. Are they ever good!
Ray: [Holding a covered pie plate.] This is milk flan. It's a kind of pudding. The recipe comes from my grandparents in the Philippines.
Mr. Kramer: [Walking into the room and looking around.] Mmmm! Those treats smell delicious! We have to go to lunch now, but we'll all save room for our holiday munchies this afternoon.
[Everyone leaves his or her treats on a table in the room.]
The stage is divided into two parts. One part is Mr. Kramer's classroom, after lunch on the same day, where the children are. In the classroom are a globe, a table, a window, and a bookshelf. The other part of the stage is a room decorated for a party.
Ray: [Coming over to the table where the treats had been. The table is empty except for a folded piece of paper.] Oh no! Rachel! Denny! Maria! Melody! Come quick! They're GONE!
Rachel: What's gone?
Denny: Can't you see? The treats for our holiday party! They're gone! They've been stolen!
Melody: [Looking around.] No party? No cookies? No nothing? I'm going to cry.
Maria: That won't do any good. [She leans over and looks at the paper on the table.] Wait. What's this? [Maria reads the paper.] You won't believe this! Whoever took our treats left this note!
Denny: What does it say?
[The children crowd around Maria and the note.]
Maria: It says, "Where the land is green and the water shines blue, you'll find another mystery clue."
Ray: This is making me mad. I just want to eat.
Maria: You can eat as soon as we solve the riddle. Do you have any ideas?
[The children stand around thinking for a few seconds.]
Melody: I know! Could it be a book about the world? [She runs to the bookshelf and looks.] No treats here.
Rachel: Where the water shines blue? Hmmmmm.
Maria: Wait a minute! I know! The globe!
[All the children rush to the globe.]
Melody: I sure don't see any treats here.
Ray: Let's look underneath.
[The children lift the globe. Underneath is another note, which Ray holds up and reads.]
Ray: This one says, "Don't be in the dark. You're all so bright. Just walk over and shed some light." What do you think that means?
Maria: Something to do with light. The window? [She runs over and looks at the glass.] Nothing there.
Denny: Hey... I bet it's the light switch!
[The children rush to the light switch. Taped underneath is another note. Everyone groans. Denny takes the note down.]
Ray: I still just want to eat.
Rachel: Well, what does this note say?
Denny: This one says, "I can hold more words than you've ever seen. But with one wipe, I come clean."
Ray: I don't want to solve riddles. I want to eat!
Melody: We know, we know. But we can't eat until we find out where the food is, can we?
Ray: OK, then, I'll solve it. "Hold more words." Hmmm...a computer?
Rachel: Somebody's mind?
Maria: No! But maybe instead of "hold" more words, the poem means "write" more words. What do you write with?
Ray: Pencils, pens...
Denny: It has to be something you can get rid of with one wipe.
Ray and Maria: Chalk!
[The children rush to the chalkboard. Propped on the ledge is another note. Denny takes it.]
Maria: OK, what does this one say?
Rachel: It says, "Keep moving forward! Go to the place where treats are stored!"
Ray: That's easy. Treats belong in my stomach.
Melody: It must be the lunchroom. Come on, everyone!
[The children walk quickly around the classroom and end up at the decorated part of the stage. Mr. Kramer and parents are there, as well as the pile of treats on another table. The children enter the decorated area.]
Mr. Kramer and the Parents: Surprise!
Maria: Momma! Poppa! What are you doing here? [Maria and her parents hug.]
Maria's Mother: Mr. Kramer called and told us he was having a big surprise holiday party for all the children and their parents.
Maria: It sure is a surprise! Thanks, Mr. Kramer.
Mr. Kramer: Everyone was going to bring such wonderful things, I thought it would be fun to share. Look — we have treats from all over the world.
Rachel: Well, you sure surprised us. Good job! And good clues, too.
Ray: OK, OK! Now can we eat?
Mr. Kramer: Of course. Everyone take a plate! Enjoy the munchies! And happy holidays!
Source: Plays Around the Year: More Than 20 Thematic Plays for the Classroom edited by Liza Schafer and Mary Beth Spann.