A-Scripting We Will Go

3, 4, 5

In this lesson, young people create story scripts from the research and facts collected in Lesson One: Digging Up the Facts. The scripts include setting, one character per child, problem, solution, and a beginning, middle and end. Young people edit and revise their scripts.

PrintOne 45-minute session, plus time to write and edit

The learner will:

  • write and edit a script for a puppet show using the research gathered as the problem/solution.

DiSalvo-Ryan, DyAnne. City Green. HarperCollins, 1994. ISBN: 068812786X


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Before reading the book City Green by DyAnne DiSalvo Ryan, ask the young people to listen for the environmental issue (facts and advocacy) woven into the good story. Discuss after reading: What environmental issue was identified and how was it addressed? How did Marcy act for the common good? In what way did Marcy’s idea change attitudes about the environment? How can you use a story to change views about your environmental issue?

  2. Working from the story and environmental issue in City Green, model the script-writing process to help the youth get started with their own puppet show script. Think aloud about how you select ideas for the setting, characters, problem and solution. Write a story map for the book script with the young people’s help. 

  3. Show how to write a script with character names on the left side, followed by colons. They may write directions in parentheses, not to be said aloud, but to direct actors or puppets.

  4. Example: "Gina: (upset) I just don’t know what to do! These landfills are filling up at an unbelievable rate! (sighs and begins to cry)"

  5. Tell young people to avoid using a narrator character. They should deliver their research facts through the characters’ words and actions. Encourage them to use different, distinct voices for each puppet and try to include some sound effects. Sound effects may include steps, claps, doors slamming, audience cheering, whistles, instruments, musical clips, etc.

  6. Send them to work in their groups to plan and write a puppet play to communicate their research and influence the audience about their particular issue.

  7. Meet with each group as they work to help develop ideas as well as edit and revise.

  8. Puppet show groups read through their scripts as a group. They should work on expression, fluency and finding distinctive voices for their characters. Pair up two groups to read through scripts to each other and offer suggestions. Optional: record the final script audio. 

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.10 Give an example of an action by an individual or a private organization that has helped to enhance a fundamental democratic principle.
      2. Benchmark E.9 Describe how philanthropic activities can bring about social change.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.4 Give an example of how citizens act for the common good.