Based on a true science story from the book Let the River Run Silver Again by Sandy Burk and trustworthy online resources, this 3-part environmental script series shares how students helped save the American shad (fish). Hosted by student TV journalists, our free "Students Save Shad!" Readers Theater script integrates curriculum across subject lines in a memorable experience. Complete with curriculum links for easy lesson plans and further research, this inspiring story will motivate elementary and middle school students to take action and make a difference.
TIME: less than 9 minutes CAST: 10-12+ TONE: educational, light READABILITY: grade 4.2 (grade 3.8 without the words "announcer" or "narrator")
Here is an excerpt from this free, environmental Readers Theater script:
Students Save Shad! (Part III)
(Based on a true story.)
By Carol Montgomery ©2012
Announcer #1: This is Kids’ World News with Part III of this week’s top story, “Students Save Shad!” Hey, what’s with the costume?
Announcer #2: Oh, this? I’m going to a party later and I thought I’d go as Super Green–Protector of the Polluted, Guardian of the Grand, and Volunteer for the Valuable!
Announcer #1: What got into you?
Announcer #2: Oh, nothing--except that student cheer from yesterday:
Clean the river, save the stream,
Rescue our waterways. Yea, shad!
I was dreaming about fish all night and when I woke up, I thought my head was on a fish belly! This shad stuff boggles my brain.
Announcer #1: Maybe that’s good--IF you learn to care more for your environment.
Announcer #2: Oh, I care, all right! Why would I be dressed as Super Green– Protector of the Polluted, Guardian of the Grand, and Volunteer for the Valuable, unless I cared?
Announcer #1: True. But, if you REALLY care you’ll take action and not just dress up.
Announcer #2: What do you mean?
Announcer #1: You’ve been asking for days about “The Great Shad Adventure” and shad eggs. Today’s your day!
Announcer #2: Another video?
Announcer #1: You got it, Super Green! Today we’ll share Part III of “The Great Shad Adventure.”
Announcer #2: Then, let’s roll the video for the REST of the story... Here comes the narrator...
Narrator #1: Nick and Julia returned to their shad-loving school for fifth grade. They joined the Aqua Eagles Stream Team to help take care of their adopted stream, Little Falls.
Narrator #2: The Aqua Eagles Stream Team worked hard to clean up their stream. Once a week they picked up trash, monitored water quality, or planted trees.
Narrator #1: When spring came students and teachers were trained how to raise shad in trashcan fish tanks with oxygen bubblers. They learned how to test the water for oxygen and ammonia, plus how to raise tiny brine shrimp for shad baby food. Everyone had a job, including Julia and Nick.
Julia: I’ll bring ice to keep the water cool. I don’t want those baby fish to die because the water temperature is too warm.
Nick: Great! I’ll feed the baby shad these teeny-weeny, itsy-bitsy, little-wittle brine shrimp. I’m sure glad I don’t have to eat those things. How could anything get full with those teeny-weeny, itsy-bitsy, little-wittle brine shrimp? I’d be hungry all the time!
Julia: I think they are hungry a lot. Their mouths are so tiny I can’t really see them; so they must eat small food.
Nick: Not just small. Those brine shrimp are teeny-weeny, itsy-bitsy, little-wittle guys.
Julia: (laughs) I get it!
Narrator #2: Julia and Nick’s teacher interrupted their conversation...
Teacher: All right. Let’s review our chart of what has happened so far with the eggs. Day One?
Class: The little eggs look like pearls. We remove the dead eggs.
Teacher: Day Two?
Class: The eggs look like a wiggle in a gel-like shell, with two eyes developing. We can see them under a microscope. We remove dead eggs.
Teacher: Day Three?
Class: The eggs are now swimming fry, tiny fish babies that wiggle. We remove dead eggs.
Teacher: Now, we’re up to Day Four. What have you noticed today?
***Click on the PDF link below to see the full printable version of the true science script, "Students Save Shad (Part III)," an upper elementary or middle school school script.
Download the PDF "Students Save Shad (Part III)," a free environmental Readers Theater script perfect for grades 4, 5, 6, middle school, and families interested in protecting our environment--especially the waterways (e.g., rivers, streams, Chesapeake Bay).