Get Them Out of Their Seats
Creative chaos. These activities get students out of their seats and engaged in discussion, adaptations of the text, and exploring the world around themselves. Teachers can stick with low tech activities or encourage students to engage in high tech creations.
A four-corners debate requires students to show their position on a specific statement (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree) by standing in a particular corner of the room (signs will be posted) or by responding to four choices to one question. This activity gets everyone involved and requires full participation by taking a position.
This activity works well for many books, but it especially lends itself to The Red Pony because there are so many "alleged" crimes committed during the course of the novel. The classroom will be converted into a courtroom (as elaborate or simple as time permits). Students will begin to understand the legal system and its implications.
Reader's theater is an effective, fun, and different ("out-of-the-box") way to help students understand problems that characters experience throughout The Red Pony. Groups of students are assigned a small portion of the text to present to their class. Unlike the presentation of traditional plot skits, reader's theater asks students to create a performance that reveals a message, theme, or conflict represented by the text they have chosen. Reader's Theater can be especially helpful for students who are not yet proficient in writing.
The Red Pony has a natural and episodic dramatic structure and is perfect for an adaptation to the stage; each story can serve as an "act" in the play. Students can easily learn the art of adaptation of genres, a valuable lesson. Selected scenes from each "act" should be included in the adaptation.