This Is Our House: A Second Grade Play

Ms. Santiago’s second grade class recently showcased their academic, theatrical, and social skills when they prepared and performed a play based off a book they read in class. “This Is Our House” by Michael Rosen and Bob Graham tells the story of George, who builds a house out of a cardboard box on the playground, but finds reasons to exclude all his classmates from coming in. The students in Ms. Santiago’s class brought the book to life and performed it for the entire school.

The process started with the second grade class reading “This is Our House.” They used their literary skills to identify the plot structure and describe the main elements of the story. Then, they used their theatrical skills to figure out how to translate that onto the stage. They collaborated with their peers to create meaningful dialogue and interpreted the story in their words and movements. The students also created their own props, including George’s cardboard house, which the students painted to look like the one in the text.

The process culminated in their performance in our creative space, which their classmates all attended. The students told their story and played to the crowd, even improvising in certain spots! Through both the text and the process of producing their play, Ms. Santiago’s second grade class learned about friendship, kindness, respect, inclusion and playing fair.

This play is an excellent example of CCE’s arts-integrated approach to education. By using theatre as a tool for exploration, students developed a different approach for understanding the story and all the literary elements that go into a book. Students were also able to not only read about the social skills that the book displays, but put them into practice through a collaborative project. We are so proud of our second grade class, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

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