Risas y aplausos


For this anthol­ogy Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Cam­poy trans­formed two tra­di­tional stories, the story of The Three Lit­tle Pigs and the tale of The rooster who went to his uncle’s wed­ding into the plays: “Los tres cerdi­tos” and “El gallo de boda.” The third play of the book, “El sol,” is an orig­i­nal drama­ti­za­tion. It can be rep­re­sented by one child, or by a whole class as a cho­rus. This last play is an invi­ta­tion for chil­dren to imag­ine the qual­i­ties of the sun, as gen­er­ous and life-giving, to begin to reflect on how they can also be like it and project love, kind­ness and car­ing through their actions.

The val­ues of the use of involv­ing chil­dren with the­atre are mul­ti­ple. Plays can be an excel­lent tool for pro­mot­ing the abil­ity to speak in front of a group, which is a lead­er­ship skill. Since they offer chil­dren the oppor­tu­nity to uti­lize words and lan­guage reg­istries they may not have other oppor­tu­nity to use, plays can be strong vehi­cle for vocab­u­lary and lan­guage development.

When used for choral read­ing plays can strengthen read­ing skills. In addi­tion, act­ing in a play enhances children’s self-confidence and self-esteem while pro­vid­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn about one’s self and oth­ers. Most impor­tantly, putting out a play, no mat­ter how sim­ply, pro­motes the val­ues of col­lab­o­ra­tion and solidarity.

To read more on the sig­nif­i­cance of the­atre click here: Let’s Raise the Cur­tain! The Ben­e­fit of The­atre in the School and for sug­ges­tions on its use in the class­room read the sec­tion “Plays and Dra­matic Games” in Chap­ter 3 of A Mag­i­cal Encounter: Latino Children’s Lit­er­a­ture in the Class­room and for dra­matic responses to books, the sec­tion “Pro­mot­ing Dra­matic Expres­sion” in Chap­ter 4 of that same book.


Theatre has been a passion in my life. I was part of every play during my school years and later in High School I also begun writing. One of my plays  “The Museum” was chosen to be performed at the important theatrical event of our class graduation. Theatre was a way of life for me during those early years.

Because of my experience with theatre, and how important it was in giving me a voice, breaking the barriers of shyness, and encouraging me to speak in public; ensur­ing that chil­dren have access to read and act in plays has always been one of my basic goals. Even if it is done with great sim­plic­ity, act­ing in a play can have very pos­i­tive results.

I am con­vinced that one is bet­ter able to teach some­thing one has enjoyed doing. And just as Alma Flor Ada and I empha­size, in our courses in Authors in the Class­room, that teach­ers who cre­ate their own books will be bet­ter able to get their stu­dents to become authors, I believe that encour­ag­ing teach­ers to do the­atre and expe­ri­enc­ing the rich­ness of the process would bet­ter allow them to incor­po­rate plays in their reg­u­lar teaching.