Siezed by an intriguing idea. Could radio drama be used in the classroom to make learning more meaningful and fun? With a low-power FM transmitter Joe and Paula McHugh visited schools throughout the United States directing groups of students as they performed radio dramas complete with sound effects. These performances were broadcast "live" throughout the school campus. In doing this the McHughs had a great time and learned a lot about how to write and perform radio plays that actually worked with young people.

Each Raven Radio Theater script comes complete with casting directions, detailed instructions for finding and/or making the necessary mechanical sound effects, a full set of sound effects cue cards, and mp3 files of theme music and background sounds customized for each play. Most of the plays can be performed by twenty to thirty-five students as readers theater, readers theater with sound effects, school assemblies and/or recorded.


"Off to California" performed by

Deer Creek School 4th Grade students.


Get a Free Raven Radio Theater Cookbook with a Purchase of 2 or More Scripts!

(If you are interested in our free RRT Cookbook offer, DO NOT add the cookbook to your shopping cart. We will send you the RRT Cookbook automatically with an order of two or more scripts, guaranteed!)

This is a “how-to” on radio theater production in the classroom. Topics include casting a play, understanding radio drama direction, suggestions on rehearsing your students for a successful play, understanding sound effects, how to use “Get Ready” cue cards, and learning about the pre-recorded music and sound effects mp3s that come with each play.

Raven Radio Theater Cookbook (PDF) $18   Preview Cookbook

Off to California - This historical radio drama tells the compelling story of the Morrison family of Pidgeon Springs, Missouri, who make the dangerous overland journey by covered wagon to California in the year 1850. Based on authentic narratives of the period, the story unfolds as the Morrisons, under the capable leadership of the mother, join a large wagon train headed for California. The family encounters a deadly cholera epidemic, raging river and much more. “Off to California” tells the timeless story of a family who finds the inner strength to overcome numerous hardships and separation from loved ones in their struggle to make a better life. Preview Script

Off to California - PDF Mp3 - $28

Grade Level 4-8

California State History/Folklore/Character Education/American History

“Off to California” has been rewritten for Washington, and Oregon state history curriculum

Westward to Oregon - PDF Mp3 - $28   Preview Script

Grade Level 4-8

Oregon State History/Folklore/Character Education/American History

Doc Merriweather - The year is 1946. Fourteen-year-old Doc Merriweather and his best friends, Margo and Arnie, have decided to open their own detective agency. As luck would have it, their first client is a Miss Anderson, who has been threatened by a stranger calling himself Smith. Smith is determined to get his hands on an unusual carved wooden box sent to Miss Anderson by her fiancee during the war. The box contains a secret map to the battle horn of the legendary King Arthur. It now falls to Doc and his trusty companions to find the map and travel to England to locate the ancient horn. But the unexpected appearance of Smith on a lonely Kentish moor may well spell disaster for our young sleuths!  Preview Script

Doc Merriweather and the Case of the Carved Wooden Box - PDF Mp3 - $28

Grade Level 4-8

Language Arts/Folklore

The Black Knight is based on an ancient Celtic myth, the Black Knight is an allegorical tale about a King and his three sons. A mysterious knight appears to challenge the knights to mortal combat. At last the King himself rides forth, but after a long and furious battle he is overcome and must give his three sons to the victor to perform a dangerous quest. Thus begins an adventure full of magic cloaks and singing harps, talking trees and sudden storms. The Black Knight uses the ancient language of symbols to help today's youth discover for themselves the hidden strength and courage that lies within them.  Preview Script

The Black Knight - PDF Mp3 - $28

Grade Level 4-8

Prevention/Folklore/Character Education/Language Arts

Westward to Washington - PDF Mp3 - $28   Preview Script

Grade Level 4-8

Washington State History/Folklore/Character Education/American History

The Noisy Night Visitors is a wonderful play to perform with beginning readers. A mother and her four children decide to leave the city and build a house in the country. The children decide they would like animals on their new farm, but what to do with them when a terrible storm comes. In come all the animals and a sleepless night. The next morning they start to build their new barn. Preview Script

The Noisy Night Visitors - PDF Mp3 - $28

Grade Level 1-3

Family Studies/Language Arts

The Morningstar of Liberty - John P. Zenger 1697-1746 Set in New York City in 1735, this play tells the story of the German-born printer, John Peter Zenger and his wife Anna, and their heroic struggle through their newspaper to expose the corrupt practices of the colonial governor, William Cosby. Despite being jailed for over ten months, his newspapers business burned, and his lawyers unjustly disbarred, John Zenger’s courage and determination eventually led to his victory in court and helped establish for the first time on American soil the right of the people to freely criticize their government. Preview Script

The Morning Star of Liberty - John P. Zenger - PDF Mp3 - $28

Grade Level 6-12

Citizenship/American History/Character Education


Remarkable American Citizen Radio Plays

Each Script Includes:

• Easy to Follow Script (PDF)

• Casting Instructions

• Sound Effects Instructions

• Sound Effects Cue Cards

• Music and Sound Effects (Mp3)

     (average play runs 30-45min)

Scripts are available in electronic form for download (PDF + Mp3)


PDF + MP3 FILES WILL BE SENT THROUGH www.wetransfer.com

The Story of Mumbet - Elizabeth Freeman 1744-1829. Mumbet was a slave living in western Massachusetts in the years leading up to the American Revolution. While serving refreshments to members of a committee assembled at her owner’s home to craft a document of protest to be sent to the King of England, she overheard words that proclaimed freedom for all people. Later, after these same words were included in the constitution of the new state of Massachusetts, Mumbet convinced a young lawyer, Theodore Sedgwick, to successfully sue for her freedom in a court of law. Preview Script

The Story of Mumbet - Elizabeth Freeman - PDF/MP3 Files - $28

Grade Level 4-12

Prevention/Folklore/Character Education/African American History

The Remarkable Miss Barton - Clara Barton 1821-1912. Told in her own words, this play focuses on the early years of the fascinating life of Clara Barton. Beginning with her childhood in New England, the play goes on to tell of her fight to establish the first public school in New Jersey, of her efforts to reform the corrupt United States Patent Office, and eventually of her courageous work as “the Angel of the Battlefield” bringing medical care to the wounded soldiers at the front lines of the Civil War.  Preview Script

The Remarkable Miss Barton - Clara Barton - PDF/MP3 Files - $28

Grade Level 6-12

Citizenship/American History/Diversity/Character Education

Seven Miles to Freedon - Robert Smalla 1839-1915. This play tells the story of Robert Smalls, a slave in Charleston, South Carolina, who dreams of becoming a free man while struggling to earn enough money to buy his wife and child’s freedom. Eventually, as a sailor and pilot on board the Confederate gunboat “Planter,” during the Civil War, he seizes his chance. In a daring adventure, Robert, along with his family and other slaves, commandeers the “Planter,” sails her past the deadly guns of two forts, and turns her over to the ships of the Union blockade.  Preview Script

Seven Miles to Freedom - Robert Smalls - PDF/MP3 Files - $28

Grade Level 5-8

Citizenship/American History/Diversity/Character Education/African American History

A Vision for Children Lewis Hine 1875-1940. This play tells the story of an exceptional documentary photographer, who, in the early 1900s, took his camera into the coal mines, glass factories, spinning mills, cotton fields, and oyster canneries of America to expose the widespread abuses of child labor. From his work photographing immigrants at Ellis Island to his work for the National Child Labor Committee, Lewis Hine left a powerful visual record of an important chapter of American history. Preview Script

A Vision for Children - PDF/MP3 Files - $28

Grade Level 5-12

Citizenship/American History/Character Education

Leo Hart and the Weedpatch School 1897-1989 - This story takes place during the Great Depression and focuses on the lives of the “dust bowl” immigrants who came to California seeking a better life, but who found instead harsh treatment and poverty wages. It tells how Leo Hart, a caring educator fighting stiff opposition from local school boards and the public, eventually leads a bunch of “Oakie” kids to build their own school where they learned self-respect and a true sense of community.  Preview Script

Leo Hart and the Weedpatch School - PDF/MP3 Files - $28

Grade Level 4-12

Citizenship/American History/Character Education

A School for Iqbal - Based on the true story of Iqbal Misah, a boy from Pakistan whose family, deeply in debt, was forced to sell their youngest son into slavery in a carpet factory. As Iqbal grew older he began to fight for the rights of the children in the carpet factories. In time Iqbal’s campaign inspired over 3,000 children to run away. The Reebok Corporation heard about Iqbal’s efforts and gave him a Youth in Action Award. While in the United States he met the students from Broadmeadows School. When they heard about Iqbal's death they decided to do something for the children of Pakistan. Through the internet the students raised $170,000 to build a school in Pakistan for 400 students and to staff it for four years.  Preview Script

A School for Iqbal - PDF/MP3 Files - $28

Grade Level 5-12

Citizenship/History/Youth Leadership

Common Ground - This play follows the journey of a young man from Japan to America to tell the little-known story of the Japanese-Mexican Labor Association and its fight for fair wages and better working conditions in the sugar beet fields of Southern California in 1903. In the face of violence and fierce anti-Asian prejudice, the Japanese and Mexican farm laborers of the JMLA showed all Americans how moral courage and unity can help make the world a better place.  Preview Script

Common Ground - PDF/MP3 Files - $28

Grade Level 6-12


“Talkin’ Tobacco” begins with the television news show Face the Press interviewing Mr. Tobacco, a tobacco plant, to discuss a number of aspects of tobacco-use by humans. Mr. Tobacco goes back into history and dramatizes such topics as how tobacco was first discovered in the new world and brought back to Europe, how the cigarette-rolling machine increased smoking significantly at the turn of the century, how the movie industry of the 1940s glamorized tobacco use, and how doctors try to correct the destructive effects of chewing tobacco.  Preview Script

Talkin' Tobacco - PDF/MP3 Files - $28

Grade Level 5-9

Talkin' Tobacco/Tobacco-use Prevention/History

Health Education Radio Plays

Red Bartlett/ A Dark and Stormy Night - A simple way to introduce young people to the world of radio theater with easy-to-do sound effects. These two short, humorous plays deal with the dangers of tobacco use. In “Red Bartlett” young Billy Yeager, cowhand on a cattle ranch, finds his heroic image of the “Marlboro Man” needs some serious rethinking. This play was written to help students understand that what they see in advertisements is often quite different from what happens in real life. “A Dark and Stormy Night” tells the story of Tim and Wendy who, lost and with a flat tire one dark and stormy night, come to the home of the evil genius, Dr. Reichman. Tim and Wendy, soon find themselves in the doctor’s laboratory where they discover a genetically altered giant tobacco plant containing twenty times more nicotine than regular tobacco. A humorous “cliff-hanger” ending allows students to come up with their own solutions for how Tim and Wendy escape the doctor’s intention to test the new tobacco on them.  Preview Script

Red Bartlett/ Dark and Stormy Night - PDF/MP3 Files - $28

Grade Level 5-12

Tobacco-use Prevention

“Welcome to the Tobacco Carnival” is about taking your chances on the tobacco wheel of fortune. Set up like a carnival with great sound effects, people from the audience take their chances. A great way to discuss the long-term effects of tobacco use.

Rex & Tippy, two canine friends out chasing kids on bicycles, realize that Tippy can’t keep up like he used to. A visit to the doctor shows that there are brown spots on his lungs. Tippy’s owners are heavy smokers. The effects of secondhand smoke are discussed in this easy-to-understand play. Preview Script

Welcome to the Tobacco Carnival/Rex & Tippy - PDF/MP3 Files - $22

Grade Level 3-8

Tobacco-use Prevention

A Giant Dental Dilemma - All is not well in Calendia. The kingdom’s resident giant, Morag, once an easy going and affable old behemoth, has suddenly grown troublesome. Luckily, there arrives in the kingdom a vacationing dental hygienist named Allison. Questioning the royal chef Pierre about the prodigious quantity of pastries and other sweets fed to the giant, she realizes Morag’s foul mood is the result of bad teeth! Allison leads a group of volunteers up the mountain to where Morag lives. The plan is to enter the giant’s great mouth while he is asleep and fix his teeth. This lighthearted radio adventure teaches young people about the history and folklore of dental health and helps them understand techniques for improving their own oral hygiene.  Preview Script

A Giant Dental Dilemma - PDF/MP3 Files - $28

Grade Level 4-8

Dental Health/Folklore

Get a Free Raven Radio Theater Cookbook with a Purchase of 2 or More Scripts!

(If you are interested in our free RRT Cookbook offer, DO NOT add the cookbook to your shopping cart. We will send you the RRT Cookbook automatically with an order of two or more scripts, guaranteed!)