Alice Savage

ESOL Play Tells a Hurricane Story

Screen Shot 2018-07-30 at 12.26.42 PMIn 2017, Hurricane Harvey dumped a trillion gallons of water on Houston, Texas. Familes were separated, homes were flooded, and people were stranded on rooftops and in attics. Houston was not the only city affected that year. Around the world coastal cities coped with devasting floods, and people faced great loss, but many also discovered strengths that they did not know they had.

The play Rising Water is a tribute to the young people who went out in the storm to rescue friends, family, neighbors and even people they did not know. Teenagers and adults worked side by side after the storm to help with the clean up. It was a sobering time, but also a moment in which people found faith in their community. For this reason, it is my favorite of the three plays in Integrated Skills through Drama. I’ve used with a couple of classes now, and even with a minimum of rehearsal it can pack a punch.

Rising Water, like other plays in the series, includes guidance for staging a 20 minute play. (An audio recording is also soon to be available for listening practice and modeling.) It also has lesson plan options for working on pronunciation and background readings that can help actors get a sense of the history and science involved in the drama. An added feature is a look at pragmatics, or the way people use language in implicit ways to signal intentions and manage relationships.

To check it out on Amazon, click here.


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