My 6-year-old and I have been enjoying a children’s book series called “You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You.” These books are formatted for two people to take turns reading different parts, like a script. We sit side-by-side, playing different characters and doing all the silly voices (I’m expecting a nod from the Academy for my role as the Big Bad Wolf). It’s been fun, and it got me thinking that eventually, we should start reading real scripts.
Reading scenes from film screenplays — and if you’re into it, acting them out — can be a great way to engage kids, including reluctant readers and those who love to move around. Movie scripts are widely accessible on the internet — there are several databases containing hundreds or thousands of titles, including the Internet Movie Script Database (IMSDb), The Screenplay Database and The Daily Script.
I would start with a film that your kid is familiar with, pick a simple two-character scene, and then assign parts (if you have three people, one of you can be the narrator and read the scene notes). Here are a few snippets of scenes that can be found online.
Kung Fu Panda
After your read-through, you and your kid might try swapping parts, memorising the lines, adding props, or recreating the scene as a stop motion animation video. Or you can teach your kid how to write their own screenplay. Screencraft has an excellent guide to get you started.