Author Interview: The Betsy Ross Story

publication date: Jul 24, 2010
author/source: Carol Montgomery

Did you ever want to check out the historical facts to get the straight story?  That's what Carol Montgomery did to get the backround for this free Readers Theater script, "The Betsy Ross Story"--an account of the first flag of the United States of America.  While textbook stories can often be boring, this script brings to life the characters who were inspired to create the first flag of the USA.  Now YOU can know the story behind the story!  Carol Montgomery created "The Betsy Ross Story" in April 2010.  Readers Theater All Year interviewed her in spring 2010.  Here's that brief interview:


RT All Year:  Where did you get the idea for the script?

Carol:  I wanted to do something historic with a patriotic theme.  I have been working on an Underground Railroad series, but I needed to try something that could help out with a patriotic holiday.  Betsy Ross seemed like a good story to explore.


RT All Year:  What resources did you use to write this script?

Carol:  This script was unusual because I had to do quite a bit of research.  I read a children's book from the library on Betsy Ross and some books on the story of the flag. That led me to actual affadavits from Betsy's daughter, granddaughter, and niece retelling her story.  I checked out the information on the web and began to put the pieces of the puzzle together--including the stories from Betsy's relatives. Her story is a bit of a mystery, but I write it as a story, based on historical facts.


RT All Year:  How long did it take you to write the script?

Carol:  Wow!  Do you count hours of research and trips to the library?  The actual writing took maybe three days before editing and adding curriculum links.  I still haven't had anyone read it, so technically it may not be done!  :)


RT All Year:  Why did you write the script?

Carol:  I love this nation.  I also love teaching creatively.  I hoped that by writing a script based on original documents in history others might learn something and be motivated to explore further.  Also, I had to plan so many programs in my years of  classroom teaching and homeschooling that I wanted to do something to simplify it for any teacher trying to plan a program.  The script would be ideal for a patriotic program and I hope to add more so a teacher can pick and choose from suggested scripts and songs.  (Since I planned a patriotic program when I was a classroom teacher I already have some songs in mind.)  Now that I have time to give back, there's no limit to the possibilities!

Personal Story?

RT All Year:  Which story about the script or the process of writing it would you like to share?

Carol:  This script brought new challenges since it was based on history--including oral history.  I didn't have as much flexibility with the story as one that came from my head.  But, Readers Theater is wonderful for communicating information since the narrators can fill in some of the needed information.  I often use two narrators so more speaking parts are available.  "The Betsy Ross Story" uses two narrators that help fill in more details from her life.  I found a free script online that was only about a page long with Betsy's story.  It was well done, but I wanted more from the characters and more information about Betsy Ross.  Did you know she was a widow twice before she married her third husband?  Did you know she was a business woman?  Trivia, yes.  But, how do you feel about Betsy now that you know a little more?

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