A Play About Stuttering

Written by: Valerie, a fourth grader

Performed by: Valerie, her two friends, and her teacher.

Characters: Narrator, Mrs. Gladys, Jocko, Margaret

Narrator: Mrs. Gladys is a 4th grade teacher. She is a nice teacher because she only gives a little homework. She never yells and makes her class fun.

Jocko is in Mrs. Gladys' class. Jocko has had trouble talking for three years. He has a stuttering problem. He likes to play soccer and volleyball. He gets good grades in school. He feels scared sometimes about being in school and talking. He feels good about himself even though he stutters. He's great friends with Margaret.

Margaret is also in Mrs. Gladys' class. She is real good friends with Jocko. She accepts Jocko the way he is. She gives him lots of time for talking. She sticks up for Jocko if others tease him about his talking. Margaret likes gymnastics and soccer. Her favorite subject is math.

Today is Wednesday. School started one week ago. Jocko and Margaret are sitting in Mrs. Gladys' class.

Jocko: H-H-H-Hello, I am J-J-Jocko.

Margaret: Hello, I am Margaret.

Narrator: Sh... Here comes Mrs. Gladys.

Mrs. Gladys: Good morning class. Today I am going to assign a report that is due in three weeks. It will be a speech about something that is important to you.

Margaret: I'm going to do mine on cooking. Jocko, what about you?

Jocko: I-I-I-I-I think I'll do MMMMMMMMMine on stuttering. I b-b-b-bet bet bet the kids in our class don't know about i-i-i-i-it.

Margaret: Jocko, how will you find out about stuttering?

Jocko: Well, I I I I will talk to my s----peech t-t-t-teacher. She says it's g-g-g-good to talk about st-st-st-stuttering with others.

Mrs. Gladys: Class, I want you to know that you may do this speech with a partner if you wish.

Margaret: Oh, Jocko, do you want to do it with me? I would love to learn more about stuttering.

Jocko: O-O-O-O.K. I w------ill do it w-w-w-with you!

Narrator: Jocko and Margaret were busy reading books about stuttering and talking to others who stutter. Finally, their project was done. They were back in the classroom ready to start the speeches.

Mrs. Gladys: O.K. class. Today is the day that we will start our reports. Who would like to go first?

Margaret and Jocko: We are finished and we would like to go first!

Margaret: Our speech is about stuttering. We learned six facts about stuttering. Jocko and I will tell you about them. Ready Jocko?

Jocko: Y-Yes I am.

Margaret: People who stutter , sometimes called PWS, come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. There are 2 and 1/2 million pws in the United States! There are more boys than girls that stutter.

Jocko: People who stutter can t-talk to animals or non-living things without stuttering.

Margaret: No one knows the true cause of stuttering. There are many theories but not one cause has been found. What is true is that sometimes the speech machine does not work the way the person wants it to. Stuttering is nobody's fault.

Jocko: Stuttering runs in cycles. It c-can vary from hour to hour, day to day, and m-m-month to month.

Margaret: Remember that if people do not like you because you stutter than they are not worth having as friends.

Jocko: It is what you you say that is important not how y-y-you say it. Margaret: Lots of famous people stutter: Winston Churchill, Bo Jackson, Bob Love, does anyone know who else?

Margaret and Jocko: Porky Pig!!!!!!

Margaret: Now we're going to show you what kids might do when they stutter:

Jocko: Well, I may repeat words like this: I I I I I want the cookie. Or I may prolong a sound by dragging it out like this: S-------nake. Or I may block a sound like B-all where nothing comes out for a long time. My speech teacher tells me that I should never be afraid of stuttering or of talking. She says that I should talk even if I stutter and that everyone is different.

Margaret: Class, do you know what parts of our body make up the speech machine?

ask the audience and make sure they name them all: diaphragm, lungs, vocal folds, tongue, mouth, lips, brain

Jocko: And when someone stutters the speech machine is not working as it is supposed to.

Margaret: What have you learned that makes talking easier, Jocko? Jocko: I've learned to use easy beginnings at the start of my sentences, I've learned to use pausing as I speak, and lots of other things, too.

Margaret: Jocko, how should you react when someone is stuttering? Jocko: I think it's it's it's best to let the speaker finish, don't look away, and don't laugh.

Mrs. Gladys: What a great speech! A+!!

Narrator: Thank you all. Do you have any questions for Jocko, Margaret, or Mrs. Gladys?


Webweaver Judy Kuster
Copyright 1996, 1997
Added February 28, 1997