Use this synopsis of Oskar's Not So Simple Comeback to review key points of the play with your students. Then, lead them through sequencing activities and creating frozen pictures with their bodies to see if they can remember the order of key events.
Back to School
It’s the first day of school after summer break, and 10-year-old Oskar is getting ready to go to school on Vroom. To Oskar’s surprise, his friends Beth and Frank tell him that school is being held in-person again! He can’t be late for school again, or Principal Pomegranate will tell Olivia Rodrigo. Hashtag noooooooooo!
Bring on the Brain Ball!
On the bright side, going back to school means that Oskar gets to be team captain for his favorite game, Brain Ball! He’s a longtime champion. Oskar’s mom used to be a Brain Ball champion herself, and one more win will mean that they have the same number of trophies! Brain Ball is a competitive game that tests skills from all academic subjects and all sports. Round one is spelling and math questions, and round two is mostly swimming and throwing balls into hoops, except with:
Shoulder pads, like in football
A tennis headband
A hockey stick
A soccer ball
Before he can go to Brain Ball practice, Oskar has to sit through all his classes. He expects to be bored but discovers that new spelling questions and math problems are too hard for him. In PE, Oskar finds that he is having trouble swimming and throwing balls into hoops, both things he used to be great at. To make matters worse, Frank and Beth have been practicing their skills over the break, and Oskar realizes he’s fallen behind.
Oskar is Anxious, Dude
Feeling defeated, Oskar is visited by the Anxious Aardvark, who convinces him that he’s doomed to fail. On the other hand, someone who calls himself “just a dude” encourages Oskar to be honest about his struggles and ask for help. Fearing that his imminent failure will disappoint others and cost his team the Brain Ball championship, Oskar shamefully hides his feelings and decides to run away. He walks one whole furlong before going to sleep.
Luckily, Oskar has a crazy dream that helps him realize he needs to tell the truth. He admits to his mom that he’s fallen behind and is afraid he’ll fail. In an epic training montage, Oskar’s friends, family, and teachers gladly help him practice the skills he’s been having trouble with. Frank helps him with spelling, Mrs. Flabbergast helps him with math, Mrs. Laughinggas helps him with swimming, and Beth helps him with throwing balls into hoops.
Finally, it’s time for the Brain Ball championship against Ringading elementary school, the team’s fiercest rival. Ringading’s team is on a 100-game winning streak, and the championship is being watched by 7.9 billion people! Oskar misspells a word, losing the spelling point, but Frank encourages him to stay focused. He then wins the math point with Frank’s help. During round two, Beth and Ringading’s player both miss a shot, leaving it all up to Oskar. During a high-stakes moment, Oskar pauses to reflect on how he made the right choice in asking for help, and he ultimately scores the winning point. After his team triumphs over the competition, they celebrate with a dance party!
“Fall behind? Who’s falling behind? I’m not falling behind. You must be CUH-RAZY!”
“Something very strange is going on. I couldn’t spell. I couldn’t do math. I don’t understand.”
“Everybody experiences setbacks from time to time, even me. So, I always ask for help, and things always get better because of it.”
“Not long ago, I was falling behind and doomed to fail, and I was afraid to tell the truth about it. But it was okay to tell the truth about it, right? Yes! And it was okay to ask for help, right? Yes! And because I did all that, it led me here to this moment, to this final shot that can win the whole game.”