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Reader's Theater

Compiled By: Editor

Ideas for using Reader's Theater in the classroom

Reader's Theatre
Posted by: Linda

Reader's Theatre is a dramatic enactment of text. Children can even write their own script from a story. Some Robert Munsch books such as "The Paper Bag Princess" and "Pigs" work well. Students read from scripts after they have practiced pacing, expression and small actions. Usually you do not use costumes, but in some cases children could make headbands pictures attached to show what their character might look like. For example, in "The Rat Princess" I have had students attach a cloud, a rat, a sun, a wind and a rat's face to their headband to show which character they are. Students' entry and exit on to the staging area as well as their voice projection are also important aspects of Reader's Theatre. It's easy and the kids love it. If you, as the teacher, write the script break parts up to include 3 or 4 narrators. That way you can accommodate more students.

Reader's Theater
Posted by: Elaine

Here's the way I've done reader's theater. I have several books with biographical, historical, etc. scripts. I assign roles, and allow students to get together to rehearse reading their parts. They read their part and follow along while others read their parts many times as they prepare for their "performance." We set up scenes using desks, chairs, a few student made props, but for the most part just perform/read the play for the rest of the class. I usually have 2 plays that are related (one about Martin Luther King, Jr. and a second about Rosa Parks). After the plays there are usually some suggested follow-up activities that could be used as assessments related to communication arts while students are learning social studies.

It just seems like a win-win situation. The kids love the plays, and are reading and rereading which reinforces a major goal for reading instruction -- fluency. The teacher gets to hear the students read without doing the round-robin thing. The students learn about history . . . etc., etc., etc.

Have fun,

Reader's Theater
Posted by: Cindy

Hi, one of the best ways that I have found to improve fluency is by doing reader's theater. Students love this because the reading is in the form of a "play" and they begin reading fluently because they want to "perform." It is one of those things where they are improving and they really don't realize it.

There are tons of web sites that have turned books into reader's theaters. One of the kids favorite plays is The Real Story of the Three Pigs. How I do it in my classroom is that we do the play together first, then I divide the students into groups that have the same number of characters. It works great, and they love it!

Another thing that I do at the beginning of the year, is that I tell them what fluency means and how it sounds. I tell them that they don't talk in sloppy choppy ways and that they shouldn't read that way.

Hope this helps!

using rt's
Posted by: Lola3

Some things i do with reader's theater:
go over parts of a script (dialogue, directions...)
have students highlight their parts
practice reading independently first to decode words
discuss comprehension, visualize (draw picture, create a poster...)
practice in small groups daily for several days (about 20 minutes):
work on decoding first, then add expression and pacing
reader's theater is fun and a great way to work on fluency

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