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Reader's Theater


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Background: Reader’s theater is a form of dramatic presentation. Students expressively read a text or portion of text for an audience. It is similar to a play, but does not require sets, props, or memorization of lines. Simply, it’s a dramatic reading of a selection.

Procedures: Using a reading selection, students create a script that presents the key ideas described in the text. In small groups students practice reading the script expressively. They share the script with an audience.

Examples:
1. There’s No Place Like Home: After researching facts about a species’ habitat, students create a script that presents the information to an audience.
2. Life On The Edge: After researching why a species is endangered, students create a script that presents the facts in a creative way.
3. The Magic Schoolbus Visits the Tundra: Students use the popular format of the Magic Schoolbus Books by Joanna Cole to teach an audience about caribou on the tundra. Mrs. Frizzle and the Gang join a caribou herd on their migratory journey. Students use facts to create dramatic scenes that reveal details they’ve learned.

Variations:
1. Invite students to use highlighter markers to divide up an informational article into speaking parts. The highlighted text becomes the script. This technique is a student-friendly method for kids who find writing laborious.
2. Use poems for dramatic presentations.
3. Explore a variety of drama experiences: puppetry, radio presentations, newscasts, and dance.

Reading Strategies: Develop Read Aloud Skills: Fluency and Expression, Analyze Text Structure, Analyze Writing Strategies, Explore Main Ideas and Support Details, Synthesize Information, Recognize Themes, Build Vocabulary

 

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