Readers’ Theater By: Brittany Donaldson
What Is Readers’ Theater? • Program that promotes literacy. • Benefits all but mostly struggling readers and children who are English language learners. • Specific goal is to help children become fluent readers • Designed to help children use all three cueing systems while reading. (i.e. comprehension, graphophonetical and syntatical.) • Mostly focuses on comprehension, vocabulary, and word recognition.
Process of Readers Theater • In Readers Theater, a group of children are given leveled scripts that they must read repeatedly in order to gain an understanding about fluency. • Then, they present their scripts to the other students in the classroom as a sort of “mini-play.” However, it is important to understand that the presentations are not plays themselves. • The hope is that the children will be so anxious to perform in front of their peers, that through repeated practice, they will try hard to learn their scripts.
History of Reader’s Theater • Originally developed for college students taking a literature course. It was used to develop comprehension. • Educators and Specialist saw the program as very successful and tried to integrate it in High School, Junior High, Elementary, and most recently Early Education. • Today, it has a wide following and the numbers suggest that it works well with all ages, grade levels and abilities.
What is Fluency? • According to Casey and Chamberlin, Fluency is defined as the smoothness, accuracy, rate, and efficacy of reading. • An element of fluency is prosody which is defined as the phrasing, intonation, pitch. • These two areas combined help children to read accuratly and with style. • Demonstration
Why Readers Theater Works so Well • Addresses many types of intelligence and learning styles at once. • Gives something that children can relate well to and gives them accountabilit. • Promotes a fun way to learn literacy. • Integrates art, imagination and creativity into lessons. • Gives children some freedom.
Done regularly Small Audiences Uses no props, costumes, sets Used mostly for academic purposes focusing on specific content areas. Think play rehersal Done once or twice a year. Large Audiences Uses many props, costumes, and elaborate sets. Meant for entertainment purposes only and can integrate other mediums of artistic expression. Think opening night. Readers Theater vs Plays
Variations of Readers Theater • Content • Time • Direction • Ways that it can be done and for who • Other content areas • Where you see success
Readers Theater Example: Pre Day-1 and Day 1: Chamberlin and Casey. • Pre-Day 1 • Teacher and/or students select story. • Teacher and/or students prepare or write script. • Day 1 • Teacher reads aloud the story. Students read script independently, in small groups, or as a whole class multiple times. • Teacher and students discuss story. • Students take home unmarked scripts for practice.
Day Two,Three and Four • Day 2, 3, and 4 • Students practice script in small and large • groups, taking turns with different parts until later • in the week when permanent parts are chosen. • Students give each other compliments and suggestions. • Teachers provide mini-lessons or coaching that explicitly teaches an aspect of fluency or prosody. • Students highlight parts for specific characters. • Students select permanent parts. • Students take highlighted scripts home for practice.
Day Five • Day 5 • Performance • Options in a 5-Day Plan for Readers’ Theater
Classroom Management • Readers Theater can be very useful in classroom management in many ways: • Mini- Lessons : prepared in advanced and address a specific area were children are struggling. • Guided Reading • Read Alouds • Centers • Write Alouds • Interactive and Independent Writing
Script Ideas • Write your own • Use a book from Read- Alouds • Leveled Readers • Leveled Scripts (would have to purchase them) • Big Books • Rhymes • Poems • Songs
Script Ideas • Around the Water Cycle from www.teachingheart.net/ • readerstheater.htm • “Boa Constrictor” from Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel • Silverstein, 1974 • Chicken Little retold by Jenny Giles (Rigby, 1997) • The Christmas Santa Almost Missed by Marian Frances • (Troll, 1970) • CLICK, CLACK, MOO: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin, • 2000 • “Code” from Lunch Money and Other Poems about School • by Carol Diggory Shields, 1995 • “The Crocodile’s Toothache” from Where the Sidewalk • Ends by Shel Silverstein, 1974 • Don’t Let Ted Have BUBBLE GUM! by Phyllis Sibbing, 1999 • “A Faster Fox” from Fox Outfoxed by Edward Marshall,
Free Scripts: Internet • http://www.aaronshep.com/rt/RTE03.html
Ways to be Creative • Use Holiday Themes • Integrate Multicultural themes • Social Issues • World Issues • Fairy Tales • Tall Tales • Anything you want, be creative
What Researchers are Saying • Improves fluency • Helps ELL students • Combines Multiple Intelligence Theories • Helps in Special Education • Builds Character and self esteem • More Parental Involvement
Assesments • There are many ways that you can do phase three work with students in readers thearter: • Centers • Guided reading
Example of Readers Theater In Progress • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AMQDQS48qE