A number of upper elementary teachers have told me that they have not used Readers' Theaters in their classrooms. I must say, that surprises me! I've experienced nothing but great success using these resources with my students.
I see several WINS for students when we do Readers' Theaters:
- In my district, students are placed in guided reading groups through fifth grade. With that, they almost always read with the same small group of students who read at the same level they do. However, during those weeks where we take a break from Guided Reading for Readers' Theaters, students are very excited to be placed in different groups and enjoy getting to work with different classmates that week. Along with that, I nearly always see students working together, helping one another with expression or a difficult word.
- Struggling readers get the opportunity to listen to strong models reading.
- If I instruct a student to reread a chapter from a book, they often see it as a chore or a punishment. Readers' Theaters, on the other hand, are fun to reread again and again! With each rereading, students' fluency improves. My experience has been that their voice expression improves with each rereading, too. As students become more comfortable with the words and plot, they begin to experiment more with their character's lines, adding more expression.
- They provide a good opportunity for students to practice oral speaking skills (speaking loudly and clearly, lowering their script to belly-button level rather than having it right in front of their face).
- Many students love to perform (often including those I would least expect)! With that, students often appear more invested in a Readers' Theater activity, knowing that they will eventually be performing it for others, and they want to be prepared so they entertain their audience.
- They provide a good opportunity to practice listening skills. In fact, on the day of the performance, we usually begin by discussing characteristics of a good speaker/reader, AND the characteristics of a good audience member.
Also, hop on over to my blog for more detail on the Halloween Readers' Theaters BUNDLE - and an opportunity to win it!
I'm also offering a special deal on my Readers' Theater BUNDLE. Today only, I am making it half-price! For $11, you can have 14 original scripts (that's less than $1 per script!).
One more thing before I sign off: Be sure to come back tomorrow to see how ATUE celebrates fall!