Stage 2: Consolidation / Fluency
Stage 3: Literacy for Growth
Primary: Reading Fluency & Expression
Select a reader’s theater script
You may wish to use an available script or adapt a narrative for a script
Photocopy one script for each student
Organize student groups
Assign a speaking part to each student within the group
Use flexible and mixed ability groupings
Read aloud the script
Have students follow along by reading their copy of the script silently
Share the student groups and speaking parts
Have small groups read through the script
Encourage students to sit in circles
Have groups reread the script
Encourage students to add expression, actions and gestures
Invite groups to perform in front of the class
English Language Learners/ESL:
- Select an appropriate speaking part for the student
LD/Reading & Writing Difficulties:
- Have all students highlight their speaking parts - Prior to the activity invite the student to practice reading his/her speaking part - Select an appropriate speaking part for the student
Cultural Appropriateness & Diversity:
- Select a script that is culturally appropriate and includes a familiar topic
- Select a script that includes a variety of reading levels - Use flexible and mixed ability groupings
Source: Worthy, J. (2008). Reader's Theater for Building Fluency: Strategies and Scripts for Making the Most of This Highly Effective, Motivating and Research-Based Approach to Oral Reading. Markham, ON: Scholastic Canada.
Evidence: Young, C. & Rasinski, T. (2009). Implementing reader's theater as an approach to classroom fluency instruction. Reading Teacher, 63, 4-13.
The goal of Reader's Theater: Building Fluency and Expression is to promote speed, accuracy and proper expression in reading by having students repeatedly read an engaging theatrical adaptation of a favorite story.
What You Need
10-20 minutes - Select a readers theater script - Photocopy scripts (1 copy per student) - Organize groups
2, 30 minute sessions Session 1: - Teacher and students share reading of script - Students read script in small groups - Students reread script and add expression Session 2: - Students perform in front of the class
Teacher: - Copy of script Students: - Copy of script
What You Do
Modeling: - while class reads the script together Supporter: - while students read scripts Facilitator: - while students perform
Whole class: - during shared reading of script and performances Small groups: - during readings of script
- Use a checklist to track fluency and expression as students read aloud in groups and perform in front of the class
- Track student participation and speaking and listening skills
- Provide students with oral feedback on their strengths and next steps
- Add costumes, props and background scenes
- Have students perform their reader's theater in front of the school or another class
- Invite parents into the classroom for a reader's theater performance
- The focus of reader's theater should be fluency and expression. Adding actions, gestures, props and costumes after the first read through can be a fun and motivating way to enhance performances.
- Encourage students to read from the text. Knowing that memorization of the text is not necessary will help students gain confidence in reading aloud, especially for less confident readers.
- Adapt a favorite narrative to a script.
- Reader's theater promotes cooperation. Discuss what cooperation looks like and sounds like with your students so they are aware of the expectations.
- Integrating drama into your literacy program fosters a motivation for learning and provides an opportunity for all students to participate.
- Provide a quiet work space for students disturbed by sound