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DIY Reader’s Theater
Reader’s Theater is a fun and accessible way to bring dramatic presentation into your classroom. This technique helps your students understand what they read, demonstrate reading fluency, and work collaboratively. In DIY Reader’s Theater, students write their own scripts from different types of fiction or non–fiction reading passages.
Materials: reading passage, text selection, or video transcript; script template
- Locate a Discovery Education reading passage, text selection, or video transcript that relates to your unit of study.
- After students have ample opportunity to gain content knowledge, introduce students to Reader’s Theater.
- Group students into teams of three or four. Provide each team with text to be transformed into a Reader’s Theater script.
- Provide the steps below for your students.
- Step 1: Work with your group to identify characters and narrators.
- Step 2: Determine the dialogue and the narration.
- Step 3: Gather any props or equipment for sound effects.
- Step 4: Write the script.
- Step 5: Practice the script many times. Make changes, as needed.
- Provide class time for students to perform their scripts for the rest of the class. Evaluate student performances with a rubric.
Reader’s Theater provides students with an authentic purpose for reading. In preparation for performance, students work on skills such as sequencing, analyzing, inference, and speaking.
- Record your groups as they perform. Capture video or record only the audio using an application such as Audacity or Garage Band. Share recordings (with permission) on a class blog or website.
- Consider collaborating with other classes to share the experience and receive feedback on Reader’s Theater presentations.