Reading Strategies for Middle and High School – Readers Theater
I love when it’s time to read a play in class. The assigned reading parts take away the anxiety for both my students and me, because everyone knows what and when they are expected to read aloud. It also help avoid the confussion that some stories have of identifying and following the speaker or narrator. The easily chuncked reading passages give students an expectation and goal of how much they are expected to read in class. If only all stories could be divided into easy ready parts.
Readers Theater is not only beneficial for emerging readers, but middle and high school students also enjoy the benefits of practicing reading fluency, while increasing comprehension.
According to Scholatics, Reader’s theater is a reading strategy that can helps students in developing reading fluency. Students don’t have to memorize parts, but simply read orally through the reading parts of the script. It develops reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
“Readers Theater is readers reading a script adapted from literature, and the audience picturing the action from hearing the script being read aloud. It requires no sets, costumes, props, or memorized lines. Instead of acting out literature as in a play, the performer’s goal is to read a script aloud effectively, enabling the audience to visualize the action. Performers bring the text alive by using voice, facial expressions, and some gestures” (Scholastics)
There are a number of benefits for using Readers Theater in the classroom including increased comprehension; motivation; increase in speaking, writing, and listening fluency; and increase in student engagement.
Creating Your Own Scripts
Readers Theater can be created from any kind of literature including short stories, poetry, picture books, folk and fairy tales, non-fiction and magazine articles. Some stories are easier to convert than other. Look for stories with a large amount of dialogue, interesting story line, developed characters, conflict, and humor.
Creating Readers Theater Scripts in class can be a great opportunity to help students condense material and work on their editing and format skills.
If you are looking for ideas, or don’t have the time to create your own Readers Theater Scripts, check out my Teachers Pay Teachers Store for more information on the resources below.
Characteristics of an Effective Readers Theater Reader
An effective reader….
- Reads with expression, proper emphasis, and clear enunciation, using his/her voice effectively to convey meaning.
- Projects to the audience.
- Is familiar with the part and is able to read it with fluency.
- Paces himself/herself effectively.
- Uses props, when employed, effectively (the script is a prop).
- Demonstrates poise and self-confidence. (Scholastics)