Forty Best-practices Instructional Activities

Reader's Theater
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40 Best-practices
Instructional Activities

Background: Reader’s theater is a form of dramatic presentation. Students expressively read a text or portion of text for an audience. It is similar to a play, but does not require sets, props, or memorization of lines. Simply, it’s a dramatic reading of a selection.

Procedures: Using a reading selection, students create a script that presents the key ideas described in the text. In small groups students practice reading the script expressively. They share the script with an audience.

1. There’s No Place Like Home: After researching facts about a species’ habitat, students create a script that presents the information to an audience.
2. Life On The Edge: After researching why a species is endangered, students create a script that presents the facts in a creative way.
3. The Magic Schoolbus Visits the Tundra: Students use the popular format of the Magic Schoolbus Books by Joanna Cole to teach an audience about caribou on the tundra. Mrs. Frizzle and the Gang join a caribou herd on their migratory journey. Students use facts to create dramatic scenes that reveal details they’ve learned.

1. Invite students to use highlighter markers to divide up an informational article into speaking parts. The highlighted text becomes the script. This technique is a student-friendly method for kids who find writing laborious.
2. Use poems for dramatic presentations.
3. Explore a variety of drama experiences: puppetry, radio presentations, newscasts, and dance.

Reading Strategies: Develop Read Aloud Skills: Fluency and Expression, Analyze Text Structure, Analyze Writing Strategies, Explore Main Ideas and Support Details, Synthesize Information, Recognize Themes, Build Vocabulary