Thursday, January 3, 2013

Reader's Theater - Giving Students a Reason to Read Aloud

The reader's theater strategy blends students' desire to perform with their need for oral reading practice. Reader's Theater offers an entertaining and engaging means of improving fluency and enhancing comprehension.

What is reader's theater? It's a way to involve students in reading aloud. In reader's theater, students "perform" by reading scripts created from grade-level books or stories. Usually they do so without costumes or props.
Reader's theater is a strategy that combines reading practice and performing. Its goal is to enhance students' reading skills and confidence by having them practice reading with a purpose. Reader's theater gives students a real reason to read aloud.
Reader's theater motivates reluctant readers and provides fluent readers the opportunity to explore genre and characterization.

(Susan Finney, a retired educator & an author)
"A great deal of fluency research reiterates the need for repeated reading. Without fluency there is little comprehension. The value of reader's theater is increased tenfold when used as a strategy for increasing understanding of what is being read." 

(Dr. Peggy Sharp, a former classroom teacher and library media specialist)
"Reader's theater is a wonderful technique for helping readers learn to read aloud with expression. I especially like to perform reader's theater without props so the readers learn that the expression in their voices needs to provide much of the drama of the story."

(Judy Freeman, a children's literature consultant)
"If you're searching for a way to get your children reading aloud with comprehension, expression, fluency, and joy, reader's theater is a miracle. Hand out a photocopied play script, assign a part to each child, and have them simply read the script aloud and act it out. That's it. And then magic happens."

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