Reader’s Theater – Another Teacher-Side Option

Earlier I wrote a post on types of teacher-side assignments for interactive notebooks. Here is another idea, and if you don’t use the notebooks it can be a useful stand-alone strategy.

I’m always on the look-out for new things to do, and while browsing proteacher, I read a post about someone writing a Reader’s Theater to put in their math interactive notebook. (Thanks, Catbells, for the idea!) It got my creative juices flowing and made me remember a reader’s theater training I had had several years ago. I ended up taking my article for the Civil Rights Amendments and re-writing it into a reader’s theater. It went smashingly – the kids had a great time, we re-read the content several times with no boredom or arguments, and they could easily use it to complete their student-side.

Tips on writing/adapting curriculum based reader’s theater:

  • Choose a piece of writing that has the content you want to teach. It can be a story or a factual article.
  • Don’t use character names – use numbers. This allows for greatest girl/boy flexibility.
  • Try not to let any one number speak for too long – I like to change it up every sentence or two.
  • Mix up the numbers throughout the reading so that students speak throughout the piece.
  • For important parts, let all of the children speak. Add sound effects and action if you wish, but it is not necessary.

The training I received was based on Rosalynd Flinn’s work. This is her website, and there are several great samples – hopefully there is one you can use. I’m attaching a copy of the one I did with my students on Amendments 13 – 15. Our right hand assignment was a simple chart of the amendments, when they were ratified, and what rights the provided.

Reconstruction Amendment Reader’s Theater


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