Readers’ theater is a dynamic process that is easy to implement in elementary classrooms. It is a fast and engaging way of making any literary text a type of play. Readers’ theater allows students to interpret characters’ feelings and attributes; learn new vocabulary words and language structure; practice expressive reading for an authentic purpose; build oral expression and speaking skills; and engage in oral reading for an authentic purpose. Many readers’ theater scripts are downloadable from the Internet but here’s how you can create your own:
1. Select an appropriate fiction or nonfiction text.
2. Decide which parts to turn into a dialogue and narrative.
3. Have students work together to assign parts (characters and narrator).
4. Have students read the parts silently and think about how they will read them aloud.
5. Have students read the script a couple of times.
6. Have students read the script to others (optional).
Adapted from Guided Reading: Responsive Teaching Across the Grades by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. c 2017 by Fountas and Pinnell.